The president of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), Abel Caballero, has acknowledged that, at present, it is not the political moment to approach territorial financing, neither the autonomic nor the local one, a few months before elections.
Caballero met with the Chief Executive, Pedro Sánchez, at the Palacio de la Moncloa and, at the end, he was very satisfied with his results, since all the matters he has raised have been satisfactorily accepted by Sánchez.
Regarding local financing, he indicated that the president has confirmed that the negotiation will not be immediate, but that it will be done at the same time as the autonomic one and has been happy with what immediate priorities, such as the rules on surplus or spending ceiling, they will be flexible.
Has specified that it is the first time that a president of the FEMP spoke from the Moncloa and was received in the round of the head of the Executive with the autonomous presidents, which has valued because "we are part of the State and as such we want to be treated" and has considered that, from now on, it will have to be like that.
In his opinion, the Government "is betting" on the city councils and the councils, which had not happened until now.
On the ceiling of expenditure, has indicated that the municipalities for six years have been solvent institutions that met all criteria of the Stability Act and also provided surplus, up to 0.5-0.7% of GDP to clean up the state accounts before Brussels.
He has referred to the working group already created to reform the rules of the spending ceiling and "the president sees with good eyes his flexibility but fulfilling" with the objectives of stability.
Caballero has suggested that the 2018 surplus of municipalities, 0.8% of GDP, can be used in their respective cities and Sánchez "has guaranteed it".
He has indicated that these resources can be invested in nursery schools, libraries, electric recharging points and social housing.
In addition, he has asked that he also be able to dedicate himself to "essential social expenses", because "they are still needed and wanted by citizens" and "would agree" with the social nature of the state budget for next year.
Caballero recalled that they have 25,000 million of treasury remnant and that at least 20% can be allocated to the cities, since these savings are immobilized in the banks and Sánchez "has committed to studying it".
The president of the FEMP has suggested that in 2020 part of the European development funds be allocated to the municipalities, that these be "direct recipients" from the Government and that the list of municipalities that can receive them be expanded.
This, he continued, would guarantee the use of the ERDF, since the town councils have "a very interesting vision" of the needs.
"Sanchez sees it with good eyes," he continued, "and has said that he will have councils in the investment guidelines and resources."
Caballero has raised the signing of an agreement between the FEMP and Red Eléctrica to, through a concession, increase the load points for vehicles and thus favor the implementation of these cars and improve the fight against climate change, as it would achieve its installation of "massive form".
Sanchez has confirmed that the local reform, "that guillotine that cut the rights of municipalities," will be amended by the Government to improve "the ability of action" of corporations.
For all this, for Caballero, the result of the meeting was "extraordinary, everything he brought has been attended to in a positive way".