The Representation in Spain of the European Commission, concerned about unemployed youth
The Economic Counselor of the Representation in Spain of the European Commission, Paz Guzmán, on Wednesday expressed the “concern” of the EU institutions for the “almost lost generation” of young people in unemployment in the current context of crisis and for the almost 20 percent of workers who want to work and can not.
He has informed the Cortes de Aragón about the 2016 European Semester, the EU’s economic and budgetary policy coordination system.
In a joint session of the Commissions of Economy and Finance, Guzmán has exposed that the economic, financial and debt crisis “has been very strong, has left Europe marked,” especially to the countries of the Euro Zone, compared to what Member States have reacted by developing the banking union and reinforcing the European Semester.
He highlighted the “blow” suffered by the labor market and the fall in investment, although “we are growing again” and, in fact, the Spanish economy has done it almost twice as much as the other countries in the Euro Zone. , leaving behind the “critical situation” of 2012.
Guzmán has defended the social character of the EU, observing that “social Europe is one of the main projects and the raison d’être of the EU”, adding that “it is a dream that inspires us on a daily basis”.
In December 2016 and January 2017, the Commission, the Parliament and the European Council will agree on a medium-term strategy to “launch the policy umbrella” next year and in February the Country Report of each Member State will be presented, with an analysis in depth of economic imbalances.
The economic adviser has relied on Spain to take effective actions to reduce the deficit and not freeze the structural funds, highlighting the “common interest” to avoid it. The European Commission takes into account that the Government is in place and expects that the budget plan will be presented afterwards, updated according to “the objectives set”.
He commented that the regional funding has a “hot” interest that the European Commission follows closely and that it talks about it with the Ministry of Finance, AIREF and the Bank of Spain. He has called on all administrations to improve the quality of public spending and fight against corruption, which “has a cost for Spanish citizenship”.
The European Semester now covers more policies, specifically financial, fiscal and macroeconomic imbalances, always with the objective of Member States “working side by side” within the framework of a “vision of Europe as a whole”. Now, the supervision of the economy of each country has been improved, new measures of stability and “structural effort” have been implemented in the medium term, and specific recommendations have been articulated for each country, with mechanisms to correct the excessive deficit and excessive imbalances. .
“There is a virtuous triangle”, deepen fiscal responsibility and “structural reforms 2.0”, relaunch investment and improve labor markets, products and services, said Guzman, noting that it is not only to optimize competitiveness since wages, but also with training and technology.
The economic counselor has defended the Juncker Plan for the encouragement of private investment in the EU, prepared after verifying that it fell “brutally”, rising since 2014 always below historical levels.
He explained this drop in investment due to the crisis of investor confidence due to “bad expectations”, and also due to the high levels of indebtedness in both the public and private sectors, as well as the limitations of access to credit.
The Juncker Plan contemplates measures to make strategic investments, with a ‘window’ of 25 percent for SMEs, to which is added a portal of European investment projects, “something that many foreign investors asked us”, a European center for investment advice, which also informs about the instruments of the European Investment Bank.
This plan includes the improvement of the investment framework, so that the legislation is “predictable and makes sense” both in each country and in the EU, in order to deepen the single market by promoting a “true union” of the energy, digital, services and capital.
It also aims to “leverage the public funds that we have, which are few, to generate the maximum amount of private investment,” said Guzmán, who has relied on generating investments worth 127,000 million euros.
In Spain, more than 10 operations of a total of 115 have been signed throughout the EU and another 209 financing agreements for 290,000 SMEs and companies with fewer than 3,000 employees.
In terms of fiscal responsibility, the economic advisor continued, the Stability and Growth Pact continues to be applied, which allows implementing measures to reduce the excessive deficit and public debt.
Spain is among the countries with the highest public deficit, along with Croatia, France and Portugal. Thus, the European Commission opened the procedure for excessive deficit in 2009, making recommendations in 2012, 2013 and 2016. For this year the target set for Spain is 4.6 percent and in 2017 of 3.1 percent, down to 2.2 in 2018.
The deputy of the PP, Ricardo Oliván, recalled the contribution of the EU to the development of Spain and the improvement of the quality of life, emphasizing that “we forget that being part of a club entails rights and obligations”, criticizing who reject the Juncker Plan and then “dismiss investments” for cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza.
The socialist parliamentarian, Leticia Soria, has opined that “one of the main priorities must be to reduce economic, social and territorial inequalities”, hence the importance of cohesion policy. “We believe that a social Europe is possible,” he stressed.
The deputy of Podemos, Hector Vicente, has stated that “from the Europe of solidarity and rights has been passed to the austerity and cuts”, so that “today’s EU moves away from the European dream that in its day we build. ” Román Sierra also intervened on behalf of the purple formation, stating that “European policies have brought great suffering to the people we represent in this chamber”, alluding to the “scourge” of social inequality and the “loss of rights” .
From the PAR, Elena Allué has warned that the breaches of Spain on the recommendations of the EU “in the end will affect the autonomy” and has lamented the “lack of budgetary resources”, which has produced a deficit in the cost of the social services that were transferred.
On behalf of C’s, Javier Martínez has warned that “expansive policies, when they are not done well end up being explosive,” which is “what happened in Spain.” He has stated that “the duties that were not done when the situation was good now we have to make them worse off”.
Gregorio Briz has made clear that from CHA “we do not share from the first to the last page” of the stability policies, throwing in face to the European Commission that “they have deepened the crisis”. The fiscal consolidation is “impossible”, has considered.
The deputy of IU, Patricia Luquin has criticized the “publicity” of the Juncker Plan, lamenting that the EU “has only been concerned with rescuing companies or banks”, transferring private debt to the public sector, and that it has abandoned “its social character” .