The plenary session of Tenerife Council yesterday approved by majority the General Budget of the Corporation for fiscal year 2022 with the favorable vote of the government team, made up of PSOE and Ciudadanos (Cs), and Sí Podemos Canarias, which supports it from outside. CC and PP protested against it. The initial 874.3 million euros, with a growth of 3.8 percent, eventually became 876.2 after passing some amendments by the opposition. The 12 million obtained by Sí Podemos were already included. President, Pedro Martin, insisted on the priority of social care and the activation of the productive sectors, in addition to territorial balance, so that the island accounts are an impulse “to the entire Island.” The approval came despite the harsh reproaches of nationalists and popular for the “sectarianism” of a budget that “benefits the municipalities of the PSOE in direct subsidies and investments.”
They were five hours of cross accusations like a pin pan pum, both in present and past tense. From accusations of “campaigns” to wear down the government to “sectarianism” or “territorial imbalance” in some “parasitic” accounts. From the “poisoned inheritance” of the island public companies to a showcase of projects presented now but that “were already there before, in the CC mandates.”
The island president stressed that the budget has been designed “for everyone, not only in the powerful investments for sectors that need it due to their social and economic representation, but also for others who suffer because they are often not given an alternative by the administrations” . “We have started and we want to maintain projects to reach all municipalities,” he clarified. This idea of territorial balance “regardless of political color” was an axis on the government side.
The approved accounts also include “strategic planning to carry out actions with which to alleviate social needs, as well as to give impetus to the different sectors of the economy.” In this sense, it has been emphasized that the insular budget shares objectives and is complemented by the recovery plans of the Canary Islands Government and the state.
“It is a document designed for all Tenerife residents, regardless of the municipality they are from”
Between the main lines of the accounts for the next fiscal year It is worth remembering the area of investments. The Cabildo has foreseen 190 million euros destined to the execution of different works, infrastructures and public facilities. To make these investments a reality, a loan of 70.3 million euros will be requested. “An operation with which we seek a balance that allows dynamizing and activating Tenerife’s economy, and guaranteeing, at the same time, future capacity to be able to manage the Cabildo”, said the president.
Martín also referred to the current epidemiological situation and the consequences that, for almost two years, the pandemic has had in the social and economic sphere. For this reason, he asked the political groups represented in the Cabildo for unity to confront them. “We trust that from here on we will continue to think about Tenerife because the situation is serious,” he reflected. He then added that “unfortunately, we are once again in a very difficult stage; therefore, we are going to have to continue promoting and working for this Island, and I trust in the support of all of you ». And he concluded: “Because in situations like this it is when the effort of all the political forces and of all the colors that today we represent the spectrum of this room is required.” It does not seem that they have paid much attention to him. Among the reactions, he found the unconditional support of his own and the absolute rejection of strangers.
Ciudadanos and Sí Podemos Canarias supported the socialist discourse as good allies. Enrique Arriaga focused on his areas of responsibility in government such as Roads, Mobility or Innovation. The purple formation, through its spokesperson, María José Belda, criticized CC’s “tricks” (bad) in its alleged media campaign prior to this plenary session. He also gave an account of his contribution to the accounts with the breakdown of the 12 million raised “for people.”
Arriaga valued as a “priority” the amendment in the budgets to “rehabilitate the General North Highway.” He served as spokesman for Cs in the Cabildo when he stated that «with this item the project will be able to be drawn up and work to begin for the comprehensive improvement of the TF-152 in the municipalities of La Laguna, Tacoronte and El Sauzal with a view to guaranteeing safety and security. mobility”. He declared that “this is one of the most important and preferred works in the Highways area.”
“We reject it as sectarian and because it is the worst in the history of the institution”
The leader of the orange formation was criticized for Carlos Alonso as a result of statements in which he suggested that some officials “do not work as they should” because of their political color. Arriaga regretted that “they have been misinterpreted and used as a tool to try to discredit me in front of my colleagues.” To which he added that “although the collaboration of the officials is absolute, there are very specific cases of lack of cooperation.” And he concluded: “As a civil servant I defend the independence and professionalism of my colleagues, which is exemplary, but it is no less true that there are black peas who want to do politics from the public function.”
The frontal rejection of the budgets was carried out by PP and CC. Zaida González, a popular spokesperson, described them as “sectarian, parasitic and fictitious.” In his criticisms of what was done in Tourism or Employment, he found the president’s harsh reply on a couple of occasions.
For the nationalists, for their part, the budget for 2022 is “sectarian, does not meet social needs and is the worst in the history of the Cabildo.” His spokesman, Carlos Alonso, considered that “it generates imbalance in the municipalities” and recalled: “Pedro Martín grants 14 million in hand-drawn subsidies that benefit 80% of socialist municipalities.”
He insisted that “it is a budget without ambition because it lowers investment.” He considered that «PSOE and Ciudadanos have lowered their arms and renounced promoting projects. There is less investment and much less execution. He valued: “The debate has been a lost opportunity to improve a budget that is bad for Tenerife.” In conclusion, he added: “Today we have 27,000 fewer employed people than in July 2019. Other islands have recovered their pre-pandemic levels and Tenerife is still behind.”