Workers assemble vehicles on the assembly line of the SEAT car factory in Martorell | ALBERT GEA

European finance ministers are set to adopt the recovery plans of 12 EU states on Tuesday, including those of Italy, Spain and France, paving the way for the first disbursements of EU grants and loans to boost investments.

Ministers in a meeting in Brussels are expected to give their green light to the plans prepared by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain, EU officials said, in what will be the first batch of approvals.

Plans from the remaining 15 EU countries of the EU will be assessed at a later stage.
The EU executive commission sent to finance ministers in late June its positive assessment of the first 12 plans. It has also green-lighted in July the plans of Slovenia, Cyprus, Croatia and Lithuania, which will be assessed by ministers later in July.

The plans need approval from a qualified majority of EU governments, making it very unlikely to block them. "We don't expect any surprise," one EU official involved in the approval process said.

Arriving to the meeting, EU economics commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said the 12 plans were set to be approved by ministers on Tuesday.

"In the coming weeks the pre-financing disbursements will come to these 12 countries," he said.

The pre-financing amounts to up to 13% of the nearly 700 billion euros ($830 billion) made available by the EU in grants and loans under an extraordinary facility for the post-pandemic recovery.

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The money will have to be paid within two months from the EU ministers' green light.