Recovery Fund: EU releases the first checks to Italy and Spain
Today, the European Commission disbursed € 9 billion in pre-financing to Spain, equal to 13% of the country’s financial endowment under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Payment of the first part will help kickstart substantial investments and reform proposals drawn in Spain’s PNRR. The ambitious program will contribute a crucial push to make the green transition a reality, further digitize the economy, and make Spain more resilient than ever, according to the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
On Friday, after Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Greece, Italy’s turn to receive one of the most significant amounts expected from Brussels. That is € 24.9 billion, the first tranche of 13% of a total amount of aid of € 191.5 billion (€ 68.9 billion in the form of contributions and € 122.6 billion in the form of loans) divided over six years. For the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, “the Italian recovery plan, Italy Tomorrow, shows the level of ambition necessary to make Italy an engine of growth for the whole of Europe.”
Together with Spain, Italy’s national recovery plan is, in fact, the largest on the continent. At the head of a coalition of national unity, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi intends to undermine his country’s reputation for ineffectiveness in using European funds. The government targeted 106 concrete projects that should benefit from EU funds, including road infrastructure works already underway, modernization of railways, schools or gyms, investments in broadband. Each of these dossiers will have to prove to the European Commission the spending progress at the end of the year to benefit from subsequent disbursements.
The distribution of funds in the country was entrusted to the Treasury. The success of implementing the Recovery fund in Italy will determine its success or not on a European scale. Rome is particularly interested in carrying out the reforms expected from Brussels. After that of justice presented this summer, it must begin the modernization of the public administration and improve the tax environment of businesses.
The EU also disbursed today to Lithuania 289 million euros in pre-financing, equal to 13% of the country’s financial endowment under the Recovery fund. Furthermore, the Commission will authorize further disbursements to implement investments and reforms outlined in Lithuania’s recovery and resilience plan. The country will receive a total of € 2.22 billion, entirely made up of grants, for the duration of its Plan.