By Jonathan Davies
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has unveiled plans for a €315bn investment package aimed at stimulating growth in the eurozone.
Mr Juncker said the package comes on top of investment plans made by individual countries, but insisted that governments must press ahead with structural reforms.
The five year plan includes a €21bn "seed money" fund which is designed to encourage private investors to "pitch in" the rest.
£8bn of the figure comes from the EU budget itself.
In his speech, Mr Juncker said "Christmas has come early" and that "Europe is turning a page" with an "ambitious investment plan".
The European Investment Bank president Werner Hoyer said the bank will add €5bn to the package.
Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
“The Commission must have growth and job creation at the top of its to-do list, so this package is a step in the right direction.
“The best way to get more investment is by making the EU as competitive as it can possibly be. That means we need to make progress on the single market, pull back where regulation is not needed and sign more trade deals.
“There is plenty of work to do to kick-start the European economy. Action is needed from national governments to carry out structural reforms and boost government investment in countries which are not budget constrained.”
Yesterday (Tuesday), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said that the eurozone may be stuck in a prolonged period of stagnant growth.
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