00:28 GMT01 June 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden on Saturday presented their own plan for the recovery of the European economy on the basis of loans, as an alternative to the proposal of Germany and France to create a 500-billion euro foundation ($550 billion), Austrian Der Standard newspaper reported.

    According to the media outlet, the proposal of the four EU countries prescribes the creation of the foundation, from which the most coronavirus affected member states will be able to get assistance in the form of loans and not subsidies as proposed by Germany and France.

    On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron launched the initiative, which plans to allocate the funds to the EU economies that have been most severely affected by the epidemiological and economic crisis.

    The plan has received the support of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, although Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated that he, and the leaders of Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, believe that support should be provided by loans, rather than raising member state contributions.

    On May 6, the European Commission said in its forecast that the eurozone's GDP would see a 7.7 percent decrease in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and then grow again by 6.3 percent in 2021.

    Commenting on the projections, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni expressed a belief that the bloc had entered the "deepest economic recession in its history."

    coronavirus, COVID-19, economic, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria
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