January 17, 2021

The Generalitat recognizes that it would not reopen bars and restaurants if it could give more financial aid

The de-escalation plan started this Monday in Catalonia responds to the urgency of the Government to open some economic sectors that were not receiving enough aid to stay afloat. Different voices of the Generalitat have made it clear this Thursday, which have recognized that if they had had more resources to inject them, these businesses would remain closed and the risk of contagion would thus be reduced when ICUs still have more than 50% of beds, 484, occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Catalonia reopens its bars after five weeks without activity: "We couldn't take another day"

Catalunya reopens its bars after five weeks without activity: “We couldn’t hold out one more day”

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The first to say it openly has been the Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon, referring to the aid dispensed in countries such as France. “If we ask a restaurateur or a small business [francés] If they have received any help, they will say yes. Not here ”, he admitted. “Catalonia is not a poor country or a rich country. Neither is Spain. And if we could pay for this aid, we would not be reopening now or on previous occasions ”, he stated in an interview on TV3.

The de-escalation started this week in Catalonia with phase 1, which includes the reopening of bars and restaurants – with 30% interiors and 100% terraces -, cinemas, theaters, concert halls and extracurricular activities. All this with limited assessment and security measures. At the moment, and despite the fact that the second wave is going down, Catalonia continues to declare more than 1,000 daily cases of COVID-19 – this Thursday, 1,469 – and has 1,833 admitted.

After the words of Argimon, the councilors Alba Vergés, of Health, and Miquel Sàmper, of Interior, have abounded in the idea that they would not go so fast in the de-escalation if they had been able to give more aid to the affected sectors. “If we had resources it is clear that at the health level the recommendations would be as restrictive as possible,” said Samper, who added: “As we do not have them, we must play this balance between the purely health issue and the economic and social issue” .

Vergés has expressed himself in similar words, although in his case he has transferred the complaint to the central government, whom he has accused of not providing aid for these sectors, as countries such as France or Germany have done, according to the minister. “Those who have seen their economic activity reduced, those who have had to lower the blind, they need to be sure that there is State aid,” claimed the head of Health of the Government.

Looking ahead to phase 2, which begins on Monday, December 7, Health and Interior have ruled out from the outset advancing its start to favor the mobility of the bridge. In this way, and although there could be changes, the weekend perimeter confinement will be maintained from Friday 4 to Monday 7. On that day and Tuesday 8, which is a public holiday, the population will be able to move throughout Catalonia.


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