Spain has already awarded almost half of the European funds amid complaints from the Ibex

Spain has already launched calls for 88% of the European funds that correspond to Spain.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
03 April 2024 Wednesday 16:22
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Spain has already awarded almost half of the European funds amid complaints from the Ibex

Spain has already launched calls for 88% of the European funds that correspond to Spain. In net terms, of the 70,000 million awarded in transfers, 61,500 million have been called. Of them, almost half, 34,000 million, have been resolved. “We are halfway through the execution of the Recovery Plan and half of it has been executed,” highlighted the Minister of Economy, Carlos Body. For large companies the balance is positive, although they have complaints: fund transfers take too long to arrive.

Body has explained that of the 34,000 million allocated from European funds, more than 13,000 million have reached SMEs and the self-employed. For the minister, this data demonstrates the “granularity” that the Recovery Plan is achieving. The head of Economy has also highlighted that “the data confirms the positive evolution” of the plan, which is also causing productivity to grow. Specifically, according to the data available to the Government, a third of the growth in productivity currently corresponds "to the transformative effect of the plan," said Body.

The Minister of Economy has also announced the launch of a new computer tool, called Elisa, which will offer detailed information on the evolution of calls for tenders and subsidies from European funds. It will be available starting this afternoon on the ministry's portal and it will be possible to consult the degree of execution by territories, sectors, final beneficiaries... It will be updated monthly and will also serve to identify and act on possibilities for improvement.

The minister's words occurred at an event on European funds organized by KPMG, Santander, Iberdrola and OHLA. For the Ibex 35, the evolution of the Recovery Plan is adequate, although they have also expressed their complaints. The CEO of Santander Spain, Ángel Rivera, has stated that “what we hear from business owners are more complaints than positive issues”, such as the excessive bureaucracy they face in the calls. Santander works in Spain with three out of every four companies. “We probably have to do outreach work together,” added the entity's executive.

The CEO of Iberdrola, Mario Ruiz-Tagle, has highlighted, for his part, that Spain will rarely have the opportunity to receive a volume of aid of 163,000 million. “We have to take advantage of the way to transform the economy,” he claimed. The Iberdrola executive highlighted that “Spain has leadership in renewable energies recognized in the world.” But Ruiz-Tagle has also highlighted two problems: “convincing the value chain to settle” in Spain and the “anxiety” on the part of companies to be able to receive these resources. That is, the execution progresses but the transfers take time to arrive.

The Minister of Industry, Jordi Hereu, who has also participated in the conference on European funds, has assured that he takes note of the request to accelerate the transfers of European funds.

The director of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Presidency of the Government, Manuel de la Rocha, later explained that there have already been 600,000 beneficiaries of European funds among all the calls. Therefore, a cruising speed of 1.5 billion per month of resolved calls has been reached.

Regarding the companies' complaints, De la Rocha has assured that on occasion he has received a call from Pedro Sánchez asking him for the execution of the Recovery Plan to be faster. "But public aid and Commission regulations do not prevent them," he added. "We are going as fast as we can," he said. The head of European funds has reminded the private sector that a good part of the projects they present have to go through the approval of State aid by the European Commission, and that slows down the processes.