EU to unveil virus recovery plan amid split over way ahead

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is unveiling a massive coronavirus recovery plan to help its 27 member countries rebuild their economies, but they are deeply divided over whether strings should be attached to the funds. France and Germany proposed earlier this month a 500 billion-euro ($543 billion) fund focused on grants. But a small group of countries are staunchly opposed to giving the money away without conditions and they prefer loans to grants. The plan is likely to spark weeks of wrangling at a time when the bloc can’t afford it. For the plan to take force, it must be endorsed by every member country. Given that it’s attached to the EU budget, it would have to be approved before Jan 1.