More than 30 roads remain for the next agreement

Image of a road work in Gran Canaria. / JUAN CARLOS ALONSO

Franquis trusts that the addendum that returns the 407 million suppresses the clause that states that the extra cost of the agreement must be paid by the Canary Islands

B. Hernandez

B. HERNANDEZ The Gran Canarian palms

More than 30 works of the 69 collected in the
road agreement 2018-2027 they cannot be assumed with the budget established in this plan and they will have to stay for the next one. The financial record of this agreement rises to 1,200 million, to which must be added the 407 million that the State owes the Canary Islands for work not executed, a conflict that has been resolved by an agreement between both administrations.

This was recognized yesterday by
Minister of Public Works, Sebastián Franquisafter revealing this very week in the regional Parliament that the current program signed with Madrid contains a
clause by which, if the sum of the final costs of the works exceeds 1,200 million, the excess will be assumed by the autonomous community
“without being subject to subsequent agreements”.

This reading, the counselor pointed out,
it had not been contemplated in any of the agreements signed so farbut that several annuities of a plan have always been allocated to liquidate works of the previous one.

Addendum

Faced with this situation, Franquis has indicated that at this time he is negotiating with Madrid so that in the
addendum that recognizes the unblocking of the 407 million, the suppression of the aforementioned clause is also included, in such a way that the actions that cannot be carried out with this plan due to lack of financing, are negotiated in the following one.

According to the Ministry's estimates,
this agreement can be closed before the summer. The first intention of the Government of the Canary Islands was to sign it throughout this month of May, but the complexity of the file, which falls to the Ministries of Mobility and Finance, justifies the delay.

In any case, this 'displacement' of the works would mean that the agreement signed
from 2027 "it would hardly incorporate new constructiononly some urgent work, "says the counselor, who adds that some are pending previous agreements" that were never done.

He recalled in this regard that, of the
1,200 million that the highway financial record has, 951 million have already been committed for 18 works. Thus, it indicates that
“with four or five more performances” the entire budget would be exhaustedcounting on the 407 million of the addendum, "which would give the Ministry room to sign some more", but stressed that they are important projects with a high cost.

As examples, he cited that the works being carried out in La Laguna account for 300 million or the section of the North-South axis that Fuerteventura is running is 140 million.

In this way, Sebastián Franquis takes it for granted that
“more than 30 works” of the 69 contemplated in the agreement would remain
for the next deal to close with the State, with the handicap that new works could hardly be incorporated.

He explains in this regard that this situation has come about because in the current plan "only the names of the works were included without any kind of cost estimate compared to what happened previously, that all the actions had their budget next to them." The reality, he adds, is that
“it is impossible to execute the agreement with this budget”.

Addendum

The 2018-2027 highway agreement contemplates six years of execution and another two to liquidate works in progress, which in principle were empty of budget. However, once the 407 million addendum is signed,
the autonomous community will receive 203 million in 2026 and an equal amount in 2027.

In this sense, Franquis indicated that this formula has been chosen because in each previous year around 280 million will be received «and the maximum that has been certified in a year in previous agreements has been 220 million. In his opinion, "
it is impossible to certify in one year 480 million» and, therefore, will be received in the last two years.

CC deputy Pablo Rodríguez in a file photo. / arcadio suarez

CC does not understand the "drama" of Franquis

The deputy of the Canary Coalition (CC) and former Minister of Public Works of the Government of the Canary Islands, Pablo Rodríguez, does not understand the "drama staged" by Sebastián Franquis regarding the financing of the road plan and ensures that the annex containing the works can be modified by agreement of the monitoring committee of the agreement.

"All the agreements have been modified," he says, "because more works have always been included than can be carried out with the negotiated financing."

The nationalist leader insists that the clause "neither puts the infrastructure of the autonomous community in check nor mortgages anything." It adds in this sense that "as the legislature advances, the Government can decide what the priorities are and, in accordance with the monitoring commission, eliminate from the annex the works that it knows cannot be carried out and they are incorporated into the following . There is no problem”.

Pablo Rodríguez wonders "how in three years of mandate no one from the Ministry of Public Works had realized the existence of the aforementioned clause and they make it public at this time."

In his opinion, the "doubts" planted by the counselor Sebastián Franquis are a "smoke bomb" in the face of the "new tease" by the State regarding the addendum of the 407 million "which have not yet been published in the bulletin and Therefore, it is not a settled matter.

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