Ecofin Council approves Portuguese 16.6 billion euro plan – ZAP

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Francisco Seco / POOL / EPA

Prime Minister António Costa at the European Parliament

This Tuesday, the Ecofin Council approved the first 12 Recovery and Resilience Plans (PRR), including that of Portugal, which in the coming weeks will receive the first disbursement of the global pie of 16.6 billion euros.

Meeting in Brussels, EU finance ministers formally approved, unsurprisingly, the first package of plans formulated by Member States and already validated by the European Commission to access the funds of the “NextGenerationEU” recovery package, giving their go-ahead – the called “Council implementation decision” – to the RRP Portugal, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Slovakia, Spain, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg.

Once this first package of national investment and reform plans has been approved, it remains for the European Commission to conclude with the 12 Member States the financing agreements – which regulate the transfer of grants – and the loan agreements, which should take place in the coming days , so that the first funds are released, under the pre-financing of 13% (of the total amount of each RRP) provided for in the regulation, which should then happen this month or at the beginning of August.

Portugal, whose PRR amounts to 16.6 billion euros – of which €13.9 billion are in non-refundable grants, the remaining €2.7 billion in the form of loans on particularly favorable terms – it should soon receive around €2.1 billion. , equivalent to 13% of the funds to which it is entitled and which should be executed by 2026.

This Monday, before the formal approval of the PRR, the Minister of Finance, João Leão, said that it was “at the right time” for the Portuguese economy.

“After six months of intense work by the Portuguese presidency of the EU, today we will finally be able to approve the first 12 European recovery plans, from different 12 countries, which include the Portuguese plan. These plans come at the right time for European economies and for the Portuguese economy“, he declared upon arrival at the Council.

Pointing out that the last year was mainly “of emergency measures and support for companies and families to help employment and family income at a time of crisis”, Leão underlined that now is “the turning point for economic recovery, either in Portugal or in Europe”.

And it’s very proud that we’re going to approve the plans today. The Portuguese plan was the first to have the green light from the European Commission and to be approved. This plan, which is a very ambitious plan, will help us to recover the Portuguese economy and build a better future”, he said.

The government official recalled that the Portuguese plan “will help the green and digital transition”, with 38% of investments aimed at “helping the green transition and combating climate change, promoting energy efficiency and also promoting the decarbonization of industry and improving the environment”, and 22% devoted to “improving public administration and companies, with very significant investments in schools and professional centers”.

“It is a plan that will not only help Portugal to recover from this phase of crisis at the right time, but it will also be a plan to build a better future, greener and more sustainable”, he concluded.