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EU lawmakers break off talks with states on European recovery plan

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union lawmakers broke off talks on Thursday with EU government representatives over the bloc's budget and a 1.8 trillion euro coronavirus recovery package.

A deal between the European Parliament and governments is required to adopt the EU's largest-ever financial stimulus, which EU leaders agreed at a July summit to help lift Europe's economy from its deepest recession on record.

Delays in reaching a deal could further damage the EU economy, as many sectors rely on the EU funds.

"We had no other choice but to interrupt the meeting," lawmakers said in a statement, adding that more funds were needed to finance key programmes, including for infrastructure, defence and students exchanges, over the next seven years.

Clashes between lawmakers and governments are common over EU budgets, but have so far always ended up in agreements.

"A willingness to compromise is needed on all sides," a spokesman for Germany, which is conducting the talks on behalf of the 27 EU governments, said on Twitter.

Talks will resume in the coming days and should a deal eventually be reached, national parliaments will then have to ratify it.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Alexander Smith)