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Council of Ministers

Government allocates 20 million euros to local councils to combat gender-based violence

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 9 August 2019

​The Council of Ministers approved the distribution of 20 million euros to local councils and bodies to develop the State Pact to Combat Gender-based Violence.

These actions, that may be carried out until 30 June 2020, include campaigns to raise awareness and prevention, strengthening municipal services to provide attention and offer information to victims, the specialised training of professionals at a local level and strengthening local police forces that have signed up to the VioGén System and Family Meeting Points.

The Acting Minister for Education and Vocational Training, and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Celaá, stressed the importance of the involvement of local authorities in the fight against gender-based violence, "taking into account that they are the first line of care for women who suffer abuse". In fact, she explained that it has been observed that there are women who do not dare to report incidents to the police but who make their cases known to these local services.

Isabel Celaá recalled that one of the first measures of the government was to provide economic resources to local authorities, and that the draft National Budget for 2019 would have doubled the current funding to 40 million euros of investment. However, since it was not approved, the amount has been limited to the initial 20 million.

Isabel Celaá reiterated that the fight against gender-based violence is one of the government's priorities and that it must continue to act with unity of action and criteria, "without allowing any cracks to emerge in the State Pact".

The minister expressed her "horror and total repulsion" at the murder this week of a teenager in Teruel while trying to defend his mother from the father's attacks, and called for "his death not to be in vain and to strengthen us in our commitment to do away with this scourge".

Master Plan and other plans to combat fraudulent contracts

The Council of Ministers reviewed the third half-yearly report of the performance of the Master Plan for Dignified Work 2019-2020, approved by the government on 27 July 2018, and announced two new plans to combat fraudulent temporary employment and abusive part-time contracts, to be implemented by the State Work and Social Security Inspectorate.

Master Plan

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Acting Minister for Work, Migration and Social Security, Magdalena Valerio, recalled that the Master Plan for Dignified Work seeks to recover employment rights, improve working conditions and the quality of jobs, as well as to combat job insecurity and unfair competition.

Magdalena Valerio asserted that the plan has led, in the 11 months it has been in force, to the conversion into permanent employment contracts of a total of 173,957 temporary employment contracts that were fraudulent at law, an increase of 83% on the same period of the previous year. In addition, the working day of 36,694 part-time contracts has been increased (up 58%) and 126,751 illegal jobs have been identified (up 45%).

The acting minister highlighted that these actions, in addition to improving the conditions of workers and aiding illegal jobs to be flagged up, has led to the General Treasury of the Social Security collecting an 1.1 billion euros more in revenue than in the previous period (up 32%). She also indicated that the regularisation of 32,067 positions, illegally falsely made to be self-employed, has led to a five-fold increase in registrations with the Social Security system and to the collection of 217 million euros. The situation of 782 interns has also been regularised.

Magdalena Valerio highlighted that in order to implement the plan, both human and material resources have been strengthened. The Work and Social Security Inspectorate has more than 2,000 members of staff in August, the highest figure on record, and new public servants will soon be hired to increase the workforce by 23%. IT tools will also be improved to enhance inspection activities.

The minister underlined that inspection campaigns have been carried out to analyse the correct classification in the Social Security system of workers who provide services for digital platforms and to avoid unpaid salaries, with a special emphasis on the correct application of the minimum wage for 2019. Another campaign focuses on the comprehensive revision of working conditions in the tourist accommodation sector, particularly of room service personnel.

Plans to combat fraudulent contracts

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe government has decided to revise the plans to improve the protection of workers and avoid irregularities in their contracts, implemented between the months of August and December 2018.

With this aim in mind, as from September, some 85,000 notifications will be made to companies where indicia of fraud have been observed in temporary or part-time employment contracts. The measure will affect more than 238,000 workers. Companies will be given one month to regularise the situation of their employees before the Work Inspectorate takes action.

Magdalena Valerio stressed that the government is satisfied at the rate of job creation, although it considers that further progress must be made, in coordination with companies, the self-employed and the social economy, so that these are quality, decent jobs that are correctly remunerated. In addition, she argued that there must be equal treatment in employment and that this must not discriminate against women, people with different abilities and immigrants.

Report on sustainable fishing

The government reviewed the main aspects of the report on the "Collaboration agreements for sustainable fishing: benefits for the Spanish fishing fleet", which highlights that Spain is the leading fishing power in the European Union and that its fleet has obtained the most licences under EU agreements with third countries.

The Government Spokesperson explained that there are 12 collaboration agreements on fishing with protocols that allow 250 Spanish vessels to fish in waters in Cape Verde, the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, the Cook Islands, Liberia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Sao Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal and the Seychelles.

Isabel Celaá mentioned the agreement with Morocco as one of the most outstanding. "This will be in force until July 2023 and will allow 93 artisanal vessels that fish in the Gulf of Cadiz and in the Canary Islands, as well as vessels out of Galicia, to work off the coast of Morocco".

These collaboration agreements on fishing have been defined by the acting minister as a benchmark in cooperation, which extends the European model of sustainable fishing and the fight against illegal fishing to the benefit of the sustainability of the planet.

Investiture

Isabel Celaá announced that at the end of August, the Acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will meet with the Basque Nationalist Party, the Regionalist Party of Cantabria and Unidas Podemos, all political forces likely to provide backing for his investiture as leader of the most voted for party. He will also meet with the People's Party and with Ciudadanos to ask for their abstention and to ensure that the investiture does not depend on the pro-independence forces.

The acting minister urged all the political forces to "pitch in" to ensure that the caretaker government can become a fully functioning government and thus avoid fresh elections.

Current affairs

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaIn response to questions from the press, the Acting Government Spokesperson denied having received any request from the Italian Government for the vessel 'Open Arms' to dock in Spain, and stated that the captain is under an obligation "to take the boat to the nearest safe port".

Isabel Celaá recalled that in 2018, Spain rescued some 50,000 people at sea and that to 31 July this year it has saved another 10,500. "Spain complies with, rescues and saves lives constantly, but we cannot allow Europe to rely on the fact that only Spain will do this", she claimed.

The acting minister also referred to the publication in the Official Journal of Spain on Friday of the "List of Spaniards who died at Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps", describing this as "a solemn reminder" of these people on the 80th anniversary of the republican exile.

For her part, the acting minister Magdalena Valerio ruled out making an award to bring an end to the strike of the security personnel at Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport in Barcelona, and trusted that the minimum services will be complied with and that the right to strike is exercised while respecting prevailing legislation.

Non official translation