Patricia Guasp of Ciudadanos in the Balearics.

Patricia Guasp of Ciudadanos, who called for direct aid.

09-03-2021@ParlamentIB

The unemployment figures in the Balearics are stark, President Armengol admitted in parliament on Tuesday, but she denied that there is "social breakdown" on the islands because of unemployment.

The economic situation is difficult, Armengol said, but she drew attention to measures that have been put in place by the regional and national governments to help businesses. The president referred to meetings in Madrid two weeks ago at which direct aid was requested for Balearics businesses in the 'Horeca' sector (HOtels, REstaurants, CAfeterias). This aid, she was confident, will be approved at Friday's meeting of the Spanish government's cabinet.

Patricia Guasp of opposition party Ciudadanos referred to the high number of workers on ERTE terms. "No one disputes that ERTE is essential to curb unemployment, but it is passive. For months, there have been calls for active measures." Guasp argued that the regional government "increasingly puts more obstacles in the way of the self-employed". She reminded Armengol of her obligation to "get Balearic society out of this crisis". "It seems that you are not to blame for anything."

Guasp continued by observing that "bad political decisions" had affected small businesses and the self-employed. "It is not time for grandiose announcements and more promises, but for solutions." She called on Armengol to demand an "urgent rescue plan" from Pedro Sánchez, "with immediate direct aid and tax reductions".

Armengol said that the government's first priority is to control the health situation in order to be able to reactivate the economy, while at the same time working to sustain companies through the ERTE furlough scheme, loan guarantees and direct aid.

The president referred to the occupation emergency plan which is being developed and which is endowed with a budget of 72 million euros. The minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, also highlighted this plan in stating that resources are being increased and measures are being continued in order to maintain employment. Negueruela was replying to the Partido Popular's Salomé Cabrera, who regretted the fact that after a year of the pandemic, "the Balearic Islands have the worst data for more or less everything".

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