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The president of the Xunta sends a request to the Council of Ministers and sows more doubts about the transparent use of European money

The president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Nez Feijo and the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Daz AyusoEDUARDO PARRAEuropa Press

First legal battle of autonomous communities against the central government on the distribution of European funds in a phase in which the European Commission reviews its application. The president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Nez Feijo, has sent a request to the Council of Ministers to annul a decree of Yolanda Daz for “unjustifiably favoring” four autonomous communities in whose governments the PSOE participates. “We await a response and it is a step prior to your challenge.“Official sources of the Xunta de Galicia indicate to this newspaper. The request has been sent by the presidency of the Xunta itself and is in line with the decision of the Government of Isabel Daz Ayuso in Madrid this Wednesday to challenge that same distribution before the Supreme Court. It is the decree of Yolanda Daz last October 19 that allocated nine million euros to the Valencian Community, Extremadura and Navarra -whose presidents are socialists- and Pas Vasco -in whose government the PSOE participates- with the purpose of “financing new territorial projects for rebalancing and equity” with charge of the funds.

Both Feijo and Ayuso agree that in this matter the problem is not so much the figure, insignificant in the pie of the tens of billions of funds, but the need to immediately stop a tendency to arbitrariness that can lead to Moreover, since the Government has not chosen to focus on the fund management model through an independent agency, as claimed by the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado.

In its request for the Government to annul the decree, the presidency of the Xunta alleges that “direct adjudication for reasons of public, social, economic or humanitarian interest, or other duly justified reasons that impede its public convocation, is exceptional and requires a rigorous motivation. Despite this, the explanatory memorandum of RD 902/2021 only contains generic or non-generic statements“. Daz alleges in the decree the problem of” depopulation that affects the Navarrese Pyrenees and the sectoral, industrial, service and agrarian diversity of the socioeconomic structure of the Autonomous Communities of Extremadura, Valencia and the Basque Country “, but the Xunta points out that is a problem “of the majority of the 17 autonomous communities.” In addition, he considers that the decree violates competences of both the autonomous communities, such as the sectoral conference in which the distributions of funds and the General Law of State Grants are agreed. The latter violated both in the procedure and in the “violation of the principles of publicity, transparency, competition, objectivity, equality, non-discrimination.”

According to the requirement, “the direct award of subsidies has been carried out with absolute lack of transparency, without the possibility of intervention from the rest of the Autonomous Communities and unjustifiably favoring four communities to which additional resources are granted for actions of the projects included in the investment 4 of Component 23 of the Recovery Plan “.

For its part, the Community of Madrid has appealed to the Supreme Court the Royal Decree with which the central government distributed nine million euros of the fondos europeos Next Generation for the promotion of employment in four communities -Pas Vasco, Navarra, Comunidad Valenciana and Extremadura-. According to Isabel Daz Ayuso’s team, this distribution was made using “sectarian and partisan criteria.”

“It is intolerable”, has summarized the Minister of Finance, Javier Fernndez-Lasquetty. “It seems to us that we are being treated worse than others and we are not willing to consent,” he added, according to reports. Marta Belver. “How do we want that to not only be reversed but also do not go to repeat it with no other action or with any other amount of money it was necessary to take him to the Supreme Court. We believe that we are right, “Fernandez-Lasquetty confides.

For their part, sources from the Ministry of Labor admitted the select concession to those communities, but stressed that it was legal. The State Public Employment Service has distributed in the Sectorial Conference on Employment and Labor Affairs, with all the Autonomous Communities, and with a broad agreement, more than 2,798 million euros awarded. This distribution has been made according to the usual parameters. Later, the SEPE, in the exercise of its powers and with its own funds, distributed 9 million euros for pilot plans that will serve as the basis for future youth guarantee programs to the Basque Country, Valencia, Navarra and Extremadura, they add. They ensure that they are protected by article 22.2.c of the General Subsidies Law as well as by RD-law 36/2021, which regulates the management of PRTR funds. And that the 9 million euros allocated come from the SEPE reserve fund for territorial projects.

The vice president of finance, Nadia calvio, on this occasion came out in defense of Daz in statements to Onda Cero: “These claims are not at all pertinent (…) I reject them outright.” And he defended that Madrid is one of the communities that most benefited in the distribution of funds behind Andalusia and Catalonia. Ayuso has also criticized the criteria for that cast.

For his part, the president of the Junta de Extremadura, Guillermo Fernndez Vara, protested against the challenge. I am very sorry, that is not the Spain in which I believe, “said Vara. He stressed that in the harshest months of the pandemic and sent respirators to the Community of Madrid because it was much worse than us at that time.

That is the Spain in which I believe, it is not the Spain of fireworks that some seem to want to build, he said.

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