The delays in the payments of aid to companies due to the Covid crisis managed by the Autonomous Communities has led the Government to rethink the conditions set to access them, after having to request to extend the deadlines to Brussels due to the risk that these funds do not run out.
The First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, was willing yesterday to agree on those adjustments with the autonomies, after several regional presidents have blamed the slow pace of concession to the requirements and the processing required to inject into the economy the 7,000 million euros announced.
“If there is to make some adjustment in the design as some presidents of Autonomous Communities have suggested, then we will do it so that between now and the end of the year it is executed to the maximum and the objective of reaching those companies that really need it is achieved,” he said. Calviño after meeting with the Valencian president, Ximo Puig.
Although the person in charge of Economy did not specify the possible modifications, the Valencian president himself highlighted the will of his regional government to extend to all business sectors the possibility of benefiting from aid beyond those initially collected by the state regulation. Other autonomies, such as Andalusia, have criticized the bureaucracy necessary to process them and which they blame for lengthening the deadlines.
The vice president acknowledged that the pace of execution is very uneven according to the different CCAA, although it took away iron. “It is not surprising that the two most affected communities, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, are precisely the most accelerated in this process because they were precisely the ones that most needed this aid.”
In fact, despite the request made to the European Commission to be able to extend the deadline to disburse all of the 7,000 million foreseen beyond next December 31, Calviño was confident in being able to execute all of it in the last quarter. “Spain is one of the countries that is advancing the fastest in recovery funds,” he insisted.
The minister was also confident that employers and unions can reach an agreement both to expand the current framework and for the Erte as well as the Minimum Interprofessional Salary, for which she asked them for “responsibility” as shown so far.
“Years” for regional financing
Despite the agreement with the Valencian president on aid to companies, the vice president also made it clear that the essential Valencian demand, the reform of regional financing, remains parked. In line with the finance minister, María Jesús Montero, Calviño considers that the priority now is the recovery from the Covid crisis and the budgets.
Although he acknowledged that this is an issue that must be resolved, he considered that it is a “complex reform that will take years” and postponed opening the reform to “when it is more feasible to reach an agreement.”
Precisely the regional financing was also a claim of the president of the CEV employer, Salvador Navarro, and the mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, in other events during Calviño’s marathon day in Valencia. So much so that on the Valencian Economy Night, Calviño modified his speech to highlight that “the Government is working hard to present in November a proposal on the adjusted population criterion” as the basis for the reform.
Despite this, he insisted that it is a debate that will take time and that it cannot be raised “in a zero-sum game or based on comparative grievances between territories” and called for “institutional loyalty” so that “we all win.” He recalled that the reform requires an Organic Law that requires consensus that ”
Against downward tax competition
The economic vice president aligned herself with the theses of the Valencian president Ximo Puig on fiscal harmonization and showed her rejection of the abolition of taxes from the PP in Madrid. “Lowering taxes now means cuts in public services in the future,” he said at a meeting of Cadena Ser in Valencia.
“We have to avoid downward tax competition that ends up impoverishing the Autonomous Communities,” he said to defend the need for fiscal harmonization, something that he pointed out that he already defended from his positions in Brussels.