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E.U. Leaders Reach Historic $859 Billion COVID-19 Plan

After days of an agonizing stalemate, European leaders reached a consensus on Tuesday morning regarding a vast financial rescue package for their countries.

The talks had been impeded by opposition by a few rich northern nations about the scope of the package and the accompanying regulations.

After the marathon discussions spanning five days, the leaders finally agreed on the historic €750 billion pandemic recovery fund.

Charles Michel, the European council president, termed the decision ‘a pivotal moment’ and tweeted the success with just a single word, ‘Deal!’

Michel, a former prime minister of Belgium who chaired the talks said, ’The magic of the European project continues to work.’

Do you think ‘the magic’ will make a positive impact and shield the EU from economic ruin? 

GOP COVID-19 Bill May Include Payroll Tax Cut and Reduced Aid to Governments

The looming GOP COVID-19 relief bill may incorporate a few of President Donald Trump’s critical priorities, regardless of opposition from the party.

These measures include reduced assistance to both local and state governments, a payroll tax cut, plus steps linking school funding to reopening of learning. 

Some of these measures have already ignited a storm especially among crucial Senate Republicans, and a massive showdown with the Democrats is almost inevitable.

Many think that the showdown could appear on Tuesday during the initial bipartisan discussions, when Mark Meadows, the White House Chief of Staff, and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary will meet Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

Possibly, it is speculated that this could be the last significant COVID-19 relief bill before the elections in November.

On Tuesday, Meadows and Mnuchin are set to meet with Senate Republicans to quell any dissatisfaction.

Do you think that the meeting will amount to something or is the showdown inevitable?

Greta Thunberg Pledges 100,000 Euros to Combat Coronavirus in the Amazon

Young climate activist Greta Thunberg has pledged $114,000 (100,000 Euros) to help the COVID-19 fight in the Brazilian Amazon.

Thunberg announced on her Twitter account on Monday.

Recently, the teenager received a million Euros, the prize money for bagging the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity.

The donation will be awarded through her Thunberg Foundation to SOS Amazonia, and it would come from the prize money.

SOS Amazonia is led by an organization called Fridays for Future Brazil, which is involved in the fight against the pandemic among indigenous tribes.

In the same post, Thunberg stated that she’d also donate a further 100,000 Euros to the Stop Ecocide Foundation to boost their fight and give ecocide recognition as an international crime.

She also appears keen on donating the rest of her award money to other foundations.

It is interesting that the young award-winner also plans to give away the full prize amount to ‘organizations and projects which are working to help people on the front lines, affected by the climate crisis and ecological crisis.’

Do you think that she is very passionate about the causes she believes in? Or is this another PR stunt? 

Australia Cuts Down Financial Aid for People Affected by Pandemic

Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, has announced new changes to the economic measures already in place to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press briefing, the Prime minister made changes to the Jobseeker allowances and the Jobkeeper, which have come in very handy to those who have lost their jobs, and assisted businesses to retain staff during the pandemic.

The Jobkeeper payment will be cut down, plus people working less than 20 hours per week to get reduced payment.

Also, the unemployment allowances or Jobseeker allowances will be reduced.

Morrison said: ’Australia is a country that just doesn’t look to survive these things. We don’t go through challenges with our heads looking down.

Overwhelmed by the circumstances, that is not who we are. Who we are is innovative adaptive people, supporting each other, reaching out to each other, drawing us all through, not for survival, but to be on the other side in the position where we can emerge stronger.’

Should we expect tougher times ahead for the Australian economy with these changes?

Hard-hit Italy to Get a Big Pie of the New EU Fund

After the European Union came to a decision on Tuesday morning regarding the €750bn deal, it is time to share the cake!

A few EU members have already made public the kind and amount of financial support they expect to receive.

Italy is easily among the largest beneficiaries of the fund, considering it is among the hardest-hit nations on the continent of Europe.

According to Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, the country is set to get 28% of the recovery fund or €210 billion.

This translates into repayable loans worth €127 billion and grants amounting to €81 billion.

Spain was also profoundly affected, and it ranks high on the list of highest beneficiaries with €140 billion, an amount that includes €72.7 billion in grants with the rest of the balance as repayable loans.

France stated that it would receive subsidies worth €40 billion, although it would announce a more comprehensive recovery plan on 24 August.

And Greece announced that it expected €72 billion, although it didn’t break down the amount into loans and grants.

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