Dutch finance minister: EU should spend more on coronavirus

AMSTERDAM, March 24 (Reuters) – In a break with traditional Dutch scepticism about spending by the European Union, Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Tuesday the EU should spend more to counter the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

“My plea is, go on and free up money in the here and now, the current budget, for territories that are especially stricken by corona(virus),” he told RTL in a televised interview. “I’m thinking in particular on the financial-economic side, but also in the new multi-year budget, please think about this kind of crisis scenario.”

Eurozone finance ministers are due to meet by video conference on Tuesday to discuss the possibility that governments could apply for a credit line from the EU’s bailout fund. (Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by Gareth Jones)

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