Shadows on EU funds



The management of European funds is portraying the Government in a very unfavorable way for its image, which at election time is even more damaging. At this point, Spain has already received some 24,000 million euros from Brussels, but the Executive of Pedro Sánchez does not know how much has really reached the companies and what effect it has had on the reactivation of the economy. It must be remembered that the Government approved, with the abstention of Vox and the opposition of the PP, a Cesarist system for managing European funds, which put their distribution in the hands of Sánchez with little control. Fears have been confirmed because it is incomprehensible that, in the largest transfer of funds ever authorized by Brussels, the socialist-communist coalition is behaving with such a degree of inefficiency.

At this point, the Executive should have accredited compliance with minimum guarantees: transparency, management, efficiency, control and responsibility. The concern about the development of the distribution of European funds is based on the fact that not one of these conditions is met. That is why the Government wants to silence the criticism, because it does not want loyalty, but complicit silence. Only around 1,500 million would have reached the Spanish productive fabric, which represents around 7 percent of the funds received. If these were to be the engine of recovery, the government is blocking the flow of funds with implausible inefficiency.

Banks, large companies and consultants have created technical teams to participate in investment advice with European funds. That is why they have first-hand data on bureaucratic inefficiency in administrative tenders and the lack of sufficient information to guarantee competitive and transparent access to aid with money from Brussels. The business sector predicts that the effects of European financing will not be noticed before next summer, which deflates government forecasts and discourages businessmen. This situation generates two risks for Spain. The first is for Brussels to audit what the government is doing with European funds and add conditions to future remittances. It will not be because of the opposition’s denunciations -which would never have such an effect if they were uncertain- but because of the responsibility of the Executive itself by wasting historical and unrepeatable aid. The second risk is that investors look for countries with better and more efficient management procedures for these funds, which would add to the mistrust that a Western European government with communist ministers and interventionist discourse generates.

It is not too late for the Government to rectify and review the money distribution system in Brussels. That money is not yours, nor has it been given to please friends and associates, but rather to heal the serious wounds caused to the productive economy by the Covid-19 pandemic. Control and oversight bodies, such as the General Comptroller of the State Administration and the Court of Auditors, have to work, and not with the usual slowness, but in real time, parallel to decision-making. It would be time to strengthen the official bodies that are created to ensure transparency in the management of public money. The alternative of the Government is being to silence any hint of criticism, while the distribution of money with an ideological sign to the related begins. The Socialists have not taken note of what happened in Andalusia with the ERE money.

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