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EU welcomes Biden proposal for U.S. stimulus


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission welcomed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposed by President-elect Joe Biden to help the U.S. economy deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but said its full impact would not become clear until Congress debates it.

Biden outlined the package on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines.

"This package is timely as the coronavirus pandemic has been intensifying in recent months in the United States and around the world," a spokesman for the EU's executive Commission said.

"We will continue to monitor developments closely as the package is considered by the United States Congress, so it is premature to draw detailed conclusions on the likely impact on the U.S. economy."

The chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Paschal Donohoe, said the U.S. package was in many ways similar to what the European Union had decided earlier and showed the scale of the challenge that countries were facing.

"The new $1.9 trillion Biden stimulus plan emphasises once again the scale of the challenge posed by COVID-19. The plan is wide-ranging and in many senses similar to Europe's actions, both in terms of income support and health measures: there is a clear need for supportive fiscal and monetary policy," Donohoe said.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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