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Catalan government launches committee for economic plan and social protection

Cabinet commits to 'expansive economy policy' as Spain announces relief fund of €16bn for regions

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02 May 2020 04:35 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government has approved the launch of a committee to plan the reactivation of the economy and for social protection.

The body will be led by the president, Quim Torra, and his vice president, Pere Aragonès. The cabinet's spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, and the ministers of territory, Damià Calvet; work, Chakir el Homrani; business, Àngels Chacon; and agriculture, Teresa Jordà, will also form part of the committee.

Talking to the press on Saturday afternoon after an extraordinary cabinet meeting, Torra said the functions of such organ will be to plan and analyze proposals from government departments, propose actions, commission external analyses, and analyze and make budget modifications.

He also expressed that his executive will fight "inequality" and move towards a "greener" and "more equalitarian" society with the plan.

His vice president, Pere Aragonès, emphasized that they intend to lead an "expansive economic policy," implicitly ruling out austerity and budget cuts in basic services as opposed to the years after the 2008 financial crisis.

According to Aragonès, there is a need to protect the most vulnerable citizens and that the government knows the crisis has different impacts according to the gender, income, locality, and conditions of each person.

€16bn relief fund for regions

Shortly before their announcement, Spain's president, Pedro Sánchez, also spoke to the press to break down how Phase 0 of the lockdown relaxation will unfold.

Sánchez announced a relief fund of 16 billion euros for regions to help cover health costs and restart the economy.
Regions will not have to pay this money back, he said.

Indeed, Aragonès had requested such fund a few days prior, estimating at 4 billion euros the amount Catalonia would need to cope with the crisis and its aftermath.

On Saturday, Sánchez also said the state of alarm "has worked" and "continues to be necessary," and that next Wednesday his government will request another extension from the Spanish congress – as he already announced a few days before.

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  • The Catalan president, Quim Torra, talking to some of his ministers in an extraordinary cabinet meeting on May 2, 2020 (by Jordi Bedmar/Catalan government)

  • The Catalan president, Quim Torra, talking to some of his ministers in an extraordinary cabinet meeting on May 2, 2020 (by Jordi Bedmar/Catalan government)

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