Barcelona council wants to create €90m Covid-19 fund
The council has opened another 165 places for those who need to isolate
Barcelona City Council wants to create a Covid-19 fund in order to “have muscle” to revive the economy and address social spending.
At a video press conference on Friday, the council presented its first proposals to amend its budget in light of the deficit due to the coronavirus crisis, which is estimated to hit council accounts to the tune of 310 million euros.
This 310 million euro estimated shortfall is made up of a drop in revenue of 243 million euros, and extra spending to deal directly with Covid-19 of 67.6 million euros.
By putting off planned investments until 2021, the council hopes to reallocate 400 million euros of funds, 310 million to go against predicted deficits, with the remaining 90 million to be used for a specific Covid-19 fund for economic recovery and urgent social needs.
Councilor Jordi Martí explained that "the postponement of investments to 2021 will allow us to have muscle for the rescue of the economy in 2020."
Barcelona’s first deputy mayor Jaume Collboni, stressed that "this economic plan aims to avoid cuts," and asked the Spanish government to support "flexible spending."
The council's proposal will be discussed with opposition parties in order to reach an agreement on amending the 2020 budget.
165 more rooms for isolating
Meanwhile, the council has organized 165 additional homes to ensure the proper isolation of people with Covid-19, those with symptoms, or close contacts of confirmed positive cases.
Of the total 165 homes, 85 are tourist apartments currently not in use, and 80 are rooms of a new converted ‘Health Hotel’ that opened this week near the Sagrada Família and will have specific social support.
According to the council, three people have been referred to apartments and 11 to the hotel. These referrals are prescribed mainly by Primary Care teams that detect difficulties while monitoring people isolating at home.
In the case of the apartments, the NGO Open Arms is providing logistical support and, in the event of residents developing Covid-19 symptoms, alerts the health authorities.