The EU Commission President was in Paris for the approval of France’s Recovery Fund proposal. Speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, Ms von der Leyen said: “The French plan will help France to maintain its autonomy and leadership by investing in innovation and new technologies, while keeping the need for cohesion, inclusion and justice at its heart.
“I am happy to announce our full support.”
But the rubber stamp received by the EU executive leader sparked furious calls for France to leave the bloc.
Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot said the economic plan was a “humiliating nightmare”, costing French taxpayers more money.
He blasted: “The President of the Commission goes to her employee Macron to give her ‘the green light’ to use 40 billion of the 80 that is paid to her!
“In return, it demands reform of pensions and unemployment insurance.
“A humiliating nightmare! Frexit quickly!”
Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois echoed the sentiment as he argued reforms to employment and pensions dictated by the EU will be detrimental for French citizens.
Ms von der Leyen has been travelling across the bloc this week to approve every single member state’s recovery proposal in person.
The European Union raised 20 billion euros from a 10-year bond last week in the largest-ever single-tranche institutional debt sale that saw near-record demand of 142 billion euros, taking a big step towards establishing itself as a major debt issuer.
The bond rallied sharply in the secondary market is further evidence of strong demand, with its yield – 0.086 percent at pricing – down 5 basis points to around 0.04 percent on Wednesday.
The rally was similar to that following the EU’s first issuance last October backing the SURE unemployment scheme, a smaller support programme.
With demand far above the deal size, much investor appetite was left unsatisfied, bankers involved with the deal said.
It attracted such large demand at issuance even though the EU capped orders it considered from hedge funds, which, inflating their demand to secure better allocations, have been a major driver of large bond sale order books.
Mrs von der Leyen said an initial disbursement from the bloc’s COVID-19 recovery fund should arrive in July.