Spain announces €11 billion aid package to help self-employed freelancers and companies to overcome the economic crisis
Spain’s Council of Ministers this Friday approved an €11 billion aid package to help self-employed freelancers and companies to overcome the economic crisis into which the global pandemic has plunged them. €7 billion euros will be allocated to autonomous communities with €2 billion of that exclusively for the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, as they are the territories most affected due to their dependence on tourism.
Canary Islands President, Ángel Víctor Torres, celebrated the announcement of measures and the special attention that the two archipelagos have received from central government. He said that aid to these Islands could reach “a little more than €1 billion”, based on, “the loss of affiliates to Social Security”; a reliable means of measuring job destruction.
The objective declared by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government is for autonomous communities to “direct grant aid to self-employed and companies from sectors most affected by the pandemic whose incomes have fallen by more than 30% compared to 2019″. It is precisely this same criteria that has been set by the Government of the Canary Islands for the distribution of another €84 million to SMEs and the self-employed, which began last Wednesday.
To qualify for assistance, companies and individuals have to be up to date with all their payments to Social Security, and agree to maintain their activity until at least June of next year. The aid will be “finalist”, that is, it will be used to satisfy debts contracted since the beginning of the pandemic with “suppliers, leases, supplies, salaries” or, also to reduce “financial debt”, explained the Council of Ministers.
In a brief list of the sectors that could benefit from the €11 billion package, Pedro Sánchez’s Cabinet named “the hotel and restaurant industry”, those who have been able to access “the expanded ERTE” and, more generally “others affected by the pandemic, such as activities within the manufacturing industry related to commerce and hospitality; wholesale and retail trade; sectors auxiliary to transport; aeronautical maintenance, and activities related to culture and sports activities”.