Canary Islands working with Spain to better share responsibility for migrant minors, and employment rights for government workers, taking control of coastal management and planning
Ángel Víctor Torres, the President of the Canary Islands, met in Madrid this Tuesday with Spain’s Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, Miquel Iceta, to conclude the process of transferring strategic competences, including coastal management, financial protection and promotion of market competition, from central State control to the Regional Executive. They also discussed the urgent need to amend the laws regarding migrant minors and employment rights for government workers.
After the meeting, the president appeared before journalists to announce “the good news” that before the summer, preferably by June, a Bilateral Canary Islands and Spanish State Cooperation Commission will be inaugurated in the Canary Islands, which will include a Commission of Transfers – where the official transfer of the responsibility for coastal management and planning will take place, thus resolving “an old demand of the Archipelago” which has been included in the new Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands, in force since November 6 of 2018.
The Canarian president expressed his sense of satisfaction with the transfer of powers for such a strategic issue as coastal management, which will be now be concluded, following interruption to the process due to the outbreak of the pandemic, a long sought after transfer “which is finally going to be a reality this summer,” he said.
Regarding the financial protection of local corporations in the region and to defend competition in the markets – two key competences whose transfer had already begun -, President Torres announced that protocols will be signed by the Government of Spain and the Government of the Canary Islands with the purpose of establishing the resources and means necessary to make the transfer of these powers to the Autonomous Community viable, and to resolve difficulties such as those presented, for example, by financial protection .
As part of the meetings with the Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, Ángel Víctor Torres, relayed the realities of the migration crisis in the Canary Islands and, in particular, the situation with migrant minors. Torres explained that there are currently more than 2,600 migrant minors under the care of the Canary Islands Government, “something that has never occurred, not even in 2006 with the ‘crisis of the cayucos’, when [just] 500 minors arrived on the Islands despite the fact that more people reached the coast than during the current crisis ”.
It is the president’s view that it will be necessary to adapt the current legislative framework to the existing situation, since the law for the protection of minors was created to provide care for minors registered in each autonomous community, and not for minors who arrive irregularly “in such great volume “, the president said. Torres explained that the minister has promised to study a legislative amendment and activate formulas that will help to ensure that the migratory reality is shared with the other autonomous communities of Spain.
Modification of the Basic Statute for Public Employees
The Presidency of the Government of the Canary Islands and the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function also addressed the problem of temporary employees within the Public Administrations who in many cases must chain temporary employment contracts for many years at a time. Torres raised the need to seek consensus mechanisms that respond to the expectations of workers who are in this situation.
In this sense, Torres stressed that the minister has committed to carry out, in the coming months, a modification in the Basic Statute of the Employee, which is being worked on also with the autonomous communities.
Finally, Ángel Víctor Torres thanked Miquel Iceta and his team for holding the meeting – the first held by the Minister of Territorial Policy with a president of the autonomous community – which “has been very satisfactory,” he concluded.