On Thursday, Sanchez said it was “imperative and necessary” for the European Union to reach an agreement on a commmon recovery fund by July, but warned that negotiations were set to be a “big battle.”
EU members agreed in June that economic action was urgently needed but remain divided over the value of loans or grants to be provided and if the program should last two or three years.
“We believe it should be four years,” Sanchez said, adding that passing a 2021 budget would depend heavily on the outcome of the talks.
After years of political instability, Sanchez’s government has failed to pass its own budget, instead rolling over one from 2018 drafted by his conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy.
Sanchez said he would meet with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, an advocate for a smaller, loans-based program, on July 16 to discuss the fund.
($1 = 0.89 euros) (Reporting by Belen Carreno and Jesús Aguado; additional reporting by Nathan Allen, Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo; writing by Jesús Aguado; editing by Andrei Khalip and Angus MacSwan)