A RECENT report from the Italian Institute for Political Studies, the two main recipients of monies from the European Recovery Fund, Italy and Spain have a good track record in obtaining funding from the European Union and a poor one in spending it.
There recently presented 2021 budgets show that both say that they will spend the allocated grants in full (Italy €87 billion and Spain €70 billion) but whilst Italy expects to take advantage of the loan being offered, Spain does not intend to use it until possibly 2024.
According to the report, history suggests that both countries have struggled to plan and spend the European funds accessible during the usual multiannual budget period as during the last MFF started in 2014 and ending this year, they used only a small part of the European Structural Investment Funds available.
Both spent as little as 10 per cent of the funds in the first four years of their being available and then tried to play ‘catch up’ at the end of the budget period, which indicates a clear lack of proper planning processes although in the case of Spain, the underspend was during the period when the Partido Popular was in control.
Time will now tell whether either country can face up to the challenge of planned spending of the allocated money.
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