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Volcanic emergency on La Palma

Pedro Sánchez announces a change to the Contingency Fund to speed up the arrival of approved aid to La Palma

La Palma (Canary Islands), Saturday 23 October 2021

The Executive will also green light a new social shield to reinforce the Employment Plan for La Palma. Specifically, Sánchez has set the advances in this Employment Plan as priorities, allocated 63 million euros, and the arrival of aid administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of 6.8 million euros.

"The Council of Ministers will approve this budgetary change to further accelerate the arrival of economic resources destined for La Palma", the President of the Government of Spain stressed after the PEVOLCA meeting, which he attended together with the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, the President of the City Hall of La Palma, Mariano Hernández, and the Government Delegate in the Canary Islands, Anselmo Pestana.

Sánchez also announced the approval in the Council of Ministers of a new social shield that incorporates an additional provision with the improvements proposed by self-employed workers on La Palma in relation to the Employment Plan for the island.

This aid is in addition to the 13.3 million euros already paid by the Insurance Compensation Consortium to cover urgent needs in the areas of housing - 12.4 million euros -, commerce, industry and vehicles. The Government is also moving forwards on all approved measures and items as quickly as administrative rules and procedures allow.

"We will be working hard to rebuild for the duration of the emergency and also when the lava is gone. The Government of Spain is today and will be with La Palma every day to give this island the best of futures", Sánchez pointed out.

In total, aid for the island's recovery now totals around 300 million euros, mostly channelled through the Special Plan for the Reconstruction of La Palma, with 220 million euros, in addition to the specific ERTEs for the island and the aforementioned Employment Plan, with 63 million euros to guarantee opportunities, work and stability.

Solidarity and commitment to La Palma

Sánchez, who has completed his fifth visit to the island of La Palma since the volcanic emergency started on 19 September, reiterated the commitment of the Government and all administrations to the citizens of the island and stressed the solidarity of all Spaniards with La Palma.

"I would like to convey our empathy to the citizens of La Palma. I am personally aware of the dramatic situation they are going through, but they must not fall into despair; Spain's solidarity is with the island", said the President of the Government of Spain.

At the same time, the head of the Executive once again acknowledged both the work of science, which was key to anticipating the consequences of the eruption, and the work of the emergency teams deployed on the island during the volcanic emergency. Sánchez also highlighted the institutional collaboration between administrations: "Working together, side by side, is what the citizens of La Palma are now asking for, and that is also our commitment".

Non official translation