Canaries will triumph in tough times, says president Torres
President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, has taken stock of “12 intense months and one day”, a first year of “complex” government marked by a succession of events that have required the maximum coordination of the Government of the Canary Islands and for which the commitment of the citizens and the unity of action of the institutions and the social and economic agents have been fundamental, he underlined.
That sequence of events began in August 2019 with the fires
in Gran Canaria.
“It was an exceptional circumstance that demanded
the best of everyone. It caused great environmental damage but there were no
human losses, “said the president.
He also referred to the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook and in the
same month, the first zero energy was produced in Tenerife with the electricity
black-out. “We have had another recently that we have responded to and we
will open an investigation again,” he said. To these episodes must be
added a cluster of extreme weather events in February 2020 with the largest
episode of calima in recent years.
The Canary Islands was the community that had the first case
of coronavirus in La Gomera. “It was strictly controlled and the work done
was recognised everywhere,” said the chief executive. In February, the
first positive was recorded in the hotel in Adeje. “The confinement, which
was originally seen as excessive, today over time has been seen as a success.
It has even been taken as a model for other actions, “he added.
To address these difficulties, Sr.Torres considers it
essential to have had a budget presented by the Government at the end of
October 2019 and approved in Parliament in December, and which prioritises the
maintenance of essential services, which account for 75% of the accounts. .
Above all – the president added – it has been key to base
the actions on what Ángel Víctor Torres calls the 3 “S”: social
justice, sustainable development and solidarity economy, which support the
action of the Government. “Thanks to the fact that we have budgets that
take into account the three” S “, we have been able to respond in a
more appropriate way to this health crisis that has great social and economic
consequences,” he said.
Among the social measures implemented by the Executive, he
highlighted those relating to health “which already occupied the main part
of the Budget, and with the Covid-19 it covered everything,” he recalled.
He also highlighted actions such as the Mask 19 campaign against sexist
violence, recognised and replicated at the national level, the 16 million euros
for families with zero quota students in school cafeterias, the 16 million for
the Canary Islands Emergency Admission to meet the more than 30,000 petitions
from families affected by the economic downturn, or the exemption from the
payment of rent for social housing.
With regard to sustainable development, he highlighted the
increase in the budget by 15 million euros for actions against climate change,
and the Declaration of Climate Emergency of the Canary Islands. “We had to
make up for lost time,” he said in relation to the approval of the plan
for the 2030 agenda, with 17 goals of sustainable development, or the 170
contributions of citizens to the Climate Change Law in the Canary Islands,
which has more contributions received from citizens in the Islands, and whose
preamble will be published in August.
In the economic aspect, the president highlighted that, as
of June 30 this year, the Canary Islands Government has executed 52.1% of the
budget. “At this rate, which we will increase in the second half of the
year, we will execute the entire budget for 2020,” he added.
In the face of this “global crisis” of the
pandemic, the Canary Islands reacted from the beginning and took action from
March 16 and promoted the Pact for the Social and Economic Reactivation of the
Canary Islands. “On May 30, we signed the Pact, which no longer belongs to
anyone, but belongs to society,” he said.
As he has done since the beginning of his term, he stressed
the need to “have the best relationship with any government. It is not
complacency. We must have a firm hand in the defence of the Canary Islands and
take small steps, such as the 400 million surplus, which will not go into debt
with the banks. ” In his opinion, the law of stability must be changed,
but it is a great advance that, for example, the Minister of Finance has met
with the town halls and city councils. “
And he concluded: “We will continue to reach out
and in the defence of the Canary Islands. We have to recuperate together,
it will not be easy, it has not been easy, we have complicated economic
situations ahead of us, but just as we did in the past, we will overcome it,