The French President is said to have claimed failure to reach a quick agreement over the bloc’s pandemic rescue fund could see talks complicated by trade negotiations with Britain. He added that market sensitives required EU leaders to accelerate the process towards a face-to-face showdown next month. Brussels sources said the Frenchman said the fund must include at least €500 billion in grants made available to pandemic-stricken industries and regions.
Mr Macron’s efforts to broker a deal were echoed by Angela Merkel, who warned EU leaders that they face the worst recession since the Second World War.
The German Chancellor is said to have expressed concern that her EU colleagues hadn’t yet come to terms with the grave situation they find themselves in.
Sources said the veteran leader said the EU faces “very, very difficult times” in the coming months, and should have the recovery fund in place by the summer.
She added that leaders must organise an in-person summit as soon as possible.