Spain’s budget rollover won’t impact disbursement of EU funds, minister says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 9:32 AM

MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish government’s decision not to send an already delayed budget bill for 2024 to parliament is not expected to impact the disbursement of European Union recovery funds in the country, Economy Minister Carlos Cuerpo said on Thursday.

Spain has been rolling over last year’s spending plan after the new budget was delayed by an inconclusive election last July and four months of talks for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to renew his term.

“The extended (2023) budget over has sufficient room to carry out the investments and commitments set in the recovery plan itself,” Cuerpo told a news briefing alongside European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni in Madrid.

Cuerpo said there won’t be “any brake” or “constraint” on the implementation of the plan.

The government decided on Wednesday not to present this year’s budget bill and to focus instead on next year’s spending plan, after the Catalonia region called an early election that could throw government support in parliament into disarray.

Spain is one of the main recipients of EU recovery funds, with a total of 163 billion euros ($178 billion) earmarked for the country, approximately half in grants and the rest in loans. It has already received 37 billion euros.

($1 = 0.9171 euros)

(Reporting by David Latona, writing by Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip)