Amidst a bureaucratic avalanche of wind farms and with environmental and neighborhood groups stopping some of them in court, the Xunta de Galicia has recently announced that it will intensify the simplification of procedures for large projects in the industry, a process that Alberto Núñez Feijóo has begun in his period as regional president. His successor, Alfonso Rueda, explained the measure this Monday during his speech at the debate on the state of autonomy, the last one before the first regional elections faced by the PP without Feijóo as the headliner. Rueda made a number of promises just months before the election, from tax cuts to a universal bonus of 5,000 euros per year so families could pay for home care for dependents. man.
Rueda justified the plan to speed up the processing of industrial projects in “current times of intense competition”, with a view to neighboring Portugal and the investments it attracts. The Xunta decided to declare strategic all the initiatives that “create 25 or more jobs, have funding of two million euros or more, and have a significant territorial and socioeconomic impact.” These companies guarantee a one-year processing period, from the presentation of all documentation to its approval. And if this period is exceeded “for reasons attributed to the administration,”, the Government of Galicia will pay the promoter 1% of the total value of the project, up to a limit of 500,000 euros. Investments of more than 800,000 euros have a Xunta window, processing times will be cut in half, and “the support of the Government of Galicia will be ensured if municipal permits are delayed without reason.” The Xunta can issue the work license, Rueda explained.
His speech included tax cuts. The Galician president will reduce the tax on the purchase of second-hand cars by five points (from 8% to 3% of the total) “to promote sustainable mobility”, and by one point (from 9% to 8%) the property transfer tax. which is not new. He assured that the Xunta, heavily criticized by the opposition for the small stock of protected apartments in the community, will promote 1,900 public rental houses and “another 3,000 from private developers.” He also announced the expansion of the staff of the Galician health service (Sergas) with “stable contracts” without giving numbers and an extension of the presence of clinical psychologists in health centers throughout Galicia, where he did not provide data or deadlines.
In one of the oldest territories in Spain and the community with the least publicly funded residential areas, the Government of Galicia will promote a bonus of 5,000 euros per year so that people with any level of trust can take care of their homes without income. limit that the sources from the Galician Executive defend are unique to the state. In cases where home care is not possible, those who already receive a subsidy to go to a private center will receive an annual supplement of 1,200 euros, regardless of income or level of dependency. The Xunta will also create a card with discounts in stores for people over 65 years of age.
The investiture negotiations of socialist Pedro Sánchez with pro-independence parties have collapsed in the Galician Parliament. “The constitutional framework cannot be a bargaining chip for short-term electoral interests,” Rueda criticized. “A president cannot win an extension of two months or a few years at the cost of sacrificing the most fundamental principle of equality between all citizens.” The popular leader assured that the agreements that can be reached will affect Galicia economically because, in his opinion, they will attack the “continuity and fairness of the welfare state.” “Will a resident of the mountain of Lugo understand that they cannot have better mobile coverage because they have to pay the bill for an investment?” he asked.
With the possibility that Feijóo is still alive with another opportunity to become president of Spain, Rueda proclaimed that he would never lower himself “to the interests of the central executive that he touches, whatever the political color.” He listed the demands of Galicia before the central administration that remain pending, even since the time of the famous Mariano Rajoy in La Moncloa. He cited the relocation of the community’s main toll highway, the AP-9, which was denied by the PP and PSOE governments; the development of rail connections in Portugal; the investments in the northwest freight corridor; or the delay of the Avril trains that will allow the promised times of the AVE to Madrid to be realized. There are also other claims with little history, such as the reduction of VAT for meat and fish, the autonomous management of the coast, or the co-management of the minimum living income. And with the agreements of his party to refuse Vox, Rueda demanded that the central government create specific courts of gender violence in the five cities of Galicia that do not have them: “We will not rest until they are eradicated; we have the most painful machismo, which is gender violence.”
The national spokeswoman of the BNG, Ana Pontón, considered the “recitation of announcements, promises, and propaganda” in Rueda’s speech an “insult to intelligence” and a “lack of respect” for Galicians. In his view, he is trying to “convince” the public that he will “do everything” that was “not done” by the PP during his 14 years of government. The parliamentary spokesperson for the PSdeG-PSOE believes that Rueda “draws a scenario typical of an ivory tower.”
Before the start of the debate, in the corridors of the Chamber, the socialist deputy of the Congress, José Ramón Gómez Besteiro, confirmed that he would run in the socialist primary to once again be a candidate for the Presidency of the Xunta. Besteiro was the headliner in 2016 but had to resign months before the election due to the accumulation of judicial charges for alleged corruption. Now that he is free from everything, the former president of the Lugo Provincial Council is back on the political front lines. Maybe he has a rival. Former Secretary General Gonzalo Caballero announced that he is also considering the running of those primaries, which do not yet have a date.