Council of Ministers

Government highlights coordination in tackling effects of storms in southeast of mainland

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 13 September 2019

​The Council of Ministers reviewed the effects of the storms on the southeast of the mainland, particularly on the Regions of Valencia and Murcia, and the provinces of Albacete and Almeria.

The Acting Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, stressed that Spain is a country ready to deal with this type of emergency and sent out a message of calm to citizens.

In this regard, he explained that the Civil Protection authorities of the Ministry of Home Affairs are monitoring the development of flooding "in coordination with other ministerial departments, government delegations and regional governments affected". Accordingly, the need to mobilise the Emergency Military Unit is being assessed and prioritised, as a complementary State resource to support regional resources when the situation is serious, he said.

The public authorities as a whole, he reiterated, "are acting in a coordinated and effective fashion on prevention, planning, response and recovery to deal with the emergencies arising over recent hours".

Fernando Grande-Marlaska added that Spain has requested the intervention of the European Civil Protection Mechanism and has sent geo-referenced satellite images of the provinces of Valencia, Alicante, Albacete, Murcia and Almeria to facilitate the work in responding to the storm damage.

Take special precautions

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Acting Minister for Education and Vocational Training and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Celaá, recommended that citizens take special precautions and follow the advice of the public authorities.

The Acting Minister for Home Affairs also called for citizens in the zones affected not to park in dry river beds and to stay away from rivers, streams and low-lying land to avoid being caught by rising water and flooding. He also recommended not crossing flooded areas and to keep abreast of official sources.

In this regard, he highlighted that the forecasts of the State Meteorological Agency, which gave out early warnings, led to the activation of emergency and collaboration plans from the outset.

The acting minister reviewed the effects of the rain on the road network, the railway network and on Alicante, Almeria and Murcia Airports, the latter which has been closed. He also reported that some 2,000 people have been evacuated from two villages in Murcia due to the possible scheduled opening of a dam.

Aid for those affected

The Acting Government Spokesperson announced that the Acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, is in contact with the four regional presidents of the areas affected and is following the effects of the storm in real time. He will also visit these zones when the time is right.

The government, claimed Isabel Celaá, "is drawing up a travel plan to assess the situation and proceed, as necessary, to officially declare certain areas to be seriously affect by a civil protection emergency, which will help speed up aid" to those affected.

Both acting ministers expressed the government's concern for and solidarity with all those people affected and sends its condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives. They also thanked the emergency services, the Red Cross and Civil Protection, the State law enforcement agencies, the Armed Forces, local authorities, regional authorities and volunteers that have participated in disaster relief for their hard work.

Subsidy for Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe government agreed to grant a subsidy of 5 million euros to the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation to hold the MWC Barcelona (previously Mobile World Congress).

Isabel Celaá underlined that, by means of this subsidy, granted each year since 2013, the government contributes to fostering economic growth through projects tied to digitalisation. She also recalled that MWC Barcelona is the most important event in the world in the field of mobile phone technology and that at the last event it received 109,000 visitors from 98 countries, with the presence of 2,400 companies and an economic impact of 473 million euros.

Training and jobs

The Council of Ministers approved a subsidy to be granted to the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces for the sum of 471,260 euros to fund ongoing training plans for local public servants.

In addition, the government will allocate 42 million euros to stimulate jobs and vocational training in the Canary Islands. Isabel Celaá stressed that the aim is to encourage the long-term unemployed back to work, facilitate their adaptation to new sectors of employment, and foster the employability of young people.

As regards vocational training, the government has backed the creation or classification of three new National Referral Centres for vocational training in Mahón (Minorca), Poblado de Gabriel and Galán (Caceres) and Niño do Corvo (Pontevedra).

Awards

The Council of Ministers approved the posthumous membership of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, in the Grand Cross category, of Blanca Fernández Ochoa. It also granted the posthumous award of the Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts, in the gold category, to the singer, song-writer and performer Camilo Blanes Cortés, 'Camilo Sesto'.

Current affairs

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe Acting Government Spokesperson recalled that King Felipe VI has opened a new round of consultations with the representatives of the parliamentary political groups to propose a candidate to the Presidency of the Government.

Isabel Celaá declared that Pedro Sánchez will close off the consultation on Tuesday and that the government reiterates that the best outcome for our country is to achieve "a solid government and stable legislature right now". "It is clear that there isn't even the slightest confidence in the formation of a stable coalition government, and we accept this reality out of respect for the institution", she concluded.

On economic matters, Isabel Celaá highlighted that the Spanish economy continues to grow with sound bases, despite the backdrop of a global economic slowdown. She also pointed out that the growth forecast for this year is of 2.2% of GDP, higher than the European average and that 2018 ended with the creation of more than half a million jobs.

The Acting Government Spokesperson also congratulated the Spanish men's basketball team on reaching the final of the World Cup being held in China.

Non official translation