Navarro (PP) accuses the Government of being “hand over hand and patching” waiting for tourism and European funds
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 11 May. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Minister of Economy, Knowledge and Employment of the Government of the Canary Islands, Elena Máñez, stated this Wednesday that all reports, both external and internal, agree that the Canary Islands will be the autonomous community that suffers the least from the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
In an appearance before the Plenary Session of Parliament, he pointed out that in the first quarter the archipelago has grown by more than 11% –according to AIReF– and according to calculations by its Executive, inflation will stabilize below 4% in the second half of the year and GDP will increase by 6.3% in 2023, an indicator that BBVA takes to more than 8%.
Máñez has pointed out that there is a “progressive” recovery of the economy, as evidenced by data from the tourism market or unemployment, with less than 200,000 unemployed, although there is also “uncertainty” linked to energy prices and the duration of the conflict so he has called for “prudence”.
He pointed out that the exposure of the Canarian economy to Ukraine and Russia “is very low”, with 0.2% of imports and 0.5% of exports, stressing that the increase in inflation had already begun with the economic reactivation after the pandemic and the “bottlenecks” in supplies, and the war has accelerated it “exponentially”.
For this reason, it has been very confident in the impact that the “decoupling” of the price of gas from electricity, a “conquest” of the central government that will produce effects throughout this quarter, can have on the electricity bill.
Likewise, he has valued the recovery of the tourist market due to the “psychological effect” of the recovery of mobility since the Canary Islands are confirmed as a “refuge destination” due to their distance from the conflict zone and their health security.
In this context, he has warned of “the risks” that ticket prices rise and inflation affects the income of tourists.
Máñez, in line with the recommendations of the IMF, refuses the “general reduction” of taxes and is committed to aid to affected sectors, in the case of primary or industrial sectors and vulnerable families.
At the same time, it has opened the door to review some measures, giving as an example that it seems that the subsidy of 20 cents to the cost of fuel is not achieving the desired effects.
Jesús Ramos (ASG) has commented that the adverse effects of the war are “felt throughout the world” despite the fact that the central government approved a contingency plan, with special emphasis on the rise in inflation due to the increase in energy costs .
He also commented that Ukraine “is a powerhouse” in fodder and sunflower production, which has generated restrictions, and although the commercial relationship between the Canary Islands and Ukraine is not very intense, there are some affected companies.
THE COST OF FUEL, “A SANGRIA”
He has pointed out that fuel and energy “is a drain” for families and companies on the islands, and with “harmful effects” for non-capital islands, which is why he has asked the Government to arbitrate measures.
Ricardo Fernández (Cs) has highlighted the “positive expectations” of the economy for next summer thanks to the recovery of tourism and the “drag effect” but has warned that there are “black clouds” linked to the war, the blockade of the port of Shanghai and inflation.
He has said that prices continue to rise sharply, especially energy prices, and has insisted on being “cautious” because the Canary Islands’ room for maneuver is “limited.”
Francisco Déniz, deputy spokesman for Sí Podemos, has shown his desire that “politics prevail over war” and although the trade relationship with Russia and Ukraine is very low, there is an “indirect” effect on the economy due to the rise in prices.
He has admitted a “considerable impact” on energy prices, which weighs down “a lot” on the primary sector, for which he understands that there is also an opportunity to promote self-sufficiency.
Luis Campos, spokesman for NC, has commented that inflation “came from behind” and the war has “accelerated” the increase in prices and does not understand why there are “artificial” price increases in products that are not related to the countries in conflict.
Along these lines, he has indicated that the war has “taught” that food sovereignty and energy development through renewables must be strengthened.
Australia Navarro, spokesperson for the Popular Group, has indicated that the war “cannot be a new alibi to justify the incompetence” of the Government because the Canary Islands already presented bad indicators before the conflict.
“Our ills did not start with Ukraine,” he stressed, wondering “what has the government done”, which continues “hand over hand and patching up” while waiting for tourism and European funds and without designing contingency plans.
“RIDICULOUS” CENTRAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
Rosa Dávila (CC-PNC) has commented that the agreement of the Council of Ministers has been “ridiculous” for the Canary Islands, reduced to a drop in rates in the ports and only in traffic with the Peninsula, criticizing that there are no plans to deal with to the consequences of the war. “It’s unbearable,” she said.
In his opinion, “it is negative” that there is no strategy for the primary sector that “is having a really bad time and is dying” due to the increase in energy and container prices.
Dávila has requested a reduction in airport taxes and that there be compensation for energy cost overruns.
Nayra Alemán, spokesperson for the Socialist Group, has pointed out that the consequences of the war for the Canary Islands have been “less” than expected given that air tickets have not risen too much and inflation is below the national average.
However, he has recognized that there is a lot of “uncertainty”, linked especially to the duration of the war, but he understands that it is necessary to be “more optimistic” according to the latest economic indicators of tourism and unemployment.