The Canary Islands must pay the extra cost of the roads out of their pocket

The Minister of Public Works, Sebastián Franquis, yesterday at the Parliament of the Canary Islands. / EFE

The Minister of Public Works, Sebastián Franquis, assures that they are negotiating to change this clause of the 2018 agreement

B. HERNANDEZ The Gran Canarian palms

The fine print of
road agreement 2018-2027 signed between the Government of the Canary Islands and the State includes a clause stating that if the sum of the final costs of the works exceeds the amount established in this agreement, the excess
will be assumed by the autonomous community “without being subject to subsequent agreements”.

The Minister of Public Works, Sebastián Franquis announced yesterday in the regional Parliament this provision included in the agreement and announced that it is negotiating with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda to try to modify it because, otherwise,
would "mortgage" all the resources allocated to infrastructure public on the islands.

IN FIGURES

  • lump sum
    The highway agreement includes a financial statement of 1,200 million, to which an addendum of 407 will be added, for 69 works.

  • Committed
    Of this amount, Public Works has already committed 951 million (79%) for 18 works.

  • "Mortgage"
    According to Sebastián Franquis, the current wording of the mortgage agreement to the autonomous community, which would have to pay more than 4,500 million to complete all the works included in the agreement signed in 2018.

In response to a question from the Socialist Group, Franquis indicated that this is one of the
"main difficulties" of the agreement signed with a budget of 1,200 million for a catalog of 69 works. He emphasized that today,
a total of 951 million has been committed -79%- and have only been put
underway 18 works of the total included in the catalog.

Modification of the clause

If the aforementioned clause that obliges the regional administration to pay with its own funds for all works that exceed those 1,200 million is not modified,
“the community is condemned to pay 80% of the agreementwhich can add
some 4.5 billion more», according to the estimates of the Ministry of Public Works.

The Government of the Canary Islands had already pointed out the impossibility of executing the 69 works foreseen in the annex to the current road agreement with the financing closed with the State for 10 years. Now the Minister of Public Works has gone further and has pointed out not only that
the 1,200 million signed are insufficientbut the indicated clause indicates that the missing money has to be paid by the autonomous community.

Difficulties

In the director's opinion, this difficulty is "more serious" than the
unblocking of the debt of the 407 million for unexecuted works recently agreed by the Government of the Canary Islands and the State and that were owed for the period between 2012 and 2017 due to the cuts unilaterally incorporated by the central Executive, then chaired by the PP.

Franquis assured that until now he had not spoken about this matter publicly so that he would not be accused of "trying to divert attention" from the unblocking of the debt.

However, once this matter has been resolved, he has made it known that
negotiates with the State the modification of the clausewhile indicating that "someone should give
Some explanation of why the agreement was signed under these conditions, aware that it would be impossible to carry it out because there were no projects, no costs and knowing that the autonomous community could not assume it ».

"Mortgage resources"

He insisted that they are trying to solve the problem because, otherwise, "it would mortgage all the infrastructure resources of the autonomous community", an issue that he described as "more important" and more complex to resolve than that of the debt of the 407 million euros, which has already been resolved.

This matter is now in the
road agreement monitoring commission to sign the addendum, an act that could be held
before summer. Although the initial intention of the president, Ángel Víctor Torres, was to close it before May 30, Franquis has already indicated that it would be impossible to do so this month because it is necessary to "put together" a file that involves the Government of the Canary Islands and two ministries, Mobility and that of the Treasury.

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