- Regarding the elections, the spokesperson explained that the "final decision" will be taken at Friday's meeting with the political parties and that the criteria will be "obviously sanitary" considering the "right to participate in politics, the right to vote, the right to health and right to life”
- The Government has also approved a decree-law amending the law of the Catalan Government police in order to guarantee the effective equality of men and women among the staff
The amount that the Catalan Government has mobilized to date to finance aids for the sectors affected by Covid-19 amounts to €841 million. This was explained by the Minister of the Presidency and Government spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, during the press conference following the meeting of the Executive Council, the first of this year. Budó said that “trying to deal with the financial setback”
that COVID-19 has meant for companies, workers, the economy and society in general, the Government has been providing various aids. She remarked that these were "all the resources that the Government can mobilise"
and she admitted that "they are not enough to solve everyone's problems"
even though the Executive is "doing everything in its hands, with all the tools available, which are certainly limited”
In this sense, Budó recalled that "it is the Spanish Government that has the essential tools and economic resources to help" and criticized that "not a single euro has been mobilised to directly furnish liquidity to companies and people suffering the most from the economic crisis” caused by the Covid-19 health crisis. The Minister added that "it has not even made other costless decisions which could be very useful to prevent mobility and social interaction linked to the workplace", such as decreeing mandatory telework, which would enable "to reduce mobility greatly in our country, and it would have an effect in epidemiological data". Budó has also “claimed” the right to telework as mandatory for all the activities that are not essential services.
Government Agreements to Face Covid-19
The Catalan Government this week goes on with the arrangements to face the pandemic and mitigate its effects. In this sense, it has approved a decree-law with new extraordinary aids in the field of education in leisure and extracurricular activities to deal with the consequences of Covid-19. Budó explained that this decree-law is “an extraordinary financial aid created for companies, self-employed people and entities in the educational leisure and the extracurricular activities sector, which aims to promote the economic sustainability of the sector, given the new measures in the field of public health to contain the epidemic outbreak in the territory of Catalonia ”.
Moreover, regarding COVID-19 aids, the Executive has authorized the transfer of €10 million from the Contingency Fund to the Ministry of Business and Knowledge to activate direct aid to businesses forced to close between January 7th and 17th. The aid will consist of a single contribution of €2,500 for SMEs and freelancers in the trade sector affected by the new restrictions to deal with COVID-19. It will be able to benefit the establishments of centres, galleries and commercial enclosures and the premises of more than 400 square meters, forced to close for 10 days.
Given the increase in the activity of the 012 service due to the pandemic, the Government has approved a multi-year expenditure of the Ministry of the Vice-Presidency and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to hire this service of customer service for a total amount of €12 million.