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Council of Ministers

Government pushes through implementation of Comprehensive Employment Plan for Canary Islands

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 1 September 2017
Íñigo Méndez de Vigo
Pool Moncloa/Diego Crespo

The government allocated 42 million euros to increasing employment in the Canary Islands. It also authorised a call for proposals for the sum of more than 100 million euros to contract pre-doctorate researchers throughout Spain.

​The Council of Ministers authorised the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Employment and Social Security and the Regional Government of the Canary Islands to implement the Comprehensive Employment Plan for the islands.

The Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, and Government Spokesperson, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, indicated that this plan is included in the 2017 General State Budget and comes as a result of regional dialogue. Specifically, he stated, "from the agreements to push through the so-called Canary Island Agenda, boost its economy and tackle its status as an outermost region".

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo specified that the State will contribute 42 million euros to the Comprehensive Employment Plan, which will be allocated "to fostering the return to the job market of those unemployed people resident in the islands, to adapting the professional qualifications of workers and the unemployed to the needs of the labour market, to fostering the employability of young people and the long-term unemployed and to increasing the rate of female employment".

The Government Spokesperson announced that the Minister for Employment and Social Security, Fátima Báñez, will travel to the islands to sign this agreement.

Government commitment to research

Íñigo Méndez de VigoPool Moncloa/Diego CrespoThe government authorised the State Research Agency to publish the call for proposals, for a sum of more than 100 million euros, in order to hire a maximum of 1,021 pre-doctorate researchers.

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo highlighted that the call for proposals "means the incorporation of young researchers in universities, public research centres and other public and private no-profit R&D centres".

He also recalled that this public aid is in addition to that authorised last week for the 'Severo Ochoa' centres and ''María de Maeztu' excellence units, for a sum of 40 million euros.

All of this aid "highlights the government's commitment to boosting research and development in Spain, pointed out the minister.

Large corporations

Íñigo Méndez de VigoPool Moncloa/Diego CrespoThe Council of Ministers analysed a report on the Draft Bill for the transposition into Spanish law of the European Directive on non-financial information reporting and on diversity by large corporations and certain business groups. The text will be submitted to the Council of State for its opinion prior to its approval as a draft law and its passage through Parliament.

The Government Spokesperson announced that companies must accompany their annual report with details on their environmental policies "with the aim of identifying risks to sustainability and increasing investor and consumer confidence".

Arbitral decision to resolve conflict at El Prat Airport

The government studied a report on the mandatory arbitral decision as a way to resolve the labour conflict involving security staff at El Prat Airport.

The minister insisted that this is a case of conflict between a company and its workers and that the government agreed to impose arbitration, on an exceptional basis, after negotiations broke down between the parties. After reviewing the content of the arbitral decision, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo highlighted that on 16 August, the Minister for Public Works, Íñigo de la Serna, reported that a working group on private security in relation to infrastructures under State authority will be set up, which will include representatives from different ministerial departments, trade unions and business organisations.

Weekly assessment

Íñigo Méndez de VigoPool Moncloa/Diego CrespoIn his habitual weekly assessment, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo listed the proposals to combat terrorism that the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, outlined during the meeting he held on Monday in Paris with the leaders of France, Emmanuel Macron; Germany, Angela Merkel, and Italy, Paolo Gentiloni. Among these, Mariano Rajoy reiterated that Jihadi terrorism is a global phenomenon that requires joint responses.

According to the Government Spokesperson, political unity must be shored up in agreements and, as did the Minister for Home Affairs, Juan Ignacio Zoido, he urged the political formations to maintain their stance in favour of signing the counter-terrorism pact. "We cannot simply look on when faced by terrorism. We must be fully committed".

The minister added that it is also important to maintain unwavering solidarity with the victims and their families, strengthen institutional coordination on unified action and bolster the civic manifestation of citizens.
Along the lines of continuing to strengthen relations in the fight against terrorism, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo announced that the President of the Government will tackle this issue with the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in their meeting in Washington on 26 September. They are also scheduled to tackle bilateral and economic relations, along with those related to the European Union.

There will be no breakaway referendum

The Government Spokesperson referred to the announcement of the Law on Legal and Foundational Transience of the Republic of Catalonia that was made public by several Catalan leaders.
According to the minister, this is a new attempt aimed at violating the principle of legality and of "isolating Catalonia and breaking away from Spain, and accordingly, of breaking away from the community of free and democratic nations".

Íñigo Méndez de Vigo reiterated that the government is planning to deal with all scenarios and has the instruments in place to tackle the situation. "I want to reassure all the people of Catalonia that wish to remain as such, a status they have held for many generations now as Catalans, Spaniards and Europeans, by telling them that there will be no referendum on impendence on 1 October".

Other current affairs

Íñigo Méndez de VigoPool Moncloa / JM CuadradoIn response to why the information gleaned from the United States on the possible commission of terrorist acts in Barcelona was not taken into consideration, the Government Spokesperson indicated that we should not lose sight of the fact that the only people responsible for the attacks are terrorists, and stressed that the State law enforcement agencies are working hard to prevent acts of this nature, as evidenced by the fact that in recent years hundreds of people have been arrested with ties to Jihadi networks. What is important, stressed the Government Spokesperson, is to maintain "relentless unity" and that coordination between the law enforcement agencies in combating terrorism "continues to make progress" and "will not falter".

He also added that it is not appropriate to hold a political debate on operational issues and that "these things should be spoken about" through the anti-Jihadi Pact.

As regards the announcement made by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party that we are heading for a "heated Autumn" on education, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo stated that this assertion "surprised " him because "there is a consensus" among the whole education community in favour of a social and political pact on education, which "the government will continue working" towards achieving.

In relation to the draft law on limiting the mandates of the President of the Government, which Ciudadanos announced it would present to the Lower House of Parliament, the minister specified that this legal figure is more appropriate in presidential systems, such as in North America or France, than of the Spanish parliamentary model, in which it would be necessary to "find a constitutional position" that "would be complicated" and decide, among other issues, if this would only affect the President of the Government, or also regional presidents and mayors. However, concluded Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, we will wait and see what the proposal consists of, approach this openly and see what is in the best interests of Spain".

Non official  translation


Complejo de la Moncloa, Avda. Puerta de Hierro, s/n. 28071 Madrid. (España).