France Macron to visit Dutch H Rutte at break from deadlocked EU budget


PHOTO FILE: French President Emmanuel Macron attends a virtual meeting with European leaders to discuss the budget block and recovery funds, in Paris, France on June 19, 2020. Eliot Blondet / la Piscine via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) – Emmanuel Macron will travel to the Netherlands on Tuesday to try to break Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the 750 billion euro resistance to the European Union that the French president wants to see approved at an EU summit in July.

Rutte, led a coalition of fiscal conservatives in northern Europe to countries opposed to the proposal to recover EU funds to raise debt and transfer money to the hardest-hit countries by the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

Rutte, who wants transfers to take the form of repayable loans, rather than grants, will host a meeting with Macron in The Hague, followed by a working dinner, Macron told the bureau.

Discussions will focus on the EU budget and the recovery fund.

A source close to the meeting said Macron and Rutte are also likely to discuss Air France-KLM, which the two governments arm wrestling to influence the group’s French-Dutch airline.

Statement by Michel Rose and Laurence Frost; edition by Richard Lough

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