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HomeBUSINESSThe government is using Christmas to delay Brussels' examination of European money

The government is using Christmas to delay Brussels’ examination of European money


El Gobierno español ha logrado que la Comisión Europea le conceda un mes de prórroga para llevar a cabo las reformas que se había comprometido a realizar, antes de solicitar este sábado de manera formal el tercerón desembolso Recuperso de fondos de las more than 6 billion euros.

This section was associated with the achievement of 23 milestones and 6 goals that, according to the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, were achieved throughout the first half of 2022. But the reality is, among other things, the mechanism for monitoring the use of these funds, which is exactly what the European Commission inspectors demanded to become operational Fully. In addition, the second part of the pension reform is also missing, although this will form part of another assessment.

The request for this third amount of 6000 million euros was also supposed to be processed months ago, but it was delayed precisely because the Ministry of Finance realizes that some elements of the schedule of commitments agreed with the European Commission are missing. The main concern is that Spain does not have the resource control system, the coffee, working at 100%.

In the press release sent by the government on Saturday, it was emphasized that “with the request, sent on Friday and drafted by the General Secretariat of European Funds, under the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, Spain has become the first member country to request the third exchange and shows that it is the most advanced country in the implementation of funds payback.

However, it was not explicitly stated that this extension had to be negotiated in the compliance analysis period and that they expect to extend it until the beginning of next year. According to sources from the Ministry of Economy, “Just as in the cases of Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria, the Spanish government agreed with the European Commission to extend the evaluation period for another month – it will be 3 months, therefore – to facilitate the work of the teams bearing in mind that during this period birthday».

The European Commission has instructed countries not to submit requests for new payments “until they are sure that they have met all the requirements” to which they have committed, which is why the government has been so late with this request. In practice, on the other hand, Brussels has been more lenient with regard to this obligation and has allowed the demand for payments without securing all the promised milestones.

The fact is that if Spain does not request the third payment throughout this month, there is a possibility that the process will be delayed until after December, which is equivalent to stopping the process of receiving funds. The rules also dictate that only two sims can be ordered per year, so delaying the latter will determine future orders as well.

The government justifies its optimism regarding the delivery of funds that, it asserts, have achieved goals such as the entry into force of the bankruptcy reform, which defines a second-chance measure, or reform of the social security contribution system for the self-employed. It also claims that the Law on the Comprehensive Vocational Training System has entered into force as well as the implementation of the Law on Measures to Prevent and Combat Tax Fraud.

But the truth is that very important steps are still missing to reach these six thousand million. Among them, he highlights the problems caused by the European money execution control and monitoring tool, called Coffee. It’s a mechanism that was announced over a year and a half ago and wasn’t fully operational until a few days ago, so part of the information about money implementation was still being requested from the independent communities in Excel. As this newspaper reported, it was the delay in this tool that prompted Brussels to threaten to freeze funds destined for Spain in October.

In addition to the doubts that Covey still leaves, the government will have to resolve in the future the ballot for the second part of the pension reform, which is the most thorny. The Executive has promised to approve it before December 31 of this year, but given the lack of progress in the negotiations, it is already proposing other scenarios. Specifically, as this newspaper published, the executive is working on the possibility of implementing a royal decree containing the pending actions with the executive branch of the community: the abolition of the maximum contribution rules and the extension of the pension calculation period.

direct investments

Once the third installment of funds is received, amounting to 6896 million euros, the government will have to move on to direct investments, among which there is a very long list of projects in very diverse areas, ranging from the purchase of firefighting aircraft to regulations for the energy sustainability of buildings.

Similarly, the European Court of Auditors has asked the Commission to develop a formula for discovering and assessing potential violations, so that the executive branch of the community can decide whether and for what amount to cut funds.

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