The long anticipated agreement to increase residents discounts for air and sea travel between The Canary Islands and the Spanish mainland was signed on Tuesday, and is expected to be “forever” included in the regional state budgets.
The Spanish state government has also agreed to pay one hundred percent of the cost of certain goods transports between islands and the Peninsula, as well as the European Union, including empty returns and made it retroactive to the 1 January 2016. Banana transportation will receive aid of €10 million for 2018, retroactive to January 1, 2017 and is to be indefinite.
In what is being called an “historic achievement” this new deal for The Canary Islands closes the circle of transport policies for people and goods between the islands and the mainland, to help promote “social and territorial cohesion, in the development of the economy of the islands”
The agreement on transport of people and merchandise, deployed in all its dimensions, represents total “savings for Canarian citizens and companies”, each year, in the order of some €400 million, said Nuevo Canarias leader Roman Rodriguez.
Residents of the Canary Islands, ever since last summer, already receive a 75% discount on plane and boat tickets between the islands and now starting this summer when the state budgets of 2018 come into force, this coming June, residents in the Canaries will see global savings of an extra €150 million.
With advance tickets to mainland Spain expected to be less than 30€ return in some cases, you can expect high demand once the tickets become available, likely to mirror the situation last summer when tens of thousands of residents logged on simultaneously to try and be the first to benefit from the new inter-island subsidies, causing several websites to crash.
The newly discounted air and sea fares are a long overdue effort to try and level the playing field for all Spanish citizens, and in particular assist The Canary Islands who have for a long time suffered from high import/export costs and a population with the highest unemployment in all Europe.
The Spanish government is keen to show that it is listening to various voices across the nation so as to quieten rising regionalist rhetoric that could, if left unchecked, threaten the overall economic stability of the nation as a whole. This latest move is sure to appease Canary Islanders who sometimes question the values of central governance from Madrid.