Home World EU's £13bn plan flops after funds from major Brussels' scheme 'bottlenecked' –...

EU's £13bn plan flops after funds from major Brussels' scheme 'bottlenecked' – expert


A scheme hailed by the European Union as a “once in a lifetime chance to emerge stronger from the pandemic” didn’t deliver the hoped results in Spain, according to a property expert.

Mark Stucklin blamed the planning system, bureaucracy and political games in Spain for what he deems a failure to bolster the housing situation in the Mediterranean country.

In a comment piece for the Olive Press, the property expert claimed: “The Spanish planning system, bureaucracy, and political machinations have turned a tsunami of funds into bottlenecks that have bunged up the system and caused renovations to pucker rather than mushroom like politicians claimed they would”.

The NextGenerationEU scheme targeted the member states of the 27-strong bloc that have been worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU agreed to invest some £696.10billion (€806.9bn) to make “Europe healthier, greener, and more digital”.

The Spanish government, Mr Stucklin said, earmarked £13.29bn (€15.4bn) for housing projects aimed at making the country’s ageing housing stock more liveable, greener and carbon-free by 2050.

Supporting people in making Spanish homes more eco-sustainable is particularly important in light of a Spanish policy that, if maintained, will in a decade time bar homeowners from selling or renting homes not deemed “green”, the expert noted.

However, a study commissioned by the Andimac trade association representing distributors of building materials suggested planning applications for renovations were down 8 percent last year, with this shrinkage, expected to continue this year, being blamed on a failure to “channel and deploy the NextGenerationEU funds”.

The main branch of the NextGenerationEU scheme is the Recovery and Resilience Plan, set to run from 2021 and 2026.

This plan, worth £623.72bn (€723bn) of the entire scheme has been designed by Brussels to mitigate the economic and social impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on each member state.

From this, Spain has planned to use around £120.78 (€140bn) in grants and credits involving all levels of the public administration, the Spanish government’s website stated.

Explaining what the goals to be achieved through these funds, the website also read: “The aim is to transform our economy, making it more green, digital, inclusive and cohesive, while increasing its capacity for growth in the medium and long term.”

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