Lower house urges PM to support EC recovery fund, but push for some changes

The lower house of Parliament has called on Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to support the European Commission’s 750-million-euro recovery fund at next week’s video conference of the European Council. At the same time deputies urged the prime minister to push for changes to the criteria according to which the money will be divided, so that it would not disadvantage poorer countries which observed fiscal discipline before the coronavirus crisis. They also argued in favour of a longer period during which the money could be used. In the current proposal it is four years.

The EC’s recovery plan, bolted onto a revised seven-year budget proposal, would provide 500 billion euros in grants to countries hit hardest by the pandemic, and make another 250 billion euros available as loans.

According to the proposal, a third of the aid would go to help Italy and Spain – the countries most affected by the pandemic. The Czech Republic would get almost 20 billion euros from the recovery fund.