The Minister of Finance of the Community of Madrid, Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, has addressed a letter to the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, demanding “transparency” in the methodology used to carry out the distribution of the REACT-EU Fund, European funds of Recovery.
Ayuso anticipates a new battle against the Government for European funds: “We are going to denounce this mistreatment to Madrid everywhere”
The regional representative considers that “the figures used” to carry out the distribution “have not been published or officially communicated to the autonomous communities.” “If they do not clarify what data the distribution of the fund is based on, we will have to think that there has been some degree of arbitrariness in its distribution,” adds Fernández-Lasquetty.
“The Community of Madrid will receive 1,284 million euros, equivalent to 12.8% of the total amount”, the regional councilor begins by explaining, to determine that distribution “the Ministry of Finance affirms that two criteria have been applied”. “On the one hand, the fall in regional GDP between the first half of 2019 and the first of 2020. And, on the other, the evolution of unemployment, both global and youth, between January and June 2020”, adds Fernández-Lasquetty, in the letter signed this Wednesday.
Andalusia is the region that will receive the most money with 1,881 million, 18.8% of the total fund; followed by Catalonia, with 1,706 million, 17.1% of the fund; Madrid, 1,284 million (12.8%) and the Valencian Community, 1,254 million (12.5%). Between the four Autonomous Communities they account for 61.2% of the total of this fund.
The resources from REACT-EU should be used to finance “operations in the field of education, health and social services, to mitigate the impact suffered on them as a result of the pandemic, as well as to strategically transform them for the future” . Even so, the Government leaves open the possibility that the communities can propose other areas of action that they consider relevant for the economic reactivation.
Ayuso already anticipated a new battle against the central government
The president of the Community, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, already announced this Tuesday that European funds were going to star a new confrontation with the central Executive. “We are going to denounce this mistreatment to Madrid everywhere. In Brussels and in our country. We are not going to sit idly by in the face of unacceptable discrimination because it is unfair and at the least appropriate time,” said the regional president, who has encrypted “injustice” in which Catalonia – with a million more inhabitants – will take 400 million more.
The regional councilor has maintained hostility with the Government of Pedro Sánchez this Wednesday. In the letter addressed to Montero, the head of the Treasury Department assures that “an adequate explanation” of the “methodology” used in the distribution of the REACT-EU Fund has not been made. “It is not possible to understand how the impact of the crisis in each autonomous community has been calculated, given that today that figure does not exist,” says Fernández Lasquetty.
In his argumentation, the Autonomous Counselor of Finance of the Community of Madrid emphasizes that “the calculation of the regional accounting of Spain is not prepared every six months, but annually. “Therefore, there is no official figure available that allows us to compare the fall in regional GDP between the first half of 2019 and the first of 2020,” he adds. Faced with this situation, he regrets that the ignorance of this information prevents “knowing the specific basis used by the Ministry of Finance to proceed with such an important distribution of European funds”:
Fernández Lasquetty assures that the Treasury has not explained “how they have calculated the specific evolution of unemployment during the referred period.” Finally, it states that “transparency” takes on “special relevance in the management and distribution of these community funds, the execution of which is key to the economic and social recovery of the whole of Spain, as required by the European Union itself.”