You are in:

During his visit to the island of La Palma

Pedro Sánchez announces that the Government will allocate 4 million euros to repair the water supply to the plantations on La Palma

Friday 19 November 2021

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, visited the island of La Palma this Friday, for the seventh time since the volcanic emergency began, to announce that the next Council of Ministers will approve of an allocation of 4 million euros to repair the water supply systems to agricultural plantations on the island. "I want to underline the exemplary behaviour of the inhabitants of La Palma, in particular the children of the island, who have had to face lockdown and now a crisis such as the volcano", said the head of the Executive, after participating in the meeting of the Steering Committee of the Special Plan for Civil Protection and Emergency Care due to volcanic risk in the Canary Islands (PEVOLCA), together with the president of the City Hall of La Palma, Mariano Hernández.

Sánchez also announced the approval in December of a decree with a maximum of 2.5 million euros for the implementation of scientific research projects on the volcanic eruption affecting the island.

The President of the Government of Spain travelled on board the navy ship that transports farmers from the areas affected by the eruption to their workplaces every day, to the desalination plants installed on the island to make up for the lack of irrigation water caused by the eruption.

Likewise, Sánchez saw first-hand the loading operations of the emergency water boat deployed since 26 October in La Palma by the Directorate General for Water (DGA), which works under the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO).

"We have deployed a commitment and unity of institutional action that I would like to highlight because it represents the spirit of the people of La Palma who need a response to this crisis," he said.

Activation of the EU Solidarity Fund

The President of the Government of Spain also announced that Spain has already formally informed the European Commission of its intention to request the implementation of the European Union Solidarity Fund for La Palma.

"We are going to present the request for the European Union Solidarity Fund and for this we are constantly updating the damage assessment which, according to the Government Delegation, already amounts to 74.45 million euros in Los Llanos, El Paso and Tazacorte, together with the City Hall's road network," announced Sánchez.

More than 225 million euros for the recovery of the island

The head of the Executive reaffirmed the commitment and solidarity of the Government of Spain and all public administrations with La Palma, and gave an account of the progress made on the Special Plan for the Reconstruction of La Palma, which has already had more than 225 million euros earmarked for the island's recovery.

Sánchez took the opportunity to detail some of the key figures in this package of measures. Specifically, the 10.5 million euros that the Government transferred to the Canary Islands regional government, earmarked for the emergency purchase of housing and household goods; and the 18.8 million euros in direct aid to agriculture and fishing.

Likewise, the head of the Executive highlighted the transfer of 5 million euros for personnel and running costs for home help, accommodation management, social, psychological and educational support, as well as direct aid for affected families.

This aid is in addition to the compensation paid to date by the Insurance Compensation Centre (Centro de Compensación de Seguros). In total, 33.6 million euros is earmarked to cover urgent needs for cars, commerce, industry and housing, which receives the largest share of this amount at 29.2 million euros.

At the same time, the specific ERTEs activated on the island now cover nearly a thousand workers (974 at 15 November) and underpin the Extraordinary Employment and Training Plan for La Palma, provided with 63 million euros to guarantee opportunities, jobs, stability and certainty. In turn, 297 requests for deferment or instalments of tax debts, amounting to 44,2687 euros, are currently being processed.

Sánchez also recalled the approval of a tax exemption in personal income tax and corporation tax for all public aid received in La Palma for the destruction of buildings and homes; and he highlighted the modification of some commercial requirements to allow the marketing of bananas aesthetically damaged by the volcano's ash.

During his appearance, the President of the Government of Spain also wished to express his "gratitude to all the public servants who are working to alleviate the effects of the eruption" and stressed "the unity of all administrations".

This is Sánchez's seventh visit to La Palma since the volcanic emergency was activated following the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano two months ago. The head of the Executive has always placed the island's recovery among the priorities of his Government's actions, and clear proof of this is the approval and constant updating of the Special Plan for the Reconstruction of La Palma, and the announced commitment to hold the next Conference of Presidents on the island.

Non official translation