The national ministry of employment, unions and employers are negotiating the approval of an exceptional subsidy for people whose benefits are exhausted (or will be exhausted by end-September) or who have not been entitled to benefit.

Mari Carmen Barrera of the UGT said on Monday that discussions are ongoing, while the CCOO union has indicated that the benefit could apply to some 700,000 people. Barrera explained that the union had been demanding this benefit from the outset, as there are those who have suffered by comparison with workers on ERTE terms, as they didn't meet the prerequisites for the furlough scheme.

The CCOO's figure of 700,000 people consists of 550,000 who are unemployed and 150,000 who are under ERTE but who are part-time workers. The benefit would be 430 euros a month for three months and represent a cost of some 710 million euros.

Barrera added that it is essential to address the country's unemployment protection system so that exit from the crisis "does not leave anyone behind" and that "Spain does not pay a bill in terms of equality as happened with the previous crisis".

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