Czech PM Babis says EU recovery fund should favour countries worst hit

Czech Republic's Prime Minister Andrej Babis stands on a physical distancing marker while making a statement as he arrives for the first face-to-face EU summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium July 17, 2020. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Friday that allocations from the EU’s proposed recovery fund should be based on the downturn in countries’ growth due to the coronavirus crisis and not on the basis of their past economic performance.

“We will see the impact of the pandemic next year and this impact will be mainly in GDP. So this should be the most, the biggest criteria,” he said on arrival for a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels to discuss a joint recovery plan.

“The Czech Republic was one of the best on unemployment, one of the best concerning debt to GDP and also we have growth - and it is not possible to penalize successful countries because they were successful.”

“Money should be distributed correctly and fairly.”

Reporting by Brussels newsroom