October 31, 2020

Tractors and cattle to the street to demand the aid to lower the irrigation water – The Province

Tractors and cattle to the street to demand the aid to lower the irrigation water - The Province


The field is already tired of waiting. Canarian farmers will take to the streets of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife the tractors and cattle to claim the transfer of the 8 million euros to the State, aimed at reducing the extra cost paid by the islanders farmers. the desalination and extraction of water from wells and galleries for agricultural irrigation. They do not want to hear more promises, nor are they worthdraftof the royal decree that collects said aid, a document that has been subject to public exposure for fifteen days. If the State fails to comply with the Canary Islands Economic and Fiscal Regime (REF) and the subsidies do not arrive, the agrarian sector is willing to resort to the courts.

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition brushed aside at the beginning of this month the technical obstacles that it had previously alleged to deny the granting of aid with the publication of the draft royal decree for the transfer of the same. This measure came after several meetings between representatives of the field and the Delegation of the Government in the Canary Islands for the breaches of the promises of Madrid. In mid-February, thePSOECanario said that the game was going to arrive and that he would work "at full speed" to find a way out of this mess. Just twelve days after these statements, Madrid published the draft of the royal decree to submit it to public exhibition. The consultation period ended on March 22, the day on which the firsttractoradathat the sector finally postponed.

Canarian farmers have registered several allegations after detecting "a series of anomalies". The first of them, explains the president of Asaga Canarias, Ángela Delgado, is precisely the submission to public consultation of the royal decree, since for the granting of the 6 million for the irrigation water of 2017 this procedure was not followed. A procedure that, in the opinion of the organization, "responds more to political interests than of another kind," implies delaying approval for two or three months "and, in the worst case, that any of the allegations presented could impede the processing of said subsidy ".

Bureaucratic obstacles

The royal decree foresees that the regional Executive will advance the 8 million and resolve the aid for the State to transfer, then, the amount of the same. For farmers this modification with respect to the previous resolution is "unacceptable". They also denounce the incorporation of more complex bureaucratic obstacles than for the transfer of the six million of 2017.

The sector considers that the draft does not guarantee the arrival of aid for the reduction of water and that the document responds to a "legal strategy" to save time, avoid responding to their demands and stop their mobilizations. Farmers warn that if their rights are not fulfilled, their future is mortgaged and the field "doomed to disappear".

The protests, which will include the release of livestock in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, will culminate in the offices of the Delegation and Subdelegation. The president of COAG Canarias, Rafael Hernández, insists that the wait chokes the sector. "The syrup of time is not medicine for the primary sector," he says, especially when the rains are increasingly scarce. Delgado leaves, in turn, the door of the courts if the aids that are shielded in the new REF do not reach the Islands.

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