Brussels manna is here. The European Commission reported this Tuesday that it has already sent to Spain 9,000 million euros of pre-financing, 13% of the 69,500 million in transfers that it must receive from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. The money should be dedicated to investments and reforms to finance projects that support the ecological and digital transition and promote social cohesion. Among them, Brussels cites in its statement the support for renewable energies, the reform of buildings to make them more energy efficient, the improvement of the digital skills of the population or the reduction of youth unemployment through vocational training programs.
The president of the Community Executive, Ursula von der Leyen, has referred to the delivery of the funds. “I am convinced that Spain’s ambitious plan will be a crucial boost for the European Green Deal to become a reality, that it will continue to digitize the economy and that it will make Spain more resilient than ever.” For his part, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, has reacted with a message through the social network Twitter. “We continue to move towards a greener, more digital, feminist and cohesive country, setting in motion the great transformations that our economy needs.”
The aid was unblocked in the middle of last month. Then, the EU finance ministers gave the final green light to the recovery plan with which Spain aspires to obtain up to 140,000 million euros if loans are also included, to which Spain has not yet resorted – it has until 2026 of deadline to do so. But the next disbursements will not be automatic, Spain will have to demonstrate to the Commission and its partners every six months that it has carried out the reforms and investments to which it has committed if it wants to obtain the funds.
The arrival of the money puts an end to months of uncertainty due to delays and complications in the final ratification of the funds, and it will not be the only check to travel from Brussels to Madrid: according to the Ministry of Economy, Spain will receive another 10,000 million this year , in December, thus obtaining between 2021 and 2023 80% of the planned transfers, a huge flow that will also be accompanied by another 38,000 million in concept of European structural funds.
Faced with the urgency of channeling funds with agility to promote the recovery, the Spanish Government has taken steps to make it flow quickly. The autonomous communities have already allocated more than 7,250 million euros, which, according to Economy, will be used above all to support the implementation of waste regulations, correct power lines that prevent damage to fauna, renovate buildings, improve sanitation services and water purification, encourage electric mobility, modernize VET, reduce the digital divide, strengthen the care economy, equality and social inclusion policies, and improve high-tech health equipment.
So far, the Executive has published 25 expressions of interest related to the plan and has received more than 17,500 projects and the PERTE (Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation) of the electric vehicle, with which it expects to mobilize 24,000 million euros in three years thanks to public-private collaboration.
Brussels will issue $ 80 billion in long-term bonds this year to finance the recovery fund. And it has already raised more than half of what was planned. The first debt issue took place in mid-June with overwhelming success. The Commission captured 20 billion euros in the market amid strong demand: investors’ appetite was seven times greater than the debt offered. The second, at the end of that month, allowed to capture 15,000 million in bonds with a maturity of five and 30 years. And the last one so far, on July 14, added 10,000 million more that will not have to return until 2041 and again with a skyrocketing demand, in this case ten times higher than the supply.
These amounts will allow Brussels to finance an investment and reform agenda that will be deployed throughout the EU with particular intensity in the next three years to strengthen the 27 against the impact of the crisis caused by the pandemic. “The way out of this crisis is already being very different from that of the previous financial crisis,” the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, defended this Tuesday in a message recorded on video on the occasion of the delivery of the first European aid, an income that was expected but of great symbolism for being the first time that the community club goes into debt to support its members. Italy – which received an advance of 24.9 billion on Friday – and Spain will be the countries that will benefit the most from the recovery plan. Portugal (2,200 million), Belgium (770 million euros), and Luxembourg (12.1 million) were the first to receive European funds earlier this month, which were joined by Greece (4,000 million) a few days later.
With the injection that the recovery plan will entail, the Government and companies face a huge challenge, given that they must be able to start up thousands of projects to avoid that part of the money is left without being executed, as has happened in the past. with other European funds.
The Executive’s plan foresees that the funds serve, among many other initiatives, to digitize more than one million SMEs, support more than 3,000 companies in their internationalization, train more than 2.6 million people in digital skills, install more 240,000 interactive digital classrooms, rehabilitate more than a million homes, reach a fleet of at least 250,000 electric vehicles by 2023 and more than 100,000 recharging points, modernize justice so that at least 30% of judicial proceedings are carried out electronically , modernize irrigation systems, extend ultra-fast broadband to 100% of the population or build more than 335 kilometers of railroad in the Atlantic and Mediterranean corridors.