Dutch veto demand 'impractical' - Italy

Dutch veto demand 'impractical' - Italy

Dutch premier Mark Rutte's request for a veto over how a planned 750-billion European Union post-pandemic recovery fund is distributed is "impractical", his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte told the bloc's leaders on Friday, according to unnamed government sources.

Conte made the remark during "a powerful and juridically well-argued" address at the EU leaders summit that kicked off in Brussels on Friday, according to the sources.

At the fraught summit, heads of state and government are trying to agree how to carve up the bloc’s 2021-27 budget, proposed at 1.07 trillion euros, and the linked 750 billion COVID-19 recovery fund.

Coronavirus-ravaged Italy stands to be the biggest beneficiary of the proposed rescue fund made up of grants and loans.

The planned rescue fund is already controversial as the money would be borrowed on the financial markets, and be paid back some time after 2027