Román Rodríguez: «The Canary Islands will emerge stronger from the current stage»

The Canarian vice president assures that "the Government of Progress of the Canary Islands has given adequate responses, reinforcing public services and supporting the most affected economic and social sectors"

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

Román Rodríguez, Vice President of the Government of the Canary Islands, considers in his weekly opinion article that a political course is opening “with numerous challenges for our land and its people. The one that will culminate in the Canary Islands the four years of an enormously complicated legislature. Marked by forest fires, the Covid 19 pandemic, the eruption of the La Palma volcano and the serious crisis due to high inflation and the consequences of the war in Ukraine. A period full of difficulties to which the Government of Progress of the Canary Islands has given adequate responses within the framework of its powers, reinforcing public services and supporting the most affected economic and social sectors.

The also Minister of Finance, Budgets and European Affairs points out that this is very visible in the three budgets of the Canarian Community that they have been responsible for preparing and executing, corresponding to 2020, 2021 and 2022, "focused on the defense of public services, as well as in support for economic recovery and job growth, together with the protection of the most vulnerable sectors of society and the commitment to the energy transition and sustainable development. All this, a reflection of a stable, solid and committed Government, characteristics that are always desirable and essential in turbulent times.

Budgets 2023

For the Minister of Finance, Budgets and European Affairs of the Canary Executive, this commitment is very present in the Budget of the Canary Community for the year 2023. A Budget that will grow by 10.9% in relation to that of 2022, exceeding its spending limit non-financial 10,000 million euros, almost one billion more than those initially allocated in the current year. In a framework in which numerous difficulties and uncertainties persist due to the current global economic and political situation, the Executive intends to continue responding to the needs of Canarian society, its citizens, its companies and its public administrations.

"And we continue to do so without increasing the fiscal pressure and without increasing the debt, with the income mainly coming from regional financing, from ordinary resources of the European Union (EU) and from the extraordinary Next Generation EU funds, as well as from the resources Canary Islands' own prosecutors," he says. «Without forgetting the enormous relevance of the General State Budgets. The Canary Islands received good treatment, with different Executives in Madrid, in the public accounts of 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022; and now we must be vigilant so that it also happens in the PGE for 2023 and that the Canarian Agenda is completed ». As is also being done to comply with and develop the Statute and the REF.

positive data

Rodríguez recalls several positive data from the Canarian economy. Among others, the number of tourists and, especially, the expenditure they make; According to the INE Tourist Expenditure Survey between January and July of this year, the Canary Islands were the Community with the highest accumulated tourist expenditure (9,692 million euros, 20.3% of the state total, 47,637 million), followed by Catalonia (8,825; 18 .5%) and the Balearic Islands (8,623; 18.1%). Or GDP growth above the state average. As well as in employment, with historical records in employment and in affiliations to Social Security in the EPA; The most recent data, registered employment data from the State Public Employment Service, places the Canary Islands as the Community in which unemployment fell the most in August (-1,148 people), ahead of Navarra (-479) and Aragón (-432). .

But the vice president warns of the problems that energy costs and inflation are generating for administrations, companies and citizens. Pointing out that he shares some of the measures adopted by the Spanish Government regarding energy savings and the fight against rising prices. “But they are insufficient. Support for public transport and sustainable mobility must be redoubled. We must advance in the energy transition and increase the weight of renewables. It is necessary to intervene in the market to reduce the absurd benefits of electricity companies, without giving up having public participation in these, as is the case in other states of the Union».

Citizenship Income

He also points out that important laws will be debated in the Parliament of the Canary Islands in this last year of the current legislature. Among them, the Canary Islands Citizenship Income Law, “which emanates from our reformed Statute of 2018 and which from Nueva Canarias we have been claiming for a decade. And, likewise, the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, essential for a sustainable present and future. In addition to addressing essential debates, such as population growth. "In my opinion, it is essential to grow in population moderately to preserve the territory and the environment, as well as public services and access to employment for people who reside in the Canary Islands."

Demographic processes that, he assures, are not alien to our economic model. “We have to redefine it. From greater diversification and a commitment to green and blue economies. From the commitment to quality over quantity and the non-occupation of more land in the tourism sector, for environmental reasons, preservation of the territory that future generations will inherit and of the identity itself as a people. From a greater weight of the primary sector and the consumption of the country's products, advancing in greater degrees of food sovereignty.

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