Bolaños says that they are “overturned” with the reconstruction of the island and values that more than 21,000 people have received public aid
THE PLAINS OF ARIDANE (LA PALMA), 19 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, announced this Monday that his Government, together with that of the Canary Islands, is preparing a special housing plan for residents of the neighborhoods of Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, on the coast of Los Llanos de Aridane, which they are dislodged by the presence of toxic gases from the volcanic eruption.
In a press conference held at the conclusion of the mixed reconstruction commission on the occasion of the first anniversary of the ‘Tajogaite’ volcano, he admitted the “desperate and helpless situation” of the inhabitants of that area because they have housing but cannot access they.
He has also commented that a package of direct aid is being prepared for businessmen affected by the closure –Puerto Naos is one of the great tourist lungs of the ‘beautiful island’, with some 4,000 beds–.
The housing plan will involve rental aid with the same regime as for the rest of those affected –with a monthly cap of 600 euros– and the award of prefabricated wooden or container-type homes.
“The ideal is to return to their homes but we do not know how long the weather can be, that is why emergency mechanisms must be arbitrated,” said the Canarian president, Ángel Víctor Torres.
Bolaños also commented that this Tuesday, in the Council of Ministers, the aid of 6.5 million for belongings of the affected people will be definitively approved, something that will benefit 609 families, and a new moratorium for mortgages and non-mortgage loans of six months for those who have not requested it and three more months for those who have.
The minister has insisted that they are “dedicated” to La Palma and the reconstruction of the island and they do so “at a speed never known” in the administration that “is only explained” from the collaboration between administrations and “the force of the public “.
He stressed that the president, Pedro Sánchez, has been “at the foot of the volcano” from the first minute, with more than ten visits to the island – between the ministers they add another 50 -, and the central government, with its own resources, has mobilized 426 million of the 565 that have been put into circulation on the island, triple the annual budget of the Cabildo, for example.
“EVERY TIME IS LONG AND ALL HELP SEEMS LITTLE”
He also pointed out that more than 21,600 people have received some kind of public aid from the institutions, and although he understands that for those affected “all time is long and all help seems little” because they have lost houses, businesses and life projects, he stressed that “there has never been a response with such agility and speed”.
Bolaños has acknowledged that there are still “uncertainties” regarding the reconstruction but one “certainty”, the collaboration between administrations, which promotes that in a few weeks all the victims will already have a home or that three highways will be completed — Las Manchas , Las Norias and Puerto Naos-Tazacorte–.
Torres has indicated that with the eruption “the Canary Islands changed their history” and “the best news” was that there were no human lives to mourn.
He has valued the start-up of the office for those affected, which has registered 7,860 requests for help, more than 90% already started, public spending of 565.5 million and that “priority was given to ensuring that no one slept in the open.”
For this, he has commented that 139 homes have already been delivered and another 170 modular and wooden ones are going to be delivered, which have been delayed due to logistical problems with the materials, and 488 rental aid has been granted, including 98 for people from La Bulb and Puerto Naos.
TORRES: UP TO 15 MILLION ADDITIONAL TO COMPENSATE HOMES
It has also announced that its Government is going to complement the state aid of 60,000 euros for loss of housing – it has also done so with the Cabildo – with a total of 743 files that add up to 11.4 million, which in total will reach 15 million when close a hundred more files.
He also said that this Friday the works on the San Isidro irrigation network will come into operation, with an investment of 1.4 million and that “they will give farmers a significant break”, that the desalination plants are still running and that La Palma it has become a “world example” in the execution of roads on lava flows.
The Canarian president has also highlighted that a year after the eruption there are 2,100 less unemployed “thanks to the public mattress and private initiative” and work is being done, in collaboration with the neighbors, on the reconstruction of the towns of Todoque and La Laguna.
Torres has admitted that “there is still a lot to do” and that “it is impossible to return what they lost” but it is about “helping to try to alleviate the tremendous damage caused by the volcano with the loyalty of the institutions and political parties.”
ZAPATA ASSUMES THAT THE RETURN TO NORMALITY IS A “LONG-DISTANCE RACE”
The president of the Cabildo, Mariano Hernández, has stated that they “never” imagined that the volcano would generate “so much destruction” and although “it has not always been successful” he has insisted that work is being done to “try to recover the island” after a “hard blow of the nature”.
Looking to the future, he pointed out that work must be done so that “the island can continue to have opportunities” with the urban planning of the new Aridane Valley and the recovery of lost crops, especially bananas.
He has indicated that the reconstruction is a “long-distance race” and “there is a long way to go” and for this they need the support of the state and regional governments because “it will take a lot of money” to recover towns, housing, industrial zones, tourist beds or agricultural plantations.
“It is the most destructive eruption in Spain and I hope that we will recover in an exemplary, sustainable and quickest way possible,” he added.