Recovery Fund, more than billions in grants. From Brussels a dry no to the only hinted idea of using resources to cut taxes
Too much enthusiasm in celebrating the historic step of the creation of the Recovery fund, the 750 billion euro super-fund available to countries affected by the economic crisis generated by the pandemic. From the European cornucopia, 82 billion should go to Italy, a non-refundable rich check. That is, not to be returned and only to be spent as it seems and the country likes, to remedy the countless delays accumulated in recent years.
In short, a party, so intoxicating as to make some commentators say: now we pay attention to spending them all. Alt, end of the dream. How could it be that in Brussels after years of Troika threats, maneuvers, tears and blood, property and rigor had changed their mind so quickly? And in fact they have not changed their minds. The Vice-President of the EU Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, who specified that it will not be a plan that individual countries will be able to use access on a voluntary basis, without interference or conditionality, but will be linked to the achievement of a series of reform and investment objectives. In short, just 24 hours from the agreement (political only) on the Recovery Fund, the maxi European plan of over 750 billion, the EU by the mouth of the Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni and Dombrovskis, plants a series of stakes and better explains how it works of the new tool. For Gentiloni: “The Recovery Fund is a voluntary plan that does not provide for conditionality on the part of Brussels and it will be up to each country to take responsibility for its own growth”. Conditional responsibility that falls to Dombrovskis to specify: «The resources of the Recovery fund will be distributed on the basis of the objectives achieved. We will set milestones and milestones in terms of reforms and the money will be distributed on the basis of achieving the objectives ». In short, the usual story of the little troika.
News also on the timing. Gentiloni dictated them, explaining that individual countries will be required to present their national reform and investment plans at the latest by October together with the draft stability program, in order to carry out an overall public finance project. In addition, the EU objective is to make available and commit 60% of the resources made available by the EU by 2022 while the final balance must be completed by 2024. Considering the time of the European bureaucracy and the inevitable negotiations that will follow for the operational modalities of the fund it is clear that by the end of the year Italy will not see the powerful figures that have been mentioned.
Gentiloni, however, specified that Toika-style interventions with Greece are not foreseen and no budget adjustments or parameters to be respected are required, but the resources obtained to support and relaunch the individual economies killed by the coronavirus must be channeled. And he stressed: «We are facing a historic turning point. So far we have been used to an economic policy made up of roofs and controls only, now we will have resources and we will see how long it will take for Member States to approve it. Also because the agreement will not be easy, but it will be reached. ” And as for Italy he says: “170 billion is a lot of stuff, the important thing is to know how to spend these resources. For Italy it is a great opportunity, but also a great responsibility. ” The point is just that. We still don’t know anything about figures and times.