The new leader of the Partido Popular (PP), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has promised the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to fulfil “all the milestones negotiated by the Spanish Government” for the receipt of the Next Generation Funds, “even if Pedro Sánchez does not inform us of anything”.
The meeting between the two focused “on Spain’s economic issues”, a serious concern for the PP and Brussels, since our country will not recover pre-pandemic level of growth until the end of 2023, “two years behind the Eurozone average”.
It was Feijóo’s first meeting with the president of the EU executive since he became leader of the Partido Popular. He was accompanied by his Secretary for Institutional Relations, Esteban González Pons. The President of the Partido Popular thus culminated the major bilateral meetings during the Congress of the European People’s Party (EPP).
Feijóo met with Von der Leyen not as an EPP militant, but in a meeting ‘of an institutional nature’. That is why the real content of the talk has not been revealed, nor the coincidence of opinions between Feijóo and the president of the European executive, a member of the CDU, the PP’s sister party in Germany.
What Feijóo did not promise President Von der Leyen was that the PP would vote in favour of the specific reforms that Sánchez would take to Congress. “They don’t inform us of anything, and at least the main opposition party should be taken into account,” said the PP leader.
Feijóo did not want to go into more detail about which reforms he would change. However, sources in his entourage have hinted that the “sustainability of the pension reform”, which the economic commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni, questioned, is one of the concerns both in Brussels and in Calle Genova.
The president of the PP lamented the delay in the execution of the funds, which are already two years behind schedule, and hopes that the government will comply because Spain needs these funds and “these milestones bind us”.