The First Vice President and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, indicated this Thursday that the Government is mobilizing 22,000 million euros for the improvement of irrigation and the digitization of the water cycle.
During her opening speech on the second day of the IV International Expansion Forum, the vice president pointed out that these resources accompany the deployment of additional measures aimed at mitigating the impact of the drought suffered by the country, which is expected to be approved this Thursday by the Council of Ministers Extraordinary.
According to the head of Economic Affairs, this package of measures will “provide significant short-term financial support to the farmers and ranchers most affected by the war in Ukraine and the drought.”
The vice president has added that, “in parallel”, the Government is mobilizing those 22,000 million already contemplated for irrigation and the Part of the Water Cycle. With this, it is intended to continue advancing in structural solutions “that allow the best use of water resources and adaptation to climate change, whose impact is increasingly clear.”
According to sources from Moncloa, the extraordinary Council dedicated to drought plans to approve this Thursday new aid for farmers of 650 million euros and tax reductions in personal income tax, which will add a reduction of 1,807 million in 2023 and 1,093 million in 2022 for more than 800,000 farmers and ranchers.
The aid package already includes support measures with an impact of 450 million euros derived from the decree with aid to the agricultural sector that the Government approved on March 15, 2022 in fiscal, labor, social and financial matters.
Likewise, 650 million euros have been allocated in extraordinary direct aid that has already been paid to the livestock and citrus sectors and to alleviate the cost of fertilizers.
The measures that will be approved this Thursday will include the postponement of social contributions for companies and the self-employed, as well as a reduction in the number of laborers necessary to receive the agricultural subsidy as well as almost 25 million euros in support of the liquidity of the sector through subsidized loans and guarantees.
In the same way, the contracting of agricultural insurance will be encouraged and aid from the CAP will be made more flexible to deal with drought, while hydraulic quotas will be reduced and it is planned to exempt certain farms from the rustic IBI.
The lack of rain in Spain continues to reduce the reserve of the reservoirs, which this week have lost 406 cubic hectometres, which represents 0.7 percent, as reported this week by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, which points out that at the moment the reservoirs store 27,417 cubic hectometres, which is why they are at 48.9 percent of their total capacity.
Thus, at this time, 2023 is the fifth year with less water stored in reservoirs since there are records. In week 19 of 1994, the reservoirs were practically as they are now, at 48.39 percent of their capacity; a year earlier, in 1993, at 44.58 percent; and even in 1992 they stood at 46.48 percent of their total capacity. Those four years, from 1992 to 1995, were the years with the least reserved water since there are records.
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