The heads of state and government of the EU renew talks on financial assistance related to pandemic

There is disagreement among EU members over spending controls.

European Union leaders took a break on Monday morning in talks that are continuing for the most fourth day and are aimed at agreeing on a $ 2 trillion budget and financial assistance to EU members affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The talks, which were scheduled to end on Saturday, will resume in the second half of Monday.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said there was progress in the talks. In contrast, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that although the negotiations were difficult, “we may be pleased with today’s result.”

The past few days have revealed a split, with five rich Northern European countries – Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden – on one side and southern countries that have been most affected by the coronavirus, supported by Germany and France, on the other.

The Nordic countries are in favor of strict spending controls under any agreement, while other countries, such as Italy and Spain, want to keep such conditions to a minimum.

In the EU countries, 135 thousand people died from COVID-19, and Italy, France, and Spain were among the countries with the highest human losses.

Quarantine measures imposed by many governments to stop the spread of the virus have damaged the EU economy. According to experts, it will decrease by 8.3 percent this year.