President Torres says: “The Canary Islands cannot last until the end of the year without opening hotels.”
The President of the Canarian Government has admitted that the Canary Islands “cannot” endure the whole of 2020 without opening the islands hotels, pointing out that the possibility of having internal tourism must be brought forward to “recover economic normality”, to later give a pass to national tourism with control measures and airports, and finally to international tourism.
He stated that the Canary Islands is the autonomous community with “the greatest economic impact” from the health crisis, and that the fall in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) “will not be below 20 percent”, since it lives off tourism and the pandemic has hit in high season.
“This will not recover immediately, it has to build confidence. The following months are going to be very worrying,” he added in an interview with Europa Press.
He added that in October, November or December, which “are strong months in the Canary Islands”, we need to start receiving tourists from other countries. However, he clarified that although at first it was considered that June 1st would be the date to reopen hotels, currently that “is too optimistic” although he wants it “to be done as soon as possible”.
He added that if in the months of July or August you can get hotels open, we would be “heading in the right direction” because he is concerned that the Canary Islands “cannot” last until the end of the year without opening.
“Normality will return, although in a different way and with other protocols. This will take months and with each passing day the economic consequences are terrible. For example, a hotel in Gran Canaria or Tenerife that has 2,000 people every day consumes 5,000 eggs, which are part of the primary sector economy and keep jobs, “he said.
For this reason, he indicated that to reactivate tourism, citizens confined to the islands must be made to see that “it makes no sense for them to remain locked up in their homes.” In addition, he pointed out that tests will be carried out on “the maximum number of people that can be reopened, in places such as La Gomera, La Graciosa, El Hierro and even Fuerteventura”, all in accordance with the central government.
However, he understands that territorial singularities must be addressed, while he considers it “essential” that the central government activate “as soon as possible” a plan for the economic reactivation of tourism, because he believes that it is necessary to promote the Canary Islands and Spain as “safe territories against coronavirus. ”
INJECTION OF PUBLIC MONEY:
Regarding the advance of 14 billion euros to the communities by the central Government, Torres said he is grateful, although he requests that within two years when the amounts are updated, “that the return of the loans be done gradually.”
Regarding the Canary Islands, he explained that the region has its own fiscal system, and will lose 25% of its turnover compared to any other autonomous government which “will have 10 points less loss”, in such a way that the archipelago will stop earning “between 500 and 600 million more than other communities.”
In this sense, he said that Pedro Sánchez, needs to “take this uniqueness into account” to let the Canary Islands use the surplus, since it is the “most compliant region with the lowest debt per capita”, while they also request that local corporations be allowed to borrow.
The president of the Canary Islands indicated, that only for the year 2020, they need to balance the accounts “between 600 and 700 million euros, the councils would need close to 1 billion”, hence he stated, that they have designed a credit policy that “could be amortized this year to avoid liquidity problems.”
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