President Francina Armengol of the Balearics

President Armengol, speaking on Friday.

15-01-2021IB3

Aid for businesses affected by Covid restrictions in the Balearics will amount to 103.5 million euros.

On Friday, President Armengol announced that 30 million euros will be in the form of direct aid to businesses that have had to close or are subject to maximum restrictions, e.g. restaurants and gyms. This aid will be in the form of monthly payments of 1,500 euros until March. In the case of bars and restaurants, the Council of Majorca will be contributing an additional 1,500 euros.

A further 20 million euros, and with the support of town halls, will go to sectors most affected since the start of the pandemic - transport, culture, children's entertainment and small retailers. Municipal taxes are to be reduced by a total of 3.5 million euros. If service is not given, "service will not be charged", said Armengol. Terrace and waste collection taxes will fall "by the maximum". The president noted that many municipalities have already made provision for this.

Loans totalling 50 million euros will be made available to small and medium-sized businesses through the government-supported ISBA institution. These could be increased to 100 million over the course of the year. The maximum loan will be 70,000 euros, which will be charged at zero interest and with a two-year grace period before the first repayment will be required.

The package was agreed at a Friday meeting of the committee for reactivation and economic and social diversification, which was attended by Council of Majorca, town hall, business and union representatives as well as government ministers. Following the meeting, Armengol said that "we are aware of the pain caused by the specific measures in Mallorca and Ibiza", adding that the aid was not in response to the protests on Tuesday. It is urgently needed because of the "very difficult situation being experienced" in the Balearics.

"We are aware of the hopelessness of many. We will be with them through support to overcome these difficult moments in the best possible way." Decisions had been made "with maximum consensus and dialogue". She thanked the employers and unions for their "high-mindedness at this time".

Armengol stressed that the virus cannot be underestimated. There is a "very complex and risky health situation". "These are very tough moments, ones of great difficulty in this third wave. We said that there should not be Christmas, that we should save lives. We are very clear that our priority is the health of the citizens. Restrictive measures are necessary, as without health there is no economy. This will continue to be our priority."

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Lisa / Hace about 1 month

This is all well and good, but the Government appear to be missing the bigger picture. Namely, that the woeful number of vaccinations Mallorca is achieving is being brushed under the carpet. Or more importantly airbrushed from their press releases.

This funding is a merely a sticking plaster. Yes well done, but don’t forget the focus. Action needs to be targeted at getting the population vaccinated so that tourists will come back.

It’s not rocket science.

+7-