The European Commission has given the green light to the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR) prepared by the Spanish Government and it is foreseeable that the European Council will do the same in a few weeks. The news is very positive, but the decision of the European institutions must be understood as a provisional approval, since it allows the plan to be launched, but does not guarantee the full arrival of the planned aid. For this, it will be necessary to execute correctly and within the term a long series of investments, as well as to satisfactorily implement certain reforms that must comply with the recommendations of the EU for our country, among which the need to ensure sustainability to the country stands out. medium and long term of our public accounts and improve the functioning of the labor market.
Both by European imposition and by personal conviction, the investment component of the recovery plan prioritizes environmental sustainability and digitization. Nothing to object, on the contrary, but the plan sometimes sins of a certain simplistic optimism that seems to take for granted that the firm intention of being very green and very digital is enough for all our problems to be magically fixed, forgetting that there are other issues that also require attention and that green and digital can also be good, bad or fair.
Among other issues that we analyze in greater detail in FedeaIn environmental matters, a clear strategy is lacking to minimize the cost of decarbonisation objectives that can be achieved in many different ways and greater attention to water issues. As for digitization, a complicated and crucial challenge, especially for smaller companies and the self-employed, it will be essential to coordinate training actions with investment in equipment and programs. Without this coordination, it will be very difficult to take advantage of the potential of new technologies to improve the productivity of large sectors of our economy. Beyond these two main axes, it would be important to take advantage of the budgetary margin that the plan offers, directly or indirectly, to reinforce aid to the sectors most affected by the crisis in order to minimize the loss of viable companies.
The weakest part of the plan is dedicated to the major pending reforms, including pensions and labor regulations. Here the government has been very imprecise, probably because within it there are very different opinions about what should be done. From what has been seen so far, great progress cannot be expected in controlling pension spending that threatens to leave us without room for action to face other priorities, or in the necessary relaxation of our labor market, which could lead to problems in the next few years, and not just with the European institutions. We are in time to change course. Perhaps the best way to do this would be through dialogue with other political forces to seek broad agreements with an eye to the long term.
Angel of the Fountain He is the executive director of Fedea (Foundation for Applied Economics Studies).