Expand mortgage relief measures and the deployment of European funds, among its challenges for this legislature
MADRID, 20 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has opted for Nadia María Calviño Santamaría to once again be at the head of Spain's economic policy and one of the vice-presidencies of the Executive, waiting to know on December 8 who will preside over the European Investment Bank (EIB), a position to which the vice president aspires.
Pedro Sánchez has once again chosen Calviño's orthodoxy to guide economic policy this term, although his permanence in the Spanish Executive will depend on the votes for the Presidency of the EIB.
Despite this, the head of the Government has once again trusted Calviño to head the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which will no longer assume the powers of Digital Transformation, valuing the Galician's experience in European and international institutions throughout her career. .
Born in A Coruña, Calviño (1978) is the daughter of the general director of RTVE between 1982 and 1986, José María Calviño, and has a degree in Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid and in Law from the UNED, and belongs to the Corps of Commercial Technicians and State Economists.
Calviño already held positions of responsibility in the Ministry of Economy, since she was general director of Defense of Competition, dependent on the economic department, between May 2004 and August 2006, during the mandate of Pedro Solbes and at a time when Endesa's takeover bid was very topical.
In Brussels, she was Deputy Director of Competition from September 2006 to October 2010, a position she left to hold the position of Deputy Director of the Internal Market and Services until April 2014. From May 2014 to 2018, when she joined Pedro Sánchez's Executive, she was the Director General of Budgets of the European Commission.
In recent years, her international role has gained prominence, after being appointed president of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) between 2021 and 2023, which advises the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on supervision and management. of the international monetary and financial system.
Furthermore, recently with the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023, Calviño has led the conversations on the reform of the EU fiscal rules, negotiations that have not yet been closed because the positions of some countries still remain. distant, as is the case of Germany and France, among others.
It is expected, in any case, that at the next meeting of EU Economy and Finance Ministers, which will be held on December 8, a legislative text for the agreement between the Twenty-Seven can be put on the table.
That day, in addition, the vote for the presidency of the European Investment Bank (EIB) is scheduled, a position to which Calviño aspires. She is vying to be Werner Hoyer's successor at the head of the EIB with the until now executive vice president of the European Commission responsible for Competition, the Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager. Along with them, the Polish Teresa Czerwinska, the Italian Daniele Franco and the Swede Thomas Östro remain in the race.
The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has guaranteed Germany's support for Calviño's candidacy, a very important vote for Spain because it is one of those that will have the most weight in the vote.
If elected president of the EIB, Calviño could remain in the Spanish Executive until December 31, to begin her mandate at the head of the bank on January 1.
Calviño faces an uncertain international scenario, marked by geopolitical conflicts, escalating prices, high interest rates and the reactivation of European fiscal rules, suspended since 2020 due to the pandemic and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
Despite this, what has been clear for months is that the 2024 public accounts will be prepared based on fiscal responsibility. In fact, the budget plan sent to Brussels last October already includes a deficit forecast of around 3% for next year - in line with what European rules will set - and a public debt ratio next year of 106.3%, which will mean a reduction of 14 points compared to its value in 2020.
This will be based on a macroeconomic scenario that points to a growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2% next year, the creation of 700,000 jobs in 2023 and 2024 and an increase in tax collection of 7.5%.
One of the first challenges that Calviño will face, as she herself has promised, is the impact of the rise in interest rates on family finances.
Thus, it intends to convene the banks "as soon as the Government is formed" to be able to extend the measures and benefits of the Code of Good Practices to average incomes for the viable restructuring of debts with a mortgage guarantee on the habitual residence.
The socialists' proposal is based on extending the term of mortgages up to seven years for households with incomes equal to or less than 37,800 euros per year - the average income in the country -, which would mean a saving of 300 euros per month and 3,600 euros per year.
This would expand the Code of Good Practices for the viable restructuring of debts with a mortgage guarantee on the habitual residence, with the objective that those families with average income can extend their mortgage for seven years or freeze the payment of the installment during the first year .
Also with regard to the financial sector, the Ministry of Economic Affairs must reactivate the processing of the Financial Client Defense Authority, which was paralyzed by the dissolution of the Cortes when early elections were called.
Thirdly, the other major pending measure regarding the financial sector will be the decision on the extraordinary tax that taxes banking income. The programmatic agreement between the PSOE and Sumar contemplates maintaining this tax once its current application period expires. Together with the tax on energy companies, the Government has collected about 2.9 billion euros this year for these tax figures.
In addition, Calviño will continue to deploy the 'Next Generation EU' European funds, after Brussels unlocked another 93.5 billion from the anti-crisis fund for Spain and allow the launch of the second phase of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan for the period 2023- 2026, which includes additional transfers and loans.
With these funds included in the addendum to the Plan, 84 billion euros in loans, 7.7 billion euros in additional transfers and almost 2.6 billion euros from the new REpowerEU mechanism will be mobilized. These resources are additional to the 70,000 million euros of the first phase of the Plan, approved on July 13, 2021.
The addendum will concentrate investments and reforms in promoting industrialization and strategic autonomy in the areas of energy, agri-food, industrial, technological and digital, reinforcing the investments of the 12 strategic projects (PERTE) already approved and underway.