Vice President of the Catalan Government and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Catalan Government Pere Aragonès has announced today that the Catalan Executive Council has sent a letter to the European Commission including the Economic Reactivation and Social Protection Plan approved last July, a document that incorporates up to 20 major projects to provide an effective and cross-cutting response to the crisis arising from the COVID-19 in Catalonia, and it also sets out the country's reconstruction strategy for the years to come.
During the Government control session in the Parliament, Aragonès explained that the Government has sent the Plan “to share it with the European institutions”, because according to him, “Catalonia has suggestions, has a project and is eligible for the European reactivation funds”. In this sense, Aragonès has requested "collaboration and support" to all the parliamentary groups as well as "avoiding only short-term electoralism". In addition, he has requested the Spanish government to be "as transparent as possible" regarding the procedure to follow in order to access European resources: "We have seen pictures, but nothing is precise yet. These funds will help draw the future of Catalonia", he has assured.
In response to a parliamentary question of Catalunya en Comú Podem Party regarding the priorities of the Catalan Executive Council to face the health crisis, Aragonès has announced that the following week the Government will approve a new budget increase of 220 M€ to finance spending in health (200 M€) and universities (20 M€). "Two budget increases have been approved, 1.230 M€ last July and 220 M€ now and departments have been reorganized which provides us with 600 M€ , we have thus the tools we need to face the following months financially speaking", he has highlighted. Furthermore, he has reminded that the Department of Culture has boosted its budget in 6 M€.
Regarding the income for 2021, Aragonès has explained that "Spanish Tax Office has communicated that Covid Fund for 2020 will be substituted for deficit". Aragonès says this measure "enables us to guarantee the level of expense, but we also request that these resources are not transferred as loans to be returned in the future", but as direct transfers as in 2020.