EU: Covid recovery cash rules ‘heavy handed’ says expert
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Spanish economist Stuart Medina Miltimore claimed Ursula von der Leyen’s Recovery Fund plan will be insufficient for the recovery of the bloc’s economies. The founder of the Spanish Association Red MMT told Express.co.uk that even Italy and Spain, among the biggest beneficiaries of the Commission’s fund, will barely see the fruits of the billions boasted by the EU Executive leaders.
He said: “I was running the numbers and the net amount, at least according to the books in the budget of the Spanish government, is shy of 17.6 percent of the Spanish GDP.
“And when you consider that the GDP of Spain in real terms fell of more than 11 percent last year, it becomes obvious that a net transfer from the European Union is going to be 0.6 percent of GDP is not really going to make a difference.
“It’s not a really ambitious transfer programme from the European nations.
“The only change that we’ve really seen is that in 2020 Spain was a net contributor to the budget, and this year it will be a net recipient.
“But it’s a very small net balance. It’s really not a big programme.
“It’s been heralded as a historical change, Hamiltonian moment, etc.
“From my point of view that’s rubbish.
“We’re talking of a few decimals of a percentage point. When you look at the distribution of the funds, the life of the project, most of it will be spent between 2022 and 2023/24.
“Some of the money is beginning to flow this year. When you look at the net amounts, we never see more than 1 percent of Spanish GDP coming in.”
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He continued: “The people are being told a story of success, even though it’s obvious it isn’t a success.
“It’s a massive failure.
“I mean, I think a 16 percent rate of unemployment as we have in Spain as an absolute failure.
“When you look at the unemployment rates in youth 35 or 40 percent, it’s a total absolute failure.
“But people are being fed the story in the media, you know, every day, they’re talking about billions of money, the billions of euros are coming from Europe.
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“People are fed this story and nobody bothers to check the numbers.
“They really don’t care.
“Their mission is to sell the European Union.
“In reality, the European Union is one of the best-designed propaganda campaigns in history.
“And people believe firmly and I would say two-thirds of the population believe that the union is here to help us and that’s going to be how it is.
“It’s very difficult to change the narrative, unfortunately.”
Spain was the second EU country to get the approval of the Commission on its Recovery Plan after Mrs von der Leyen travelled to Madrid.
As one of the main beneficiaries of a 750 billion euro European Union recovery scheme, Spain will get 69.5 billion euros in grants until 2026 to help revive its tourism-dependent economy, which has been hit hard by the crisis.
Madrid got the first 9 billion euros in pre-financing in July.
“This is a historic day for Spain… it means a new understanding of Europe,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters, standing next to the Commission President, who called the plan “ambitious and far-sighted”.
“The plan was designed here in Spain and will promote growth here in Spain,” she said.
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