PRAGUE, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Calling the European Union (EU) recovery plan negotiation "a really big marathon", Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Tuesday that he is very glad that the European leaders reached an agreement.
"We originally arrived here -- the leaders of Europe, the European Council -- for two days. For Friday and Saturday. The negotiations lasted until Tuesday morning. I am very glad that we agreed. It was a really big marathon," Babis was quoted in a government press release as saying.
The plan, totaling about 1.8 trillion euros (2 trillion U.S. dollars) -- nearly 1.1 trillion euros (1.3 trillion U.S. dollars) for the multiannual financial framework and 750 billion euros (858 billion U.S. dollars) for the COVID-19 recovery plan -- was a good compromise for the Czech Republic, said the government office.
The Czech Republic will receive 964 billion Czech crowns (41.74 billion U.S. dollars) for the period 2021-2027 and the ability to borrow up to 415 crowns (17.97 billion U.S. dollars) under the renewal fund. This was significantly higher than expected.
In addition to receiving a larger share than expected, the Czech Republic has also managed to increase the possibility of transfers between funds by up to 25 percent which the government says will help optimize fund drawing for key investment priorities.
"It is especially important for us to be able to use the money we receive from the European Union for what we need, for our investments. So that it is not the soft programs, so that it is really traceable money that we see in our daily lives," Babis said. Enditem