On Tuesday, the government in Andalusia announced a package of aid for businesses affected by the health crisis. There is to be direct aid of 1,000 euros for the likes of bars, shops and travel agencies. The association of Andalusian travel agencies was underwhelmed. “This type of alms doesn’t come close to alleviating the difficult situation we are going through.”
Referring to aid as “alms” spoke volumes: a charitable handout to the poor, who are getting ever poorer. Not all businesses will be in a state of penury and be destined for the workhouse, but there’s no doubting that many are in dire straits, as are their employees. In Andalusia, so also in Mallorca, where the government largesse is somewhat greater - 1,500 euros a month for those businesses which qualify on account of the latest restrictions. The business associations were as one in saying that the aid wasn’t sufficient.
Of course it isn’t sufficient. One thousand, one thousand five hundred: it doesn’t go that far, especially if you (who runs a bar, restaurant, whatever) are still having to cough up the likes of your monthly social security contributions. The associations do at least accept that the Balearic government is doing something, but the call has already gone out for Francina Armengol to be demanding more of Madrid.
And so it goes on. More aid, but more aid that can never be sufficient. Businesses (and the Balearic government) will desperately be hoping that the aid won’t be necessary beyond March.