The tourism sector receives with relief the step taken to rid the Canary Islands of the kerosene tax

The tourism sector receives with relief the step taken to rid the Canary Islands of the kerosene tax

It has been months of battle against the kerosene tax and finally it is achieved take a step forward to rid the Canary Islands of this tax which will make airfare within Europe more expensive by up to 70 euros, with the consequent impact on tourism.

Spain has managed to include in the proposed revision of the directive on energy taxation (DFE), that is being negotiated within the European Union, an exemption from the kerosene rate for the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla and the rest of the ORs. There are still months of dialogue and negotiation ahead "to achieve a common position of the member states of the EU", as sources from the European Council point out to CANARIAS7, but at least there are options to be able to stay out of this rate that will begin to be applied from January 1.

“It is good news that the exemption is beginning to be considered, although there is still a way to go. It is a fundamental step in line with what all the political groups have defended. and I hope it ends. Once the exemption is included in the proposal for the revision of the directive, it has many possibilities of moving forward, " indicates the Canarian MEP, Gabriel Mato.

He Minister of the Presidency of the Government of the Canary Islands, Antonio Olivera, He indicated that the proposal supported by the 27 is that, given that the Canary Islands are a third country for tax purposes, it should be left out. Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) has also been used. «It is not a temporary exception but rather it is structuring", indicates Olivera, which recognizes that there are still months of negotiation ahead for the directive to be definitively approved.

Negotiations that take time

“These are not easy or quick negotiations. We have been at it since July 2021 (when the European Commission proposed the revision of the DFE) and it is very likely that negotiations will take even longer. It is unrealistic to expect an application of the new rules as of January 2024”, sources from the European Council tell CANARIAS7. Mato considers that it is probable that it will not be approved even in the semester of Spain's presidency of the Council of the European Union, which starts on July 1, but that it will be ratified in the Belgian one.

The step taken was, however, highly valued yesterday by the Canary Islands tourism sector, who is confident that the Canary Islands will finally be left out of the kerosene tax.

The president of the Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs (Feht), José María Mañaricua, thanked the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, for having conveyed in Europe the need to rid the islands of this tax that, if applied, will weigh down tourism. «Leave the Canary Islands of this rate It is fair because the only way to come to the Canary Islands is by plane. The islands are not like the mainland that other forms of transport have," said Mañaricua, who assured that the sector "is relieved" after learning of the step taken for the exemption. "Emission rights payments are also coming up and they are trying to curtail aviation when it is the only way to reach the islands," he said. "We applaud the good management of the president and his government to achieve this change because increasing the costs to fly to the Canary Islands would imply a loss of tourists," he said.

The manager of the employers' association of the western province (Ashotel), Juan Pablo González, applauds the "advance" achieved in the green tax but calls for more solutions to the new imposition of Europe. "We are waiting because you can't get here any other way," he says.

The kerosene tax is not the only tax that Europe will implement in its decarbonization goal. Next year the payment for emission rights will begin to be applied. In this case, the Canary Islands have managed to stay out of their payment until 2030 for inter-island flights and those that connect the Canary Islands with the peninsula, but not the rest of the flights. In this sense, Olivera indicates that the Canary Islands have managed to include a 'safeguard', a suspensive condition, so that until there is enough biofuel for aviation on the market (called SAS) it would not be applied in the archipelago.