“If we already had trains, there would be no traffic jams on the highways”

Canarias se está mostrando como uno de los destinos turísticos mundiales más fuertes en lo que llevamos de año”. / SERGIO MÉNDEZ

The second part of the interview given to the Dean of the Press Canary Islands by the head of the regional government, Angel Victor Torres (Arucas, 1966).

– Argues that the Canary Islands are delivering on their promises to the government in 2019 that they will be in better shape than when they came, and shows data on significant progress. However, it is equally true that the Canary Islands have the second lowest salary in the country and inflation skyrocketed.
“Obviously we are aware of that. So, as we were the first in the country as a whole to implement an emergency Canarian income during this initiating and exemplary legislature, we advocated the Minimum Vital Income (IMV) while others voted against it. We left less than 5,000 families with PCI [Prestación Canaria de Inserción] Having almost 40,000 with PCI and IMV. It’s an objective fact, but for Town Halls we’ve doubled down on items, and these administrations were able to freely use the Canary Islands Compensation Fund, which was more than 400 million a year, where previously they could only spend on debt. For the third sector, we tripled the games. In short, the social shield – I’m not saying this, but Cáritas is saying it – has allowed the Canary Islands to become one of the few communities (only three in Spain) that have improved the response to the structural poverty that exists in our country. country. This is the way!”.

But only with help, no matter how important it may be to those who have little, the problem is not solved.
“That’s right. We have to talk about the productivity and wages of canaries because we’ve been losing productivity every year since the late 90’s. As we’ve talked about poverty reports, and of course we have to, let’s talk about wealth, let’s see if it’s in the hands of a few people. It’s necessary to move in that direction as well. and that’s why I applaud the new agreements signed with hotel staff in the two provinces where their salaries have been improved so that they can get a fairer wage. That’s a goal I’ll set for myself for the next few years.”

– What do you think about the open debate on the demographic issue in parliament?
“First, to keep in mind that not all of the Canary Islands are walking at the same pace in this regard. In La Palma, the population did not increase even before the volcano, as it had a population of more than 80,000 for decades and even decades. However, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura increased their populations, and something very similar happened in the tourist areas of southern Tenerife and Gran Canaria, with the islands depopulating inland municipalities. If the rhetoric that the Canary Islands is overpopulated is due to the fact that we are getting too many tourists, then this discussion can be very dangerous, because right now the Archipelago’s economy would suffer dramatically and incurably without the support of tourism. industry contributes. . So while it’s true that we walk into the larger accommodation of these tourists each time, these millions of tourists are needed.

-The legal framework for a possible control on arrivals does not seem easy either…
“No, no. But I think there are other problems that are more worrisome than those of the population. We have connectivity problems and we’ll have to wonder why there is no subway in the Canary Islands. Why is the debate about trains, which run largely underground, so controversial? “What would have happened if there were trains connecting them? We wouldn’t have had the traffic jams we experience on the highways. However, in the Canary Islands this discussion has been postponed and I believe this prevents our country from developing more harmoniously,” he said.

– In the Canary Islands there is a significant public backlash against possible excesses of developmentalism, and I will give two very different but important examples, such as the Cuna del Alma in Tenerife and the Chira-Soria power plant in Gran Canaria…
“As you said, these are different issues. Chira-Soria is a public project that aims to generate sustainable energy through a waterfall and has been running for at least 20 years. Environmental opponents came from various circles, it is true, but it should not be forgotten that all administrations have full support when it comes to eliminating fossil burning and moving towards clean energy.”

-What about the Cradle of the Spirit?
“Cuna del Alma is a special project of urban nature, which has been going through administrative processes for over 30 years and for which the Department of Ecological Regeneration of the Government of the Canary Islands had to decide decisively. in the hands of the technicians and for the same reason the work had to be stopped. It is true that we are talking about projects that have generated a great public debate, but what I have to say here is that what we need to do with governments is to ensure legality, enforce it, and respect procedures rather than demonize anything without it. project”.

– Back to tourism. It is not normal for it to go from absolute zero to record numbers like today in such a short time. Can we talk about the Canary miracle?
“No. What we have is a community with great healthcare, good hotel infrastructures, but also a security community where crime indicators are much lower than in the rest of Europe and of course other countries at other latitudes. The tourist puts the safety of the destination first. Here every We have an exemplary public health on the island… In summary, the Canary Islands are proving to be one of the strongest tourism destinations in the world this year, both in these months and towards the end of 2022. This is expected to be the case at the beginning of 2023. In this context, TUI president Sebastian Ebel recently told me at the World Travel Market that the Canary Islands are one of only two destinations in the world that have come out stronger despite inflation, and the current economic situation on the planet, because people want to spend their free time in a place that is completely calm.”

– Does this economic development in the Canary Islands tend to consolidate or do we risk being temporary?
“What I can predict is the data for November and we’re barely past halfway through the month. [la entrevista tuvo lugar el pasado viernes]reflects that unemployment continues to fall in the Canary Islands. There are those who say that we have already reached the ceiling… No, we continue to improve and break records, because we are very close to reaching the best numbers for unemployment decline in the last 20 years. Also, never before in the history of the Islands has there been so many employees. No matter how hard we try during the pandemic, many people come from abroad in the Canary Islands, which offer an indisputable power today, but they also find work.

-During the interview, you highlighted developments in sectors such as healthcare, but today you are talking about serious problems that are not new and are as symbolic as Doctor Negrín in the Emergency Room of a hospital…
“We are closing the year and there are spikes in gastrointestinal problems, viruses in the young population and even children… We have experienced a slight increase in the incidence of Covid, just like the flu… All this causes the emergency room to be full. . But as I said, this is neither new nor has it been happening for three years, it is more cyclical and structural. However, of course our aim is to improve Health and the truth is that I am very clear: The response from the Government of the Canary Islands came because we have recruited 7,000 health workers. It is the largest Health-related contract in a legislature the Canary Islands have ever had, as we have received investment funds from the European and Spanish Government – in addition to the regional government itself – to strengthen peripheral islands such as Fuerteventura. currently has another helicopter for emergencies as there is a magnetic resonance service in El Hierro and La Gomera. And regarding the Hospital del Sur de Tenerife, we have already closed everything that is the administrative part, so that soon it will reach the Governing Council and thanks to a significant investment, the Cabildo’s handover will become a reality. We also launched four infrastructures, two in Tenerife, one in Lanzarote and one in Gran Canaria. There are 300 more beds, the biggest increase in the last 12 years. We have lowered the waiting lists even when closed, but now they have increased, but not just in the Canary Islands, but all over Spain and all over the world. What we do know is that there are significant problems in other areas where emergency rooms have been shut down and doctors have been fired.

-Did you feel cheated in the Mascarillas case?
“The Mascarillas case is just one file out of hundreds, and according to the Court of Accounts, there are four million euros – hurting us all – out of the hundreds of millions of euros that are fully legal. Abnormalities and complications occurred during emergency procurement of supplies in all communities and in all countries. The Audiencia president has publicly announced that he will do the same with the purchase of materials. Regarding this particular case, we’ve already clarified that there are political responsibilities with an individual. [Conrado Domínguez]On the other hand, it wouldn’t be fair for the Canary Islands Health Service to do a good job and not recognize it during the worst of the pandemic. Now another phase and I can tell you that I have always defended the presumption of innocence.

#trains #traffic #jams #highways

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Written by Adem

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