Barroso said it would be a kind of European Marshall Plan. (photo: EC)
BRUSSELS -- The EU has announced a new aid program to help the bloc's 6 most fragile economies, including Latvia, in what is being touted as Europe's "Marshall Plan".
The new plan will make it easier for Latvia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Portugal and Ireland to access billions in aid funding.
EC President Jose Mauel Barroso said the proposal was “a kind of ‘Marshall Plan’ for economic recovery,’’ and that they would “boost prosperity and competitiveness.’’
It increases to as much as 95% the EU's part in financing infrastructure and education projects, meaning those countries will have to pay just 5% of the costs instead of the previous minimum of 15%. This would provide an extra $4 billion for the six economies.
The plan is primarily targeted at Greece, which is still in the midst of a crippling crisis that has even caused speculation about the future of the euro.