The Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, has indicated that the Government continues with its forecast that the first pre-financing disbursement of 9,000 million of European funds will take place, once the approval occurs end of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan at Ecofin to be held on July 13.
In addition, it has anticipated that in those days Spain will also request the first six-monthly disbursement of 10,000 million for the second part of the year, highlighted that it will be done on the basis of the milestones achieved at this time, according to Ep.
During his appearance before the Joint Commission for the European Union to report on the latest progress regarding the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, Calviño recalled that European funds provide for financing for Spain of 140,000 million in transfers and credits for the years covered between 2021 and 2026.
As for the disbursements of payments, it is expected that they will start with a payment of 9,000 million to which would be added another 10,000 million in the second part of the year. After this, there will be other disbursements of 18,000 million in 2022 and 17,000 million in 2023. That is, 80% of the transfers will be concentrated in the period 2021-2023.
The minister explained that the European Commission was able to start issuing the debt a week ago, with an auction in which 20,000 million euros in 10-year bonds were captured, with a demand seven times higher and an interest rate below 0.1%.
The intention of the community authorities is to carry out two more syndicated issues before the summer break in order to have sufficient resources to start making the first payments to member states before September, according to the second vice president.
In any case, the minister has insisted that all payments will be made based on the calendar of milestones and objectives that each country has set, which in the case of Spain has already begun to address some such as the hydrogen roadmap. renewable energy or the climate change law and others that it plans to achieve in the second half of the year, such as new public policies in the labor market, with the reduction of contract rates or the promotion of a permanent mechanism of labor flexibility, in addition to the offshore wind energy roadmap, the sustainable mobility strategy or the pension system.
In the investment field, Calviño has reported that so far there have been 16 expressions of interest for projects that may play an important role in line with the plan. In this sense, Calviño recalled that the Spanish Recovery Plan became last Wednesday, together with the Portuguese, the first to receive the go-ahead from the European Commission and praised that it has done so with the highest rating.
“This means that we are going in the right direction to carry out a program of reforms and investments to promote economic recovery in the short term and a plan for modernization and transformation of the economy that has a structural impact in the longer term,” he emphasized.
Call for unity
In order to achieve the objectives and the plan, Calviño has appealed to the economic, political and social agents to join in the support of the Plan, which he has described as a “country project”. «I know that we share the objective, that we start from a unanimous diagnosis. I am convinced that we share the spirit of making it happen. Together we can make the deployment a success ”, he emphasized. The minister has indicated that since her previous appearance before this commission last February the economic outlook has changed substantially due to the advance of the vaccination process, which has led to a change in trend towards a positive recovery path in the form of a ‘V ‘asymmetric.
“We are progressively closing the gap caused by the pandemic,” the minister remarked after ensuring that there are improvements in indicators such as consumer confidence, card spending or the arrival of passengers in Spain. In addition, Calviño has pointed out that this positive evolution is also reflected in the labor market indicators. According to the data provided by the minister, there are currently about 466,000 workers covered by the Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE), of which a third are part-time.
Regarding the unemployment and affiliation figures for June, the minister has advanced that they are already at levels similar to those of 2019. “We have already placed ourselves on a path similar to that of 2019 that we had before the pandemic,” she remarked . The forecasts for the second part of the year and for 2022 are positive, according to the economic head of the Government, who recalled that by the end of 2022 Spain will have recovered the level of GDP prior to the pandemic to be on the growth path by 2023 that was observed before the health crisis.
“The Spanish economy has entered a new phase, the recovery is underway and all forecasts suggest that Spain will be one of the engines of recovery in Europe,” he said. Now the challenge, according to Calviño, is that this momentum of recovery does not remain a mere temporary rebound, but rather that it becomes a sustained and sustainable model from an economic, financial and social point of view.
To do this, it has insisted on the reforms and investments included in the Plan that will try to correct persistent imbalances that the country has not managed to overcome and that place Spain at the bottom of Europe in matters such as the unemployment rate, the youth unemployment rate , the percentage of the population at risk of poverty and exclusion, child poverty or the investment gap. “These imbalances are a clear burden for the country that we cannot stop addressing now that we have the Recovery Plan,” he insisted.