The Council of Ministers, meeting in the palace of La Moncloa, approved this Tuesday the first emergency aid for the hundreds of families affected by the Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption, on the island of La Palma. Is about 10.5 million euros, divided into two tranches designed at the proposal of the Ministry of Social Rights and the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda that are articulated through a royal decree to which this newspaper has had access.
The departments of Ione Belarra and Rachel Sanchez they have designed a decree of direct subsidies to the Canarian Government to “relocate the affected families.” The aid is a first response with which the coalition government wants to respond to the emergency promptly. To house a hundred families who have lost their homes, while at the same time freeing up space in makeshift public facilities and giving dignity to those affected.
The Department of Social Rights will release 5.5 million euros in direct grants to the Canary Islands Government to finance the acquisition of 107 homes on the island of La Palma. The houses to be acquired will serve this number of families “temporarily or permanently” that, in the absence of the end of the emergency, are simply the beginning of a line of assistance promised by Pedro Sánchez himself on his two visits to the island last week.
These properties, according to the legal text, may be “of public or private ownership”. The main condition that they must fulfill is that they are in a be occupied “immediately” by the affected families, or -at the most- within a period “compatible with the urgency of the need to be covered”.
State aid may “pay up to 100% of the total cost” of the price of the property that the Canarian Executive is going to buy for these relocations. In addition, the Autonomous Community undertakes to dedicate the homes exclusively for this purpose. Otherwise, if the accommodations are finally temporary, the Canary Islands Government must allocate the dwellings “to social or affordable rent or other forms of tenure, as long as its social purpose is justified “.
“Peremptory and unavoidable”
That’s one part of the grants. The others 5 million euros will be used for financial aid for the “acquisition of basic necessities”. This aid will be allocated to the families of La Palma affected by the “loss or damage that makes it impossible to enjoy their habitual residence” as a result of the volcanic eruption, either temporarily or permanently.
The legal text specifies that “only those actions that derive from the damage caused by the volcanic eruption will be financed.” And that for these purposes, The Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands will present “a certificate with the list of properties affected by the eruption”. The regional Executive must also present another certificate “with the list of the homes to be acquired, which will expressly declare the suitability of the homes for the purpose acquired.”
The motivation of the decree is to provide for “peremptory and urgent needs that require immediate action, without prejudice to other actions that will be carried out,” he announces, either directly by the General State Administration or already from the Government of the Autonomous Community.
The government continues concerned about the viability of long-term aid, and that care for hundreds of victims is hampered by lack of licenses and contracts. Moncloa and the Canarian Executive are aware that many houses and businesses destroyed by the volcano on La Palma were in an irregular situation.
In any case, for this first tranche of subsidies, it will require the regional administration to require individuals who receive aid to “prove” that they are “residents on the island of La Palma and that the damaged home was their habitual residence prior to the occurrence of the accident “. And for this, they must present documentation that certifies,” as appropriate, the condition of owner or tenant “.
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