June 14, 2021

Spain highlights progress in creating a European recovery fund for COVID-19



The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, highlighted the progress made in the European Council on Thursday for the creation of a fund to recover from the coronavirus crisis linked to the community budget, although she stressed that there is still no consensus on how to finance it. .

Spain has defended that it be an “ambitious” fund financed with perpetual debt, which can be distributed to the countries and sectors most affected by the epidemic, González Laya explained at a press conference from La Moncloa.

In the meeting that community leaders have held, he added, the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has also defended that it be a fund linked to the budget, something on which there is no “full consensus”.

However, he said that there has been progress in this regard as well as in relation to the size or “robustness” of the fund.

In this regard, González Laya recalled that Spain asked that it be endowed with between 1 and 1.5 billion euros and “that is the area around which the discussion in the Council has gravitated.”

Where there is less convergence between member states is in relation to the financing of this mechanism, since some countries opt for transfers, others for loans or a mix.

The minister explained that Spain, along with other community partners, has defended transfers for three reasons: to avoid over-indebtedness in some countries, to guarantee solidarity in the European family and to also guarantee the functioning of the internal market.

Sánchez has also defended before the EU leaders a “more ambitious” European financial perspective focused on the cohesion of the Union’s territories, as well as the need for Europe to equip itself with the necessary instruments for the recovery of neighbors and partners that they will also be affected by this crisis.

Specifically, the minister has cited the case of Africa and Latin America, a region for which Sánchez has asked Europe to be particularly attentive to its needs.

González Laya has stressed that Spain is committed to dealing with this crisis without entering into the game of the divisions between northern and southern Europe because “we are all in the same boat” and “our responsibility is to make sure that the boat floats.”

The minister made this assessment at the end of the European Council in which Sánchez and her counterparts have commissioned the European Commission (EC) to present a proposal for the aforementioned community recovery fund in order to relaunch the economy after the pandemic.

The heads of state and government also gave the green light to the package of 540,000 million euros in urgent measures to support companies, workers and states that was agreed two weeks ago by the Eurogroup and agreed to be in place on June 1.

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