March 6, 2021

The regions of the PSOE overthrow the Montero plan for European funds


MADRID

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The first telematic conclave between autonomous communities and the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, was a premonitory of the pitched battle that awaits in a year that has just begun but crucial, with the reform of territorial financing awaiting just around the corner. The recently inaugurated Sectorial Conference of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which also brought together the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), has resulted in deep malaise among the communities. Regions governed by the PP (Madrid, Andalusia, Murcia, Galicia, Castile and Leon) but also from the PSOE, as Valencian Community and Castilla la Mancha, beside Catalonia and Basque Country they have forced the Ministry to withdraw the conference operating regulations. All agreed on the opacity of the Ministry, as indicated by sources present at the meeting.

Several communities have regretted that the conference adopts a mechanism similar to that of the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council, whereby the Treasury has the same votes as all autonomous communities and cities and, in addition, a casting vote. That is why they have risen from the meeting and have claimed greater co-governance, participate in the management of the distribution of European resources, with monthly meetings. The Treasury has yielded to the general rebellion and has withdrawn the regulation, to ask for proposals from the autonomies and vote for them in the next meeting.

The meeting had several pitfalls from the beginning, when they first intervened Catalonia, Basque Country and Valencian Community, opposing the regulation, due to the voting system of the conference but also due to the fact that it does not bring together all the information to the regions, these sources point out. “This contradicts the very nature of this conference, and even to the governance that in theory is intended ”, lamented from the Andalusian council.

Later, Castile and Leon, Madrid, Cantabria and Balearics They rejected the distribution of the 10,000 million European React fund. All socialist communities also joined the complaint from popular regions, Catalonia and the Basque Country, about the lack of information. And before the question of the Minister of Finance of Murcia, Javier CeldránMontero did not clarify whether the plan to be sent to Brussels would pass through the regions first.

The Minister of Finance of the Basque Country, Pedro Azpiazu, came to brand as «gymkhana»The management of European funds by the Government. Less than a month before the elections in Catalonia, the President of the Generalitat and Minister of Economy and Finance, Pere Aragonés, vehemently opposed the attempt to “recentralize” the government, in his words, through the management of funds. The PP regions also asked the minister to the FEMP has a “voice and vote” in the conference.

The truth is that the spark of controversy ignited before the meeting began. The autonomous communities of the PP presented a signed joint declaration reported by ABC and in which they criticize the government’s opacity in the distribution of European funds, a letter that has been sent to the president of the European Commission. As they denounce, the criteria of the Government for the distribution of the 10,000 million of the fund React-EU “are being imposed unilaterally”.

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