Torres denies “comparative tort” with the trains on the Peninsula and claims the value of the REF to address the island’s “singularities”
MADRID, Aug. 29 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, and the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, have signed this Monday the collaboration protocol to increase from 30% to 50% the subsidy for land transport by bus and tram in the islands.
The measure will come into force from next Thursday and until December 31 and will imply a 50% reduction in subscriptions, while the possibility of its being extended remains open if the rise in inflation cannot be stopped.
In statements to journalists, Torres thanked the “effort” of the central government to try to contain the effects of the rise in energy prices at a “complicated and difficult” time for European society.
Torres has assessed that, by virtue of article 8 of the REF, these amounts have been relocated and taking into account the “uniqueness” of the archipelago, given that the Canary Islands do not have commuter and medium-distance trains, which will be 100% subsidized.
It has calculated that the measure will have an approximate cost of around 24 million euros for the State -maximizing the number of users that in the last quarter of 2019 was higher than 45 million-.
It has also indicated that this price reduction is going to mean a “change of habits” in mobility, so it assumes that there will be some “errors” in its implementation that will be corrected by all the administrations.
The president has remarked that annually in the Canary Islands some 170 million public euros are allocated to sustain the transport system, of which the regional government contributes more than 50 million, the central Executive more than 40 million and the rest the councils and town halls .
Along these lines, he has denied that there is a “comparative grievance” with the rest of Spain given that the trains will have a 100% subsidy given that the State’s investment in transport in the Canary Islands “is greater” than in the Peninsula.
He has given as an example that for a ticket of 28 euros, in the Canary Islands they will start paying 14 euros from now on while on the Peninsula, despite the fact that commuter and medium-distance trains will be free, they barely cover less than 10% of the demand for mobility and for the rest of the transport –bus, metro and long-distance train– that standard subscription would cost 18 euros, four euros more than in the archipelago.
Torres has recognized that the population wants “total free” for public transport and that there would be no taxes either, but in this way the current Welfare State could not be defended.
RAQUEL SÁNCHEZ: A “DIRECT RELIEF” TO THE POCKETS
Raquel Sánchez has commented that this protocol is “one more measure” in the context of the “so complicated” situation that Europe is experiencing due to the effects derived from the war and its impact on prices that “punishes” the most economies.
For this reason, he pointed out, the royal decree law was validated and is being processed as a bill, stressing that it includes “a historic and unprecedented measure” such as the free subscription of suburban and medium-distance trains.
From there, he has recognized the “particularity” that the insularity has in the Balearic and Canary Islands, with whom a specific aid protocol has been signed and that will be a “direct relief” to citizens in their mobility.
Likewise, he said that this price reduction “helps to continue deepening mobility for all and more sustainable” since public transport is the “best alternative” for displacement due to the rise in fuel prices and for environmental reasons.
Sánchez has highlighted the “close collaboration” of the Ministry with the Government of the Canary Islands to articulate this subsidy and the sensitivity of the Canarian president who in this legislature “has grown in the face of adversity and has known how to respond and be at the side of the citizens”.
CC REJECTION OF THE DECREE IN CONGRESS
Questioned about the Canary Coalition’s rejection of the decree law in Congress, Torres commented that the nationalists “have to explain” their negative vote “along with the extreme right and the parties that are against” the Government.
In his opinion, the decree is “necessary” because autumn is coming and the price of gas is rising, something that has a “direct implication” with the Canary Islands, since all the materials that arrive on the islands by ship and plane are going to rise in price due to fuel fault.
“The decree affects us a lot,” he indicated, since “you pay more for the shopping basket” for which he believes that both the deputy Ana Oramas and CC “are out of reality.”
Torres has stressed that the Canary Islands only have one means of land transport, the bus –at the expense of the tram that connects Santa Cruz de Tenerife with La Laguna– and defends the construction of the Tenerife and Gran Canaria trains because “they pollute less” and they are more “permissive” with the territory because they include underground sections.
The Minister of Public Works, Transport and Housing of the Government of the Canary Islands, Sebastián Franquis, will appear at his own request before Parliament to explain the details of the land transport subsidy protocol.