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Belgium abstains in vote on EU corona billions

Belgium is the only of the 27 EU member states not to have voted to approve the European Union’s 37 billion euro investment in measures to help member states cope with the COVID-19 crisis and the economic issues that it will leave in its aftermath. Instead Belgium abstained in the voted that was held at a European Council meeting on Monday. 

The 37 billion euro of EU funding will be used to offer medical aid to help member states cope with the crisis and the extra pressure it puts on their health systems. It will also be used in part to help support small and medium-sized businesses come through the economic impact of ,for example, having been forced to close due to measures designed to curb the spread of the virus.

37 million euro of 37 billion euro in EU cash is earmarked for Belgium. As the money is being given according to how wealthy a region is with poorer regions getting more and richer regions getting less, the lion’s share of the cash that will be given to Belgium is to go to projects in Wallonia. The Flemish nationalist party N-VA believes that this is unfair. The party that was one of the 10 parties that agreed to support special measures being granted to the minority federal government to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, voted against the EU corona assistance package in the European Parliament last week. Now Belgium is the only country not to have approved it.