"I am in favor of European funds," says Pablo Casado. "We have them thanks to three women from the European PP, [Angela] Merkel, [Ursula] Von der Leyen and [Christine] Lagarde", affirmed the president of the Popular Party, without mentioning that the funds could only be approved unanimously by the 27 members of the European Council, that is, by the heads of government such as Merkel, indeed, but also by Emmanuel Macron, Pedro Sánchez or Giuseppe Conte –at that time– Heads of Government among whom are not the president of the European Commission and the president of the European Central Bank.
But, yes, what the European Commission does do is approve the recovery plans, such as the Spanish one, delivered last April with a note. And, after the execution of the goals and reforms, the Community Executive delivers the money. Not before. In the Spanish case, it has been the first to receive the first tranche in exchange for completed reforms and investments, 10,000 million at the end of December, in addition to the 9,000 delivered in the summer as pre-financing.
The PP, yes, has spent weeks sowing doubts and suspicions about the award, transparency and execution of funds that, as the European Commission reminds whenever a PP MEP asks it, the money is only delivered after verifying that they have been made investments and reforms committed, agreed and approved.
Then? What is the PP pursuing with its campaign? The president of the party, Pablo Casado, has recognized this Monday in the European Parliament, in Brussels, after meeting with the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, that what he is insistently asking for in his offensive against the Government for European funds is something that, in fact, the European institutions already do because it falls within their powers and obligations. What would you be satisfied with? "What they are already doing," Casado replied: "The European Parliament monitors where the aid goes and the European Commission is going to do the same with the aid and with the reforms."
And what is the reason for the offensive, therefore? "It is not something that only the PP says, but most of the opposition forces. That is what the opposition is for. And Europe, for its part, is there to evaluate how it has been done in each six-monthly review. One thing is that Spain promises a pension reform. When we see that it goes against sustainability, we will see what the European Commission says. And one thing is that Spain has proposed a labor reform, and another thing is that we see that, as farmers, ranchers, motor industry and SMEs, is not going towards greater flexibility and market unity, but towards more rigidity and giving prevalence to sectoral and regional agreements. That is something that will be seen once they are implemented. And that is why we We have a proactive and institutional tone".
But does anyone from any European institution share your criticism? "Within the meetings of the European PP, practically all of the parties that are in the opposition share the same criticism," Casado responds, acknowledging that empathy has not been found except in his fellow ranks who do not govern: "In Malta they have just announce that a check of 100 euros is going to be given to every Maltese and of course the People's Party of Malta is complaining. Of course the CDU is complaining. And of course they are complaining, for example, in Bulgaria" .