Twelve EU countries, including Italy, Spain, France and Germany, will receive money this month to help them start their national corona recovery plans. This concerns a total of more than 392 billion euros. EU finance ministers approved the first plans in Brussels on Tuesday.
Italy is the largest recipient with 191.5 billion euros in subsidies and favourable loans, Spain is the second largest recipient with 69.5 billion euros in subsidies.
The European Commission had already approved the positively assessed plans, but no money will be paid out without the ministers’ approval. So now, these countries can look forward to a pre-financing of 13 percent.
The money from the temporary corona recovery fund of 672.5 billion euros, of which 312.5 billion euros in subsidies and 360 billion in loans, will be paid out in parts. What the Member States do with the aid is closely monitored. If it is not well spent or agreed reform goals are not achieved, the money tap can be turned off.
According to insiders, there was little discussion about the twelve plans. According to State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief (Finance), they have been thoroughly “run through the mill”, he said in Brussels. There has also been continuous close consultation between the Member States and the executive board.
The member states will invest at least 37 percent of the money in sustainability and 20 percent in digitization, it has been agreed. Many countries are going to make public transport greener and renovate buildings. Money is also being pumped into expanding and making the internet infrastructure faster. The countries must also implement all kinds of reforms that Brussels deems necessary for each Member State to emerge stronger from the crisis, such as adjustments to the tax system or the labour market.
The other eight EU countries whose recovery plans have been finalized are Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Latvia, Portugal, Greece and Slovakia.