• This week’s Executive Board has allocated €14.6 million to increase the staff in homes for the elderly and people with disabilities.
• In addition, they have strengthened aids for self-employees and those affected by a Temporary Regulation of Employment with the creation of a specific program.
After last week’s end of night lock down and in relation to the images of crowds of people last Saturday night, the Minister of the Presidency and Catalan government spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, recalled that "the curfew has disappeared but the pandemic is still there”. She said this during her appearance after the weekly meeting of the Executive Board where she highlighted that these are "specific and minority" and that "the majority has acted co-responsibly" because “this has not been a widespread behavior”. In this sense, she has thanked the "co-responsibility" and "attitude" of the majority of the population. She also commented that "we are beginning to control the focus of infection" and that "vaccination is advancing by a significant percentage".
With regard to nightlife, Budó has announced that the Public Health Service of Catalonia, vaccination and science (Procicat) is working with the sector "a plan for a slow reopening of activity" to be approved in the coming days, although she pointed out that until the Spanish Government "lifts the ministerial order, it will not be possible to open", but when this happens, the government "will have all the work ready". She assured "we have equipped ourselves with measures to open with maximum security" and now it is necessary to assess how the reopening can be done "according to epidemiological data".
New measures to deal with the effects of the pandemic
The spokesperson also reported on the agreements reached during the Executive Board meeting. In order to continue addressing the effects caused by Covid-19, Budó has announced that the Government will allocate 14.6 million to strengthen the staff of homes for the elderly and people with disabilities. Specifically, this amount will finance the Temporary Program for the Strengthening of the Residence System and the Temporary Program for Strengthening the Staff of the Residences for the Elderly and People with Disabilities. The aim of these programs, which started to be implemented last February, is to guarantee the rights of the elderly and people with disabilities who are taken care of in these services and to improve their care, especially their health in the pandemic context. In this sense, the Government is strengthening the residences they manage with almost 200 professionals, who are joining the 17 public care centers for the elderly and people with disabilities.
During this week’s meeting, the Executive Board has also approved the creation of a Temporary Program to strengthen and support the management of aid to self-employees and those affected by a Temporary Regulation of Employment. Specifically, 24 staff members will join this program divided amongst the Public Employment Service of Catalonia (SOC), the Catalan Department of Employment Relations, Self-Employment, Occupational Safety and Health and the Catalan Continuing Education Consortium. As the Minister explained, the program approved today, "is part of the agreement reached by the Government in January this year which established a fund of 618 million euros to finance a new plan of 'aid to support the most affected groups by Covid-19 during this first quarter of the year'. This fund included an aid plan aimed at complementing the Temporary Regulation of Employment of those people with an income lower than the Catalan minimum wage and adjusted to the time of this regulation situation.
The Government has also given the green light to several agreements that will allow improvements in water tanks in the network of the Ter-Llobregat system and, therefore, as the spokesperson said, "will increase the guarantee of water supply". The actions will benefit, on the one hand, the municipality of Corbera de Llobregat (Baix Llobregat, Barcelona), where a new water tank of 4,000 m3 will be built, which will quadruple the current capacity, which is 1,000 m3.
On the other hand, it will also benefit the Roca del Vallès (Vallès Oriental, Barcelona) where a new auxiliary tank will be built that will allow the necessary maintenance work to be carried out on the main tank, with a capacity of 2,000 m3. Both works will involve a total investment of 1.5 million euros. The Executive Board has also approved the business plan for the public railway service to access T1 and T2 terminals at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, R-Airport, and has authorized the contracting of the supply and maintenance of ten trains to provide this service, worth 187 million euros. It has also agreed to modify the Program Contract with the Catalan Government Railways (FGC) for the years 2017-2021 to incorporate the commission for this new railway service.
The Government has approved the graphic image of the brand of the Public Agency for Vocational Training and Qualification of Catalonia (FPCAT), which must improve the coordination and management of the corporate image of the institution, as well as the integration of all concepts, programs and actions of the agency under a single easily identifiable brand. It is an autonomous organism attached to the Department of the Presidency that coordinates the initial Vocational Training, managed by the Department of Education, and the Vocational Training for employment, offered by the Department of Employment, Social Affairs and Families. Therefore, to carry out the integration of these two services it is necessary to “approve a brand that facilitates the identification of all lines of work, actions and activities of the agency under one umbrella, while helping to consolidate their own identity”, said Budó.
Finally, the Executive has agreed to support the work and debates promoted by the Conference on the Future of Europe, as set out in
the Joint Declaration adopted by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on March 10th this year. This statement, recalled the Minister, aims to "promote a public participatory process at European level that contributes to making visible the opinions and proposals of citizens, especially those of the youth, regarding the future of the EU in the medium and long term". In this same Declaration, the signatory institutions request to all levels of the Government and of representation of member states at national, regional and local level, their involvement and institutional support to carry out this process of debate and citizen discussion in the respective territories. For this reason, the agreement reached today also makes explicit the Government’s desire to sign the Catalan Government’s commitment to the Conference Declaration, as an expression of the principles and values that aim to be the foundation of the European Union.