direct aid to farmers and immediate works

The Council of Ministers approved this Thursday a specific decree to deal with the effects of the drought. “Spain is accustomed to facing droughts, but climate change means that we must prepare for more frequent and severe periods like the current one,” he explained to the third vice president of the Government, Teresa Ribera. “We need anticipation, structural and urgent measures.”

Most of the measures adopted this Thursday refer to agriculture. There is also another part on hydraulic infrastructures.

The Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, has broken down the actions for the primary sector. Regarding direct aid:

  • Complement up to 70% of the financing of drought policies. Especially for dry crops. This will cover the crops up to that 70%. “Insurance is a fundamental instrument to respond to contingencies such as drought,” said Planas.
  • Livestock sector: 355 million euros will be used to cover the need to use more feed, as grass and straw are scarce, with which to feed cattle and which are more expensive.
  • Beekeeping: five million extra euros are available due to the effect of heat on production.
  • Aid fund of 276 million that remains at the disposal of the Ministry of Agriculture to assist pending agricultural campaigns and that may be damaged by the lack of rain.

The regulations also address fiscal measures.

  • 53 million euros to return the VAT, according to the reduction in production that derives from the drought.
  • Eco-regimes: legal entities are included for this type of taxation, “highly requested”, according to Minister Planas.

In addition, the minister explained that the ICO subsidized loans are increased by 20 million and the financing of guarantees for credits by 3 million. Social Security contributions for the months of May, June, July, August and September are also deferred. A rate of 0.5% will be applied to them, “eight times lower than the legally established rate,” says the Government.

The package agricultural It is completed with the extension of the reduction to 10 peonadas to access the agricultural subsidy.

On the other hand, from Ecological Transition the rates associated with the use of water will be reduced by 50% for irrigators who see their water supply reduced by 40% and up to 100% for a two-thirds reduction.

In terms of infrastructure, Ribera has said that “immediate execution” works will be undertaken in the most affected basins to carry out dry wells and connections.

The vice-president has informed that desalination plants “that have been requested” in the Axarquía area of ​​Malaga and Almería and also in Catalonia are going to be undertaken as a priority. “They will not be around this summer, obviously, but episodes like this and more serious ones will repeat themselves.”

In this sense, the vice president has detailed the works for photovoltaic parks in the Tajo, Segura and Júcar areas to make pumping and desalination of water cheaper, while a maximum price for desalinated water will be determined so that “they are affordable for the irrigators”. Ecological Transition wants urban reclaimed water to go from the current 10%

Manuel Planas has referred to the modification of the decree on minimum health and safety conditions in the workplace. “It makes the conditions stricter by establishing a prohibition on tasks that reflect the adverse situation that makes work very difficult and with a risk to health.”

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