Resources mobilised by the State in La Palma reach 929 million euros

News - 2024.2.5

2/02/2024. Joint Commission for the reconstruction, recovery and support of the island of La Palma. The Minister for Territorial Policy and ... The Minister for Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory, Ángel Víctor Torres, appears after chair the 13th Joint Commission for the reconstruction, recovery and support of the island of La Palma

The Minister for Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory, Ángel Víctor Torres, chaired the 13th Joint Commission for the reconstruction, recovery and support of the island of La Palma this Friday, in which he took stock of the resources mobilised so far by the State on the island, "totalling 929 million euros, an amount that is just short of 1 billion euros", which is the total valuation made of the losses and damage caused by the volcanic eruption.

The minister detailed the funds allocated over the years up to the most recent amounts, which are the €100 million in aid approved by the Council of Ministers on 19 December to compensate for the economic damage caused to individuals and companies as a direct consequence of the eruption of 19 September 2021; and the €48 million that the proposal for the final resolution of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge includes for the study and development of projects relating to geothermal energy on the island. "The Canary Islands is the region that will receive the most funds for this -more than €100 million- and La Palma is the island that receives the most resources from this programme of the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE)".

In view of the update of the figures by the municipalities, which are undertaking the recovery work, the minister conveyed the Government' of Spain's willingness to activate new funds for the repair, restitution or reconstruction of damaged infrastructures in El Paso, Los Llanos de Aridane and Tazacorte, the three municipalities affected by the volcanic eruption.

Torres pointed out that in the draft of the General State Budget for 2024, a 60% rebate on personal income tax for residents of the island is envisaged. "This is good news of a measure that is assured and that will be retroactive once the budget is approved".

Last, he sent a message of commitment from the Government of Spain because "just as we achieved the greatest mobilisation of resources in the face of a disaster, and with the shortest response times, we will spare no effort for the total reconstruction of the island, for its future projection as a sustainable territory and, of course, to support the families who have lost everything".

Gas control in Puerto Naos and La Bombilla

The Minister for Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory verified today during his visit to the volcanic eruption gas emission control centre in Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, the "excellent" functioning of the Alerta CO2 programme, explaining that it is a "pioneering" project developed exclusively for La Palma, and promoted and financed by the Government of Spain with €3 million until 2025, "but which can be extended if the problem of gas emissions persists".

To date, 650 gas measuring devices have been installed to monitor houses, streets and coastal areas, allowing more than 220 families to return home safely. Torres explained that an average of fifteen devices per day are being installed, "so that 100 more homes can be reoccupied in the near future". The minister hopes that "normality can gradually be restored for one hundred percent of the island's inhabitants and for the businesses in these two tourist enclaves".

As part of the Alerta CO2 programme, which has been developed together with the Cabildo de La Palma and the town councils of Tazacorte and Los Llanos de Aridane, residents have been provided with an application (App) for the constant monitoring of air quality, which issues the appropriate alerts in the event that the emergency protocol must be activated.

The meeting of the Mixed Commission for the reconstruction, recovery and support of the island of La Palma, chaired by Minister Ángel Víctor Torres, was attended in person or by videoconference by representatives of the Government of Spain, the Canary Islands Government, the Cabildo Insultar de La Palma and the town councils of Tazacorte, El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane.

Non official translation