The Plenary of Congress has validated this Thursday the decree law of direct aid to companies affected by the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, which may be modified after approving its validation as a bill. This procedure will allow the groups to propose changes through amendments. Like every decree-law, its measures are in force since its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE) but after its approval it must be submitted to a vote in Congress within a month for its validation or, otherwise, be repealed.
Requirements, terms and measures of the new fund of 11,000 million direct aid to the self-employed and companies
In addition to the PSOE and United We Can, they have supported the decree law Esquerra Republicana, Más País-Equo, Compromís, Nueva Canarias, Coalición Canaria, Teruel Existe and the Regionalist Party of Cantabria (PRC).
However, government partners such as the PNV and EH-Bildu have abstained, as well as the PP, Ciudadanos, PDeCAT, the CUP, UPN and Foro Asturias. For their part, Vox and Junts have voted against.
In any case, even the formations that have supported the decree have reproached that these aid arrive late, are not enough, leave out sectors affected by the crisis and have not been negotiated with the opposition or with the autonomous communities.
Expansion to more sectors
In her speech, the Vice President of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, has opened the door to expand to more sectors – it is restricted to less than a hundred – that are allowed access to this aid.
Thus, he explained that the choice of sectors was made with the analysis of the data at the end of February, but that “reality is dynamic” and the Government “is very sensitive” to the needs of companies: “They have our Willingness to assess the expansion of the list to sectors that in the future may meet the established requirements, “he said.
Likewise, the economic head of the Government has promised that the battery of measures approved by the Government to help companies, including the ERTE employment protection system, “will be available in 2021 and will be extended as long as necessary to continue supporting the productive fabric “.
In addition to the ERTE employment protection system to cover salaries and contributions, he has cited the ICO’s line of public guarantees, with its extension of grace periods and repayment, the extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity for the self-employed, the moratoriums in the payment of taxes and contributions without interest and the moratorium for the return of mortgage and non-mortgage loans.
To these measures, Calviño has added the direct aid fund contained in the decree law that is submitted this Thursday to its validation vote in Congress, the financial debt restructuring fund also contained therein and the solvency funds managed by SEPI and Cofides.
During the debate on the decree, the spokesman for United We Can, Pablo Echenique, celebrated this decree, approved after the “usual intense debate” between “those within the Government who want to return as soon as possible to the so-called austerity” and ” the big heads “, including his party in this second group, who believe that this austerity” was not only cruel “but that it is a” failed “economic recipe.
Precisely, in a discussion in the corridors of Congress between the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, and the Vice President of Social Rights, Pablo Iglesias, the former asked the leader of United We Can not be “stubborn.” From then on, in this formation they claim to be “stubborn” in defending their positions and in compliance with the Government agreement.
These people from the Government who, Echenique has said without specifying names, want to return to “the so-called austerity”, “are suspicious of any increase in public spending, even if it is essential to help people.”
The PP has justified its abstention “due to responsibility”, but has urged the Government to simplify the process of granting aid, regretting its deputy Elvira Rodríguez “a long, costly management procedure” and that “falls on the autonomous communities, at the that “they force to check invoice to invoice”, without also having discussed or consulted with them. In addition, he has indicated that “the problem of territorial distribution” would be solved with expandable credits.
For María Muñoz, from Ciudadanos, it is a “clearly ineffective” distribution system, with “insufficient” measures that, in her opinion, “only postpone the disaster.” “They are not late, not very late”, has reproached Ferrán Bel (PDeCAT), pointing out that sectors with losses of 40% and 50% are left out because it is obvious that the restrictions have not been adopted globally, but territorially, and therefore there are sectors most affected in specific communities.
For Idoia Sagastizabal, economic spokesperson for the PNV, the decree is “a jug of cold water”, since the aid “is not clear, nor is it adapted to the reality of each territory,” which nevertheless must manage its concession. In the Basque provinces, for example, there is no direct estimation regime, nor is the drop in turnover measured with the tax base criterion, but rather with the taxable base. “How do we do it?”
Among those who have supported the decree there have also been criticisms. Ana Oramas (CC), has assured that the decree “is late, because many SMEs have fallen by the wayside”, while Inés Sabanés (Equo) has described as “incomprehensible” the “resistance to the application of direct aid”, when other countries less dependent on activities affected by the restrictions anticipated these measures.
“We will vote yes, but only because of the responsibility of the real economy of SMEs and the self-employed,” explained Joan Cadpevila (ERC), who believes that in the Executive “they deserved a ‘no'” to their decree “as bad, clumsy, stupid , arrogant and not in dialogue “.
From Vox, its deputy Patricia Rueda has criticized the formations that have supported or abstained from a decree for “once again supporting ‘Moncloa productions’, allowing a plan that mortally wounds already self-employed companies.”