SPAIN is slated to receive a multibillion cash injection from the EU as part of a scheme to boost the economies of Member States that have taken a battering during the pandemic.
Of the €750bn to be dished out by the EU Recovery Fund, Spain is eligible for €140bn – almost half of which will be disbursed in the form of grants, while the other half could be requested as non-strings loans.
“It is a tsunami of money and it is a tsunami of responsibility,” Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, told Efe in an interview.
“Spain has all the characteristics to make the most of this historic opportunity.”
The Portuguese Commissioner hopes that the funds will be available in summer and emphasised that time is of the essence because of the ‘different institutional mechanisms which need to be complied with.’
So far, only six countries have submitted applications, which must be completed by April at the latest.
“Meanwhile, the Commission is discussing with countries their plans for where and how they want to invest the money,” said Ferreira, adding that she preferred the term ‘invest’ over ‘spend.’
“It’s about investing in restructuring, and consolidating our exit from this crisis with greater attention to and greater capacity for complying with environmental or climate objectives, investing in a more modern economic recovery – more digital, greater use of new technologies, but also consistent with social and regional needs.”
The draft of the Spanish plan, sent over by Pedro Sanchez’s government in October 2020, is currently being examined by the Recovery and Resilience Working Group, which was established by the General Secretariat of the European Commission.
According to Commission sources, the Spanish application is among the five ‘most advanced’ and is likely to be one of the first to be approved.
Spain intends to submit its definitive application in March.