EU headquarters illustration Covid | OLIVIER HOSLET

The European Commission said on Friday it had given preliminary approval to the disbursement of 10 billion euros in grants to Spain under the EU recovery plan.

The disbursement is part of the European Union's wider, 27-nation plan to support the recovery of the European economy from the slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the first time the EU Commission had given a positive assessment for grants under the recovery plan, after the disbursement of the first tranches of payments as pre-financing, which are one-off, initial funds released under less stringent conditions.

Under the recovery plan, Spain is entitled to receive nearly 70 billion euros in grants, of which 9 billion have already been disbursed as pre-financing.

The unlocking of the funds is conditional on beneficiary countries taking concrete steps towards a greener, more digital economy.

The new grant would need to be definitively approved after discussions with representatives of EU states.