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Ireland set to benefit by only €3m from EU’s €65bn crisis funding - MacManus

23 March, 2020 - by Chris MacManus MEP


Ireland set to benefit by only €3m from EU’s €65bn crisis funding - MacManus

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus said documents he has seen show that Ireland is to benefit from only €3m out of the €65 billion crisis funding promised by the European Union. The money is to facilitate the purchase of hospital equipment, ventilators and masks, support for SMEs, and employment schemes.

MacManus who last week succeeded Matt Carty as MEP for the region and has been appointed a member of the EU Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said “it is clear the EU plan will mean little help for Ireland and called for a reappraisal of the distribution based on need.”

He said:

“I welcomed in principle last week the Commission plan and note the ECB commitments now in place. However, it is clear that Ireland will benefit in practically no way from the EU plan, and it will be from our own resources first and foremost that the fight against coronavirus will have to be resourced.

“The EU plan is based on allowing countries to use unspent structural funds rather than hand it back. I believe a fairer way would be to distribute the funding on the basis of need and solidarity. It is difficult to believe that Ireland is to receive such an incredibly small part of this €65bn.

“Of more immediate and practical concern is the need to free the hands of Ireland and all other countries to do whatever is necessary to tackle this public-health crisis. That means suspending the fiscal and State Aid rules for the foreseeable, rather than relying on any so-called flexibility. This is a crisis of human life, and any rule tying the hands of governments must be thrown out and disregarded during the pandemic.” ENDS

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

The report is a technical briefing prepared by the Director General of the EU Commission’s DG Budget:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/about_the_european_commission/eu_budget/13032020_-_coronavirus_response_investment_initiative_final_v2_0.pdf

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