July 29, 2021

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Spain hopes to create 800,000 jobs thanks to the economic recovery plan


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Wednesday a plan to revive the economy of his country affected by the Covid-19 crisis, which, according to him, will create more than 800,000 jobs as a result of the injection of European funds worth 140 billion euros.
The socialist official said, during a speech from the Moncloa Palace, that the plan represents “a road map for modernizing our country in the next six years”, “to transform the exorbitant cost of the pandemic into an enormous opportunity.”
Sanchez, who was surrounded by giant screens showing ministers, ambassadors and union representatives who attended his speech remotely, explained that between 2021 and 2026 Madrid will use the resources allocated by Brussels.
Sanchez promised to “create more than 800,000 new jobs in three years” in the fourth economy in Europe, which witnessed a significant increase in unemployment figures since the adoption of a strict stone in the spring.
Spain will be the second most beneficial country in the European Union after Italy, as it will get 140 billion euros, half of it in support and the other half in loans.
The Prime Minister stated that the investments of the “recovery and adaptation plan” will be allocated more than 37 percent for environmental transport, and about 33 percent for digital transmission, in compliance with the goals set by the European Commission.
He stressed that this is not just a matter of restoring the GDP that the pandemic toppled, but of developing it in a new, more sustainable way.
Spain was late in announcing the plan, with Italy and France submitting their plan in September, and Germany in June.
But the government of the Spanish alliance between the socialists led by Sanchez and the radical left represented by “Podemos” wanted the presentation of the plan to coincide with the announcement of the state budget for 2021, and it was late.
The minority government in Parliament has been pressing for weeks on its potential allies to support the budget, which it considers necessary to start investments in the recovery plan.

Big doubts

In addition to the environmental and digital transition, the plan will also focus on social and regional cohesion, i.e. combating poverty, supporting rural areas and gender equality in the labor market.
A first installment of 72 billion euros will be allocated between 2021 and 2023, and the amount in the first year alone will be 27 billion euros.
Thanks to the recovery plan, Madrid hopes to achieve 2.5 points in GDP growth within three years, according to Sanchez.
However, the government accounts control structure stated that the plan comes in the context of great doubts and that the hoped-for profits in the growth rate will only be realized in favorable conditions.
In a separate reference to the crisis in Spain that is specifically related to tourism, which is important to the economy, the government announced Tuesday that Spain’s gross domestic product will fall 11.2 percent this year, two points more than expected in May.
Unemployment will rise to 17.1 percent, similar to the general deficit, which will reach 11.3 percent this year. Public debt exceeded 110 percent of GDP in the second quarter and continues to rise in view of the heavy public expenditures earmarked for mitigating the economic and social shock.
Between April and September, the government spent 4 billion euros a month to finance a large partial unemployment plan, in an attempt to avoid layoffs, especially in the tourism and hotel sector, which accounts for 18 percent of the economy.
The second pandemic wave hurt the economic recovery efforts, as the Spanish government had to impose a partial quarantine in Madrid since Friday. (AFP)