The ULL professor detects that growth on the islands “is running out” and the archipelago “is not doing well”
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, September 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The professor of Applied Economics at the University of La Laguna (ULL) José Luis Rivero Ceballos stated this Wednesday that the economic development of the Canary Islands in the 21st century is a “disaster” because the GDP per capita is separated from the national average and European since 2000.
“This is going backwards,” he said at a debate table on cohesion funds organized by the Parliament of the Canary Islands at the ‘Conecta Conference. Canary Islands-Europe’ in which he has asked to do a “very important and very intense reflection” to know what is happening.
Thus, he said that after the “enormous leap” that the Canary Islands economy took starting in the 1950s thanks to “mass tourism,” economic growth “is drying up and it is becoming increasingly difficult to grow,” which forces us to look for new sources of economic development but that do not imply “substituting” the previous ones. “It is a hard and interesting process,” he said.
Along these lines, he has insisted that “the Canary Islands are weak” and “not doing well” in the indicators that measure well-being and GDP per capita is falling and is in a phase of “divergence” with the Spanish and European average.
Regarding the community cohesion funds, he pointed out that “the axes have been changing” and from infrastructure, for the period 2021-27, we have moved on to the promotion of R&D&I, digitalization or the ecological transition and although “the amount is very important”, so is the “focus” and detecting “what is most important”, assuming that it has not yet been possible to fully reach the citizens.
He pointed out that the European Commission has understood that “agility” in the execution of funds must be improved, but it does not place all the blame for the delay on public administrations since European projects are “everyone’s task.”
“We must have interesting projects that adapt to the programming, it is a common task, not only of the administration, lest we irrigate a land that is not prepared to produce,” he noted.
He has also warned that as a result of the health pandemic, a “process of strategic change” has begun in which the United States and the EU have begun a path “back home” to seek strategic autonomy and ensure the supplies that “will to affect cohesion policy”.
The president of the Economic and Social Council (CES), José Carlos Francisco, has assumed that it is a “big problem” that the Canarian GDP is moving away from Spain and Europe to the point that the archipelago has fallen back into the group of regions with less than 75% of the average income.
“It is a collective failure of the previous government and the previous one, and of civil society, it is a bad result and four of us thought about it and it is not in the political or media debate, it is an issue that does not matter much and it worries me,” he said. aggregate.
Although there are “deniers of GDP” as an indicator to measure the well-being of a society, he has indicated that the Canary Islands “are doing poorly in any indicator” and it would be good if a concern were opened about this issue, while at the same time asking why Three Eastern European countries already have more GDP per capita than Spain.
FRANCIS: THE DELAY IN EUROPEAN FUNDS “IS A PROBLEM”
Francisco has also focused on the execution of European funds because “it is a problem”, given that Spain is at the bottom of the EU and it is money that is no longer used “on whatever policies.” “This must be part of the political agenda, improving the execution of funds, and it is not easy, it is complicated, it does not only depend on the Government,” he pointed out.
The president of the CES has criticized the excess of bureaucracy in the EU that “is even more complicated” in the Canary Islands and has pointed out that if all community funds had been used until 2021, the islands would have already recovered their pre-pandemic GDP.
The Minister of Finance of the Government of the Canary Islands, Matilde Asián, has recognized that the Government is “concerned” about the distance from the average income of Canarian citizens because economic prosperity “produces social well-being” and has opened the door to reflect on whether the Public policies are helping to encourage income diversion.
He has indicated that while the rich regions and Eastern Europe grow, the intermediate ones “stagnate” which is why the European Commission itself is doubting the effectiveness of the cohesion funds, since they set “very complex” and long-term objectives.
Regarding the delay in the execution of funds, he pointed out that “controls are very intense” and we must work with a balance between “agility and guarantee” and therefore, he supports the decision of the previous Executive to create specialized offices by management centers. to process projects and that will come into force in 2024.
He has also said that there is an “enormous legal conflict” which is why he has appealed to “unify criteria.”