We warned you! EU Covid rescue fund will build United States of Europe, says Spains PM

EU recovery fund: Expert on 'complaint' from Germany's AFD

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The EU announced €750 billion of the €1.8 trillion budget will be used as a Coronavirus Recovery Fund to help rebuild the bloc following the deadly pandemic, which has ravaged economies around the world.

Up to €500billion of the money raised will be provided in grants to the worst-hit countries, with a further €250billion provided as loans.

Despite the Covid recovery fund sparking anger across the bloc, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the money would deepen European integration and build a federal union.

Mr Sanchez said: “It has accelerated European integration towards a future United States of Europe.”

The Spanish premier said a United States of Europe has a “threefold integrational vision along social, territorial and intergenerational lines”.

He previously expressed the idea that “Europeanism means erasing borders while separatism means putting up borders”.

Mr Sanchez’ comments come after Spain’s Cabinet approved pardons for nine Catalan leaders jailed for their roles in holding an unlawful referendum.

The leaders declared independence from Spain in 2017 but Mr Sanchez said the pardoning was the best for Catalonia and Spain.

He said: “Spanish society wants a Catalonia that is European, prosperous, pluralistic, and sharing, and with a high degree of self-government.

“Spanish democracy shows its greatness today.

“Now is the time for politics.”

EU Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, once said her “aim” was the United States of Europe.

But after she was appointed Commission president, she said her vision for the EU had become “more mature and more realistic”.

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She said: “In the European Union, there is unity in diversity.

“That’s different from federalism.

“I think that’s the right way.”

The Commission recently approved Spain’s plans for spending €70 billion in grants from the Recovery and Resilience Facility over the 2021-2026 period.

The EU Covid recovery fund was met with anger as the bloc wants to link the behaviour of member states with access to the funds by means of a “rule of law” mechanism.

This means any country which pursues policies which the EU feels do not uphold its core values will lose access to the vital funds.

Back in November, Hungary and Poland blocked the EU budget over the rule of law issue.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country’s position on the budget and recovery fund is “rock-solid” and will not seek a compromise on the rule of law issue.

He said: “Our position is rock-solid, theirs is only a political will.

“Theirs can be changed, ours cannot.

“I do not want a compromise.

“Whoever links them is irresponsible, because the crisis needs fast economic decisions.”

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