- Eurogroup: Nadia Calviño loses the vote and Irish Donohoe will be the next president of the Eurogroup
- Eurogroup.The Sánchez fiasco with Calviño weakens Spain's position to negotiate the Reconstruction Fund
European wounds have a difference and an important advantage compared to those of national politics: although they sting, they heal much faster. When there are 27 prime ministers at the table, 27 national interests and various blocs at odds, it is impossible to always succeed. Much more is lost than is gained and the law, irrefutable, is that you always have to give in. Always .
The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, lost on Thursday. His candidate, Vice President Nadia Calviño, fell to Irish Paschal Donohoe in the race to chair the Eurogroup. Sánchez, the de facto leader of European socialism, collided against the wall of the 'popular', the largest and best coordinated force on the continent. It hurts, itches, and weakens, but the next battle, that of the Recovery Fund of up to 750,000 million euros and the EU Budget until 2027, will take place in just seven days. And you have to be ready. " I do not think it is fruitful to keep thinking about it, the decision was made and we look forward, " said the vice president on Friday after participating in the Ecofin meeting.
Next Friday there is a vital European Council. That is why Sánchez was in Lisbon these days, with his ally Antonio Costa. That is why he received the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, in Madrid, and that is why in the next few days, before traveling to Brussels, he will go directly into the wolf's mouth . The president has a vital tour for the interests of Spain and is multiplying the consultations. He will go to Berlin on Tuesday to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, an unexpected partner in the defense of a large Recovery Plan, with hundreds of billions of euros in transfers. And he will visit Stockholm and The Hague, to meet Stefan Löfven and Dutchman Mark Rutte, two of the four frugal.
Rutte is the leader of the Hanseats, the Orthodox and the oldest in the European Council after Merkel. His influence has grown exponentially and for almost a decade he has almost always been at the tables where final decisions are made. He is almost the only one who still shouts that he does not want a euro in direct transfers, who defends a much smaller Budget, a much tougher conditionality and a less expansive fiscal position.
Sánchez knows that if you want peace you have to be prepared for war. There are no winks or scolding, but there are no more frictions now. He wants to bury the ax, search for consensus points, "landing zones" in the language most commonly used in Brussels. Executive sources explain that Sánchez, in an attempt to approach positions, will transmit a constructive message, the thesis that the reconstruction fund is positive for the whole of Europe and not only for the countries like Spain and Italy most affected by the impact of the coronavirus.
A quick exit so that the recovery is not at various speeds, they explain . Because doing it asymmetrically would weaken the single market and be bad for the financial stability of the EU. Furthermore, they argue that this aid accelerates a series of transformations in the 'green' and digital fields. It is also good for them, summarize these sources.
In Moncloa they know that this is not like the Eurogroup. In the European Council 27 speak, not 19. And although everyone has a vote, the voice of Merkel or Macron does not weigh the same as that of the little ones . In the Government they consider little feasibility of a new victory for the little ones in the European Council on July 17 and 18, arguing that since it is in an exceptional moment and an equally exceptional response is necessary, the blocking margin is less.
Not having Calviño in charge of the finance ministers will be an inconvenience. The vice president yesterday urged to close the page and look forward, but it will not be easy. She, like the president and Moncloa, insist that there is no direct relationship between leading the Eurogroup and the EU's recovery plans. It is true, but the indirect relationship does not escape anyone.
Moncloa cushions the blow
The Government has turned today to cushion the defeat and to transfer that it does not affect the negotiations of the European Aid Fund. Sources of the Executive defend it thus denying any parallelism between both appointments. In Moncloa, he maintains that they have not failed at all in the process of seeking support, although one of the 10 votes they thought they had guaranteed, disappeared at the last moment and they point out that the countries are sovereign and vote what they want.
But if the proposals on the table go ahead, and it looks good, the Council (the ministers) will have a key role in evaluating the reform plans that each capital will send to Brussels to gain access to the credits and transfers of the Recovery Fund. There the figure of the presidency of the Eurogroup would have helped to channel the debates.
The Netherlands wants conditionality to be strict, that each country's reform plans have to be unanimously approved by their colleagues. And Sánchez will try to unlock what has been entrenched for months. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, has made his proposal, with a battery of ideas that lend themselves to haggling. The only way to have an agreement, and in the end it is inevitable that there will be, although it may still take weeks or even months, is that the pain is distributed as equitably as possible.
But the Spanish Executive assures that it will never accept that the decisions in the Council on transfers from the Reconstruction Fund required unanimity, or that the figure of 500,000 transfers or the global figure of 750,000 be lowered. They accept that the Commission and have participation in the preparation of the plans and the Council in the evaluation, but in a balanced way. Regarding the destiny that should be given to this money, the Executive reiterates that it has no problem debating it because, they point out, Spain is a reformist country and the digital, ecological transformation, the strengthening of health and education marry the country's political project. . " The negotiation is going to be very complicated and that is exactly the same today as the day before yesterday," said Calviño.
According to the criteria of The Trust ProjectKnow more
- Nadia Calviño
- Pedro Sánchez
Eurogroup Donohoe and Gramegna: the ministers who threaten Calviño's career in the Eurogroup
EuropaSánchez claims to see "with very good eyes" the candidacy of Nadia Calviño as president of the Eurogroup
EconomyThe Greek 'popular' minister suspected of betraying Calviño denies it: "I voted for her until the end"
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