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MNI: Spain To Spend EUR5 Bln Or More Beyond NGEU Deadline


Spain will be able to spend at least EUR5 billion of its NextGenerationEU funds beyond the 2026 deadline, the president of a state-owned company involved in distributing money from the EU’s post-Covid recovery programme and a Spanish government source told MNI.

Spending all of the EUR163 billion Spain has received under NextGenEU, which is meant to be largely directed to infrastructure and to building a greener, more digital economy, is proving to be very difficult within what was initially presented as a binding time limit, said Enisa’s Jose Bayon.

“Just to give you an example, Spain received EUR60 billion from the EU from 1985 to 2010,” said Bayon, whose company reports to the Industry Ministry and which provides financing to small- and medium-sized companies.

Under a deal agreed with the European Commission in October, Spain’s NextGenEU money, initially only grants, was topped up by around EUR83 billion in loans and margin allowed to spend money after 2026 so long as it had already been allocated to specific projects. During months of negotiations, Madrid argued that the Recovery and Resilience Facility regulation underlying NextGenEU allowed for a more flexible spending timetable, whereas Brussels pushed for funds to be spent quickly to deliver greater economic impact, Bayon said.


Spain’s good performance so far in achieving NextGenEU targets made it easier for Madrid to make its case, said Bayon, noting that “As with every aspect in life confidence is key to getting things.”

In addition to Enisa, other companies such as Idae, involved in energy-saving and green hydrogen, and Fundacion Biodiversidad, which promotes recyclying, will also be allowed to spend NextGenEU funds beyond 2026, according to the Enisa chief, who added that extending European fiscal capacity beyond NextGenEU would be crucial for improving productivity in the EU’s periphery.

Under the updated NextGenEU calendar, Spain is set to receive EUR25 billion in 2024 and EUR44 billion in both 2025 and 2026, a government source said.

Italy, the largest beneficiary of the huge EU programme, is also likely to benefit from a deadline extension -- a key point as it negotiates major changes to projects outlined in the National Recovery Plan which outlines NextGenEU spending. Rome has argued that the original plan has been left outdated, partly by surging prices for raw materials and energy. (MNI: EU To Allow Italy Some NGEU Spending After 2026-Officials)

MNI Rome Bureau | +34-672-478-840 |
MNI Rome Bureau | +34-672-478-840 |

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