Covid aid: Spain and Portugal take different paths

Portugal and Spain are adopting different strategies for rebuilding their economies after the coronavirus crisis: while Spain plans to use both the loans and the grants provided by the EU recovery fund to boost its economy, Portugal has opted to use the grants but not the loans. Journalists in both countries express approval and doubts about the approach of their respective government.

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La Vanguardia (ES) /

Think of future generations

The funds that Spain is receiving from the EU's recovery plan must be used wisely, warns La Vanguardia:

“This increase in public spending approved yesterday by the cabinet is spectacular, historic and unprecedented. ... Taking on such high levels of public debt in order to survive the crisis and begin reconstruction means presenting future generations with a hefty bill. The current generation must therefore show a great sense of responsibility in using the public money appropriately, so that it is effective in transforming the production model and creating the structures necessary to generate the prosperity and jobs of the future.”

Visão (PT) /

Can the EU be trusted?

Portugal's government has said it will accept only the grants from the recovery plan, not the loans. Visão approves of this strategy, but worries that the money will be insufficient - or even not paid at all:

“It makes no sense to add to the debt when grants are available. The grants are for a shorter period and less generous, but it is right to start with this. The question is: are they enough and will they arrive? Is it possible to be sure of that now? ... The EU is a state within states, with a bureaucracy multiplied by 27, which normally lives outside reality, and with unelected 'governers' who do not respond to any electorate.”