Claims that the EU has frozen Spanish pandemic funds are false

Pedro Sánchez and Ursula von der Leyen agreed terms Credit: La Moncloa flickr

CLAIMS that the EU has frozen Spanish pandemic funds are false according to EU Commission spokesperson Veerle Nuyts.

For more than a week, there were claims on social media and even through some news outlets that because Spain had not complied with certain audit deadlines, the European Union had decided not to make any further payments from the Recovery Fund.

It is suggested that respected US news outlet Bloomberg had inadvertently fuelled the rumour after publishing the fact that Spain had missed a deadline last month to implement a new auditing system required to unlock money from the EU’s Pandemic Recovery Fund.

Each country is required to supply evidence that they are using the money received in a manner in accordance with agreements put in place to ensure that they are complying with the laid-out procedure.

In the event that they don’t then the Commission has the power to freeze the funds until such time as the terms have been met.

According to a statement by Veerle Nuyts, Spain has so far received all of the money that it has requested although when it asks for the third tranche of payment, the European Commission will review the situation at the time.

Her actual words were “Spain has satisfactorily fulfilled all of the milestones and targets linked to all payment requests submitted to date, and the financing linked to these has been disbursed, after approval by the Member States.”

It is currently expected that the next request will be placed before the EU sometime in the second week of November and that is when a decision concerning payment will be made.

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