The spokesman and deputy of VOX in the General Meeting, Ignacio Blanco, in the turn of "Questions to the President" that took place today in the plenary session of the General Meeting of the Principality asked the following question:
"What are your strategic lines for the economic and industrial recovery of Asturias?"
And then he made the following intervention:
President, Professor Fernández, your Industry Minister, has confirmed to us in two appearances and in the last plenary session, that they still have no plan for the economic recovery of Asturias. It has been 15 days since the last plenary session and two more months since the declaration of the state of alarm, which is on the way to being undefined. In addition to recommending the use of masks to drink cider with differently colored vases, we would like to know if they have made any progress on the economic plan, because the self-employed are still waiting for their famous help of 400 euros. They weren't going to leave anyone behind, but they also know as I do that a help that is late is to abandon its recipient.
You, who boast so much anticipation, hope that after this time, more than reasonable, you have already done your homework and can tell us today what the basic lines of action of your government will be in economic matters. As we expected, neither a short-term nor a long-term economic plan has advanced us.
The economic crisis is impacting more severely in Asturias than in other regions, and they cannot afford to be left behind again. Another prediction error from you and your Industry Advisor, who calls me a seer, but who a few days ago tried to convince us that it was not necessary to anticipate so much a recovery plan because Asturias was going to be much less affected than other regions.
If I am clairvoyant, the counselor could boast of fortune-telling. Said the Pitoniso Fernández (4/24/2020), that "the impact in Asturias may be somewhat less for three key factors: less dependence on international tourism, potential of the food industry and a high link between large industry and essential activities " Something that seems to share his vice president, Juan Cofiño.
But reality has come to awaken everyone from their reverie, the AIREF (Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility) has come to report that Asturias lost 5.5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter. The cut in the Principality compared to the previous quarter has been the largest in the entire country.
The more industrial regions should have a certain advantage, but I see, Arcelor that regulates its staff until December 31 of this year, Expall is delocalized, Vesubius disappears, Alu Ibérica ended up being like the ball of the street gambler who is not known under what a beaker is, and the Asturian Government and the Minister of Industry acting as hook to confuse the staff. On November 15, EDP, its CEO Rui Texeira, reiterated to you, Adrián Barbón, his commitment to Asturias, and six months later the Asturian domestic customer is already in the hands of a French company. They are better at photos than controlling the Asturian industry.
In the first quarter, Asturias led bankruptcy proceedings, bankruptcies increased 43%, while in the rest of Spain they fell 22.3%. Our business fabric is bleeding and the great wave is yet to come. Imagine what will happen if you don't make decisions already. You also know as I do that without a business network, or one that is seriously damaged, you will not be able to continue providing the services that you and I want for Asturians.
Unemployment increases between March and April by 10,117 Asturians more on the unemployment lists when in all of 2008 it reached 12,385, close to 85,000 Asturians. In one month we have lost as much employment as in 2008, the year of the previous crisis. To which must be added 48,912 workers affected by ERTE who do not count in their unemployment statistics, but who are unemployed. We have 134,000 Asturians in a situation of receiving an unemployment benefit or similar, and many of them still waiting for you to receive the same two months later. The highest number ever raised in our region.
If we already have the largest reduction in national GDP and a national record in the increase in bankruptcies, what awaits us Asturians in the midst of an economic crisis, with a paralyzed government, and without economic initiative? Stop making excuses for factors that you do not control, your conformity, lack of measures and economic plans, can cost Asturians much more than the health crisis. As Asturians we already demand an economic recovery plan, some real commitments to our citizens, beyond the evanescent pacts of Fruela, which, as a mythological animal, says that they exist, but nobody knows them, except you. They start to look too much like friendly co-officiality, some say it exists, but no one knows it.
Asturias is being the community hardest hit by the crisis, despite having less dependence on tourism than others. Many Asturian workers still do not receive unemployment benefits, the queues in the economic kitchens are fueled by the despair that the government has forced many Asturians, unemployment soars, the Asturian industry languishes under the weight of a statute and some CO2 emission costs, which leads to a massive closure and tourism does not open before the uncertainty generated by the Government of Spain.
We do not perceive an effort on the part of your government to focus on Asturians, waiting for the distribution of the autonomous state fund, in which, as always, we will lose, because in this crisis politics is weighing more than health. His government has not yet informed us of any specific budgetary reallocation, the funds for the promotion of the Asturian continue to run at full speed, more important on the day of Asturian letters, or prizes for bable, than tourism. The funds for Development Cooperation and Emigration continue their budgetary execution, 4.7 million euros, millions of euros in protocol, advertising, publications, talks and conferences, while Asturians see their professional development frustrated and feed the queues of the charity. The budgets of VIPASA, SEDES SOGEPSA and so many perfectly suppressible organizations continue to be maintained, so that the friends of their government continue to maintain the salary. When will we have a sign that Asturians really care more than their ideology or that they please the President of the Government from Spain? When those ambitious and aggressive measures for economic recovery that you recently announced in the media? What are you waiting for
President, if your Industry Advisor does not provide solutions, please provide them. Review once and in full the regional budget, budget items continue to be executed that are not related to the health pandemic, or economic recovery, or the basis of basic services to Asturians.
This crisis will facilitate the task of reconversion that Asturias requires, since there will no longer be public funds for everything, they must definitively renounce ideology and trivialities.
It will have us supporting all those measures that go in this direction. We are a tough but loyal opposition, with what we believe in, we do not renounce ideology, but before there are Asturians, we only ask you to do the same.
You know that Asturias needs the aggressive measures it has announced to emerge stronger from this crisis. Its vice president points out a transcendental one, optimizing the cost of public services, prioritizing what Asturians demand, that is, essential basic services, and there he will have us at his side.
You know that Asturias needs the aggressive measures it has announced to emerge stronger from this crisis. Its vice president points out a transcendental one, optimizing the cost of public services, prioritizing what Asturians demand, that is, essential basic services, and there he will have us at his side.
We only ask you, to resort to the audacity that you announced in your investiture debate, at that time, it might sound distant, a promise to break, hardly demandable in normal times, but today that audacity will be more necessary than ever.
We are not receiving anything in different economic matters. They are waiting, change the pace, paralysis and lack of action has characterized the socialist governments of the past in Asturias. Be a different president, do not risk being the last socialist president of Asturias. Although we do not want their continuity, nor that of their government, we want even more to see Asturians prosper.
Now present to the opposition an economic recovery plan for Asturias, only on that basis can you build the consensus that you are pursuing in the media, but avoid this chamber. Leave the excuses, assume your responsibility and take the risk for the benefit of Asturians.
I give you some examples:
The Government of Cantabria with a budget of 2,900 million euros, compared to 4,757 of the Asturian Government, has prepared a shock plan to protect citizens against the COVID-19 pandemic and promote economic activity, with a total allocation of 306 million euros, 113.7 and 192.6, respectively, from the reorganization of the Autonomous Community budget for 2020. With a budget of seven million euros to complement the 70% benefit received by workers affected by a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE). And the President of Galicia has presented a revival plan to tourism professionals, the first complete and with specific measures and items (about 27 million together with culture) launched by an autonomous community to support one of the pillars of the economy (it represents 10.5% of the Galician GDP and employs more than 11% of the population) most affected by the coronavirus pandemic).
Take risks and innovate, not for yourself, but for the Asturians. And focus, President, drinking cider in colored glasses should not be a matter for you, but rather the economic recovery of our region.
Thank you.

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