EU chief gives initial approval to national recovery plans

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — European Union authorities are moving a step closer to deploying the bloc’s massive pandemic recovery fund. The president of the 27-nation bloc’s executive commission has started a tour of some EU capitals to announce the initial endorsement of national spending plans. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived Wednesday in Portugal. The country was the first EU member to formally present ideas for spending its share of the 750 billion euros ($909 billion) earmarked to help the bloc out of a sharp economic downturn caused by COVID-19. The money is to be distributed in the form of grants and credit. Final approval of EU countries’ spending plans is still weeks away.

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