• European Commission. Brussels, worried about a possible controversy over the Spanish addendum
  • Execution. Spain has only effectively spent 8,423 million of the Next Generation funds.

The Government has approved on Tuesday the addendum to the Recovery Plan that will allow it to access 84,000 million euros in loans at advantageous conditions and 10,300 million additional transfers that correspond to Spain -for the worse performance of its Gross Domestic Product and for the implementation of the RePowerEU program, to reduce energy dependence on Russia-, in exchange for further reforms and investments.

The Executive had until August 31 to send this new plan to Brussels, but has preferred to send it now and not wait for the general elections of 23J to know which Government comes out of the polls and whether or not it shares the reforms and investments committed in the Plan.

"The deadline was August and it was unrealistic to think that new work could be started after the elections. Out of responsibility and not to put a brake on the ongoing process, we approve this addendum that will soon be sent to the EU. There will be two months for its approval and then one month for Ecofin to review it," explained the First Vice-President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, at the end of the meeting of the Council of Ministers.

He stressed, in any case, that in the process of public consultation, his Ministry has analyzed all the proposals of the communities and political groups, including the PP.

The truth is that by agreeing with Brussels on investments and reforms, the current Executive is subtracting room for maneuver to the next, which will find a roadmap already agreed with the European Commission that must be followed if it wants to access these advantageous loans, which will have interest rates lower than those of the public debt market.

The Commission has not officially expressed itself on whether it could extend that deadline that ends on August 31 to send the addendum, but community sources suggest that the possibility could exist since an extension is preferable to the next tenant of the Moncloa is with a plan that bothers him, as reported by the correspondent of EL MUNDO in Brussels.

The vice president has sown doubt about whether Alberto Núñez Feijóo wants to go ahead with the investment and reform plan. "It never ceases to surprise me, I do not know if it means that Feijóo does not want to go ahead with the plan," he said.

Calviño believes that during the two-month period that the European Commission has to analyze the addendum, "if adjustments have to be made, they can be made without problem after the elections", but in practice the documents that are officially sent to the Commission are usually already agreed in all their terms and it is usually not feasible to make significant changes in them.

"It is very important not to slow down the entire investment deployment process at this time. We have sent this project out of responsibility, because the sooner we have approved the addendum, the sooner we will have these extraordinary loans available. It is not responsible not to send the addendum and prevent the enlargement process from starting as soon as possible," he insisted.

Strengthening PERTEs

The additional transfers – which are added to the 70,000 million euros that corresponded to Spain from the beginning – will be used to endow the strategic projects, the PERTE, especially the PERTE Chip, which will have 12,000 million euros.

The 84,000 million in loans to be repaid will be allocated, for its part, to provide different State funds -some already existing and others new-, such as the sustainable investment fund of the autonomous communities, which will have 20,000 million; the fund of the Official Credit Institute (ICO), which will have 22,500 million; and a tax incentive fund for green investments by families and businesses, with a budget of 2,200 million, among others.

Calviño has assured that these loans under advantageous conditions will allow "to maintain the pace of public and private investment in the coming years". The vice-president stressed that Spain has made "a great management effort and continues to lead the deployment of Next Generation funds in Europe".

To date, our country has received transfers for 37,000 million euros, thanks to the fulfillment of the calendar of milestones and objectives, which has allowed the Public Treasury to make payments for 34,000 million euros since 2021, of which 23,400 million have been transfers to the Autonomous Communities, so that they are the ones who execute them.

Of the funds received from the EU, Calviño has indicated that 70%, about 27,000 million, are already awarded through the resolution of calls for aid and tenders, and have been allocated to a total of 400,000 projects, of which 60% have gone to the private sector (companies and Research and Development centers).

  • European Commission
  • Alberto Núñez Feijóo
  • Europe
  • PP
  • Council of Ministers
  • Nadia Calviño
  • Articles Alejandra Olcese

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