On Tuesday, Ecofin (that is, the ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union) approved the first 9,000 million euros of the 69,500 million aid that Spain plans to receive within the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. At the end of the year, if a series of mandatory requirements are met, you will receive another 10,000. And so, year after year, until completing the 69,500 before 2023 of direct subsidies and that can be completed, if so requested from the Government, with credits worth another 70,000 million to which Spain is entitled.
The receipt of funds, in any case, implies the execution of investments with the pursued objectives of modernizing the industry and developing the value chain and addressing reforms, such as labor and pensions. That is, it is necessary to pass a semester exam to receive the funds allocated in each period. If not, they will freeze or shrink somewhat, and the hawks to the north have already warned that they will be on the lookout. This means that the Government’s negotiations with social agents on labor matters (minimum interprofessional wage, included) appear to be fundamental to meet the milestones set.
At the same time that this first game was announced, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the first PERTE (strategic project for economic recovery and transformation) to promote electric mobility in the automotive sector. A total of 4,295 million with which it plans to mobilize another 19,700 million of private investment and for what all the manufacturers present in Spain are called. In this sense, the Volkswagen group immediately joined in to announce that it will establish a battery factory in Spain, predictably in Martorell (Barcelona), where it has the Seat factory. The German firm has an agreement with Iberdrola to promote electric mobility in its Spanish factories.
A “historic” milestone, according to the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, which went from being in the government’s exit pools in the recent crisis to being one of its star components. This Sunday Maroto travels to the United States to seek the participation of Spanish companies in the so-called Jobs Plan to develop the infrastructures of that country. The also head of Commerce and Tourism, who will also sell Spain as a tourist destination and open a commercial delegation in New York, will meet with four secretaries of State and with representatives of interested Spanish companies, such as Iberdrola, FCC and Repsol, as well as with the Chamber of Commerce.
With the aforementioned PERTE the spigot is opened. The Executive has wanted to be selective in this first decision with one of the sectors considered key for recovery and transformation, electric mobility. In addition to green automotive, it will focus on developing energy generation through the deployment of green hydrogen, the aerospace industry, sustainable and efficient agriculture, the use of Spanish in artificial intelligence and the development of a leading national health system.
In this first case, and hence it has been chosen to be the pioneer, the desired steps are fulfilled: urgency to channel the technological transformation, public-private alliance with the participation of all operators present in Spain, tractor effect in component industries , telecommunications, energy or logistics companies and presence of SMEs.
Pending there are up to 750 expressions of interest presented in Industry. In other words, many are going to be left out even at the risk of not meeting the objectives of promoting the industrial fabric and, above all, SMEs. But the evidence shows that there is not for everyone. It is, as Maroto recalled when the applications window was closed, of “mobilizing tractor projects in strategic sectors and their value chains with a broad impact on their competitiveness, productivity and job generators, which contribute to the double green and digital transition and to territorial cohesion ”.
The number of applications shows the great interest of Spanish companies in improving and growing with European aid and public-private collaboration, which is considered essential to attack any of these projects to develop activity in the industrial field, the green transition and digitization, a demographic challenge and the fight against depopulation. According to forecasts, up to 500,000 million can be mobilized in large modernization projects for Spanish industry. In addition to the automotive sector, the agri-food, aeronautics, space, tourism, circular economy, electro-intensive industry, paper, naval, manufacturing of electronic equipment, space and retail.