EU fund talks will be tough but we'll get there: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, May 27, 2020. Tobias Schwarz/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - Negotiations on establishing a recovery fund to help the economies of EU countries that have been battered by the coronavirus crisis will not be easy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Merkel told a news conference on Wednesday that agreement on a fund would not be reached at the next conference of European government heads, but that the aim had to be to get everything in place so that the recovery fund could launch at the start of next year.

“I think Germany and France supplied a good foundation stone to this proposal,” she said.

“It is clear there are difficult talks ahead,” she said, adding that the aim was to enable the fund to come into being by January 1, 2021.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin