Spain denies Next Generation funds are in danger from amnesty law

Spain denies Next Generation funds are in danger from amnesty law |

The idea that the Partido Popular (PP) and its EU family party (European People’s Party – EPP) have floated on Monday about the alleged danger that the Next Generation funds could face if the planned amnesty law finally goes ahead in parliament is not true, the Spanish government said on Tuesday.

At a press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting, Pilar Alegría, education minister and spokesperson for the progressive coalition executive (PSOE/S&D-Sumar), said the comments made on Monday by EPP vice-president Siegfried Muresan, later endorsed by the PP, were “witticism”, EFE reported.

Alegría denied that the amnesty law, which is currently being processed in parliament, endangers European funds for Spain and said that the negative attitude of the PP in the previous term of office of Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, risked these vital EU funds.

The PP is putting forward implausible hypotheses, the minister stated, recalling that the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, was very clear and categorical last week in his speech in the debate at the European Parliament on the quality of the rule of law in Spain, promoted by the PP when he stressed that the amnesty law is “an internal Spanish issue”.

The debate on the rule of law in Spain was “yet another attempt by the PP to use the European institutions”, Alegría stressed, while expressing that this “attempt to instrumentalise” the European Parliament “went badly because they wanted to be heard (the PP)” but there were only a few MEPs present in the debate, she said.

The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, urged the EU at an EPP conference in Barcelona on Monday, together with the group’s leader in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, to get involved in the dispute over Spain’s controversial amnesty law.

In Madrid’s opinion, the leader of the PP continues to show his way of opposing Sánchez’s government, which, among other factors, involves making it as difficult as possible for Spain to deal with EU institutions.

It is this policy that has, at some point, endangered Brussels’ transfer of Next Generation funds to Spain, the spokeswoman for the progressive Spanish government stressed.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Elma Saiz, said on Tuesday that the government is working to apply as soon as possible for the fourth disbursement of the recovery fund, estimated at €10 billion in grants.

“It is going to be imminent; we are working intensively on everything to do with this fourth disbursement, and it will be imminent, sooner rather than later”, Saiz told the press on her arrival at the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Employment and Social Policy of the EU in Brussels, EFE reported.

The European Commission approved Spain’s revised recovery plan on 2 October, and the EU Council gave its approval on 17 October, which, in addition to providing access to €83.2 billion in loans and €10 billion in additional subsidies, opened the door for Spain to apply for the fourth tranche of funds.

(Fernando Heller |

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