The Canary Islands and the State seek to give a boost to the pending island agenda before the summer

The Canarian Government wants the State to assume the financing of the roads of the current agreement that are not executed. / C7

The regional government increases contacts with Madrid to close fringes before the proximity to the electoral year complicates the agreements

Loreto Gutierrez

The development of the Canarian agenda in the State is encountering more obstacles than was assumed at the beginning of the legislature between two governments of the same political color. Discounting the emergency situation caused by the pandemic, the pending Canarian issues in Madrid are stagnant or progressing in fits and starts -irregular immigration, transfer of coastal powers, road agreement-, when no new reasons for controversy arise due to "forgetfulness" of the REF or as a result of Sánchez's spin on Western Sahara and the role played by the Canary Islands in the new stage of bilateral relations with Morocco.

One month before the end of the current ordinary period of sessions in the Cortes and in the pre-election year, the Canary Islands and the State are seeking to give a boost to the issues that are on the table to leave them at least lined up before the summer and that in the autumn they will not be entrenched, because the legislature goes very fast and then everything will be already pre-campaign, first for the 2023 regional elections and then for the general elections.

OPEN NEGOTIATION

  • Competencies
    The Canary Islands negotiate with the State compensation for the lack of personnel to be able to assume the management of the coasts from July 1.

  • Median
    There will be a Canarian presence in the Spanish delegation that this month is going to sit down with Morocco to define the Atlantic maritime spaces.

  • Roads
    The regional Executive wants the State to assume the commitment to finance the planned works that cannot be executed during the term of the current agreement, which ends in 2027.

In the absence of closing the number of workers who are going to be transferred to the autonomous community along with the competencies, the transfer of coastal management has been delayed several consecutive times since negotiations began, more than a year ago. The Canarian Government aspires not to obtain less than what was given to Catalonia in its day, but assumes that with the current workforce the State cannot transfer all the necessary workers and negotiates possible compensation that will allow it to adequately manage the coast. The objective is to convene the Mixed Transfer Commission throughout June, so that the transfer becomes effective as of July 1, although a new postponement is not ruled out if the conditions for signing are not met.

It is also during the month of June that the Spanish-Moroccan working group is scheduled to meet to define the maritime spaces of the Atlantic façade. Contrary to the migration group that met in May in Rabat, in this case there will be a Canarian presence within the Spanish delegation that will negotiate the delimitation of the median between the islands and the Moroccan coast. After the approval in 2020 of two laws in its Parliament with which it modified the bases for setting the median, Morocco has abandoned the criterion of equidistance and defends that the line be defined under an equitable criterion, for which other factors are taken into account. factors such as the amount of coast of each of the opposing states. In the background, the expansion of the continental shelf unilaterally approved by Morocco from Western Sahara, over which it has no sovereignty.

The road agreement signed in 2018 is also on the table again due to the need to increase the initial financing to face the planned works. After having managed to get the state government to pay the 407 million that were still pending from the road debt endorsed by the Supreme Court, another point of friction has been opened as a result of the clause that requires the autonomous community to assume the cost of the works are not carried out during the term of the agreement, which ends in 2027, which would force the Canary Islands to allocate some 4,000 million to the 51 projects that are going to be left out. The regional Executive seeks to extract from the State the firm commitment that it will assume these works in a new agreement, for the moment only pointed out by the Ministry of Transport.

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