FEDERAL CHANCELLOR MERKEL: Good afternoon. Last night, after a long round of negotiations, we developed the framework for a possible agreement. That’s progress, and it provides hope that an agreement may be reached today, or that an agreement is at least achievable.
I am very happy that we, the French President and I, put forward a proposal in May for a truly substantial programme in this extraordinary situation. It was the basis for the decisions taken by the Commission – and it is why we have been able to agree here on a sizeable amount of grants. This is the response we need in an extraordinary situation.
It was obvious that negotiations would be incredibly difficult. And they are set to continue today. In such extraordinary situations, we need to go the extra mile. So far, we have lived up to this obligation, and I hope that we can complete the final stretch – which will not be easy – as well.
Thank you very much.