The Council of Ministers has approved, by means of a Royal Decree-law, more than 50 economic and social measures that complement those that have been adopted in recent weeks and they respond to the situations created by COVID-19 and the declaration of the state of alarm.
The Minister of Finance and government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, has affirmed that the initiatives fulfill a triple objective: to strengthen the health system, sustain the production model and prevent the inequality that occurs in this situation.
Right to housing and basic supplies
The second vice president of the Government and minister of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, Pablo Iglesias, has stated that measures to restrict movements and suspend work activities will only be viable if security and protection are offered to citizens by state institutions .
In this sense, Iglesias has argued that the Constitution must be taken as a reference, which protects the rights of citizens, especially the most vulnerable, and extend this protection with measures such as those agreed today. These initiatives, he stressed, reinforce the "social shield against the coronavirus and decisively put our country on the path of a social solution to this crisis opposite to that applied in the past."
Right to housing
Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la BellacasaIn order to guarantee the constitutional right to housing, Pablo Iglesias has advanced that there are Automatically extended for six months all rental agreements they are about to expire. This measure, he said, means that "no tenant in Spain with a current contract can raise the rent" during that period.
The vice president has also explained that a system of public microcredits is being launched, using the Official Credit Institute, without commissions or interest, so that all people in vulnerable situations can face the rent payment of their usual home. Tenants who benefit from these public microcredits will be able to repay them within a period of six years, extendable up to ten in case of difficulties.
To this measure, he added, all unemployed persons, workers affected by cuts or reductions in working hours, and the self-employed who have seen their income reduced, will be able to take advantage of it.
Likewise, Iglesias has indicated that if a tenant is in a vulnerable situation and his landlord is a large holder of housing, such as an investment fund, he will have to choose between two options: carry out the removal of 50% of the debt of the tenant or restructure that debt so that it can pay it for three years. It is, he pointed out, "to protect tenants and small landowners and, at the same time, ensure that large homeowners hold their shoulders."
In terms of housing, the vice president has also announced that the recently approved mortgage moratorium is expanded to include self-employed persons whose activity has been suspended due to the state of alarm or their turnover has dropped significantly until the last day of the month. in which this state ends. The creditor entity may not require them to pay the mortgage installment or any of the concepts that comprise it, including interest.
Supply cuts prohibited
The Government, according to Pablo Iglesias, has approved that the current ban on cutting basic supplies to vulnerable households, extends to all households, if they are the first residence: "While the state of alarm is in force, the electricity, water and gas supplying companies may not suspend the service to any citizen in their habitual residence."
In addition, the coverage of the social bonus is extended so that workers affected by layoffs and the self-employed who have ceased their activity or their turnover has been reduced as a result of the Covid-19 crisis can take advantage of it.
Temporary unemployment benefit
Pablo Iglesias has also highlighted the approval of a specific benefit in the form of unemployment benefits for all domestic workers who have had to stop providing services, totally or partially, as a result of the crisis, or whose contract has been terminated. extinguished after the declaration of the state of alarm. "If we have learned anything as a result of this crisis, it is that it is essential to better care for those who care, because it is precisely their care work, often invisible, precarious and little recognized, that is most essential for the task at hand now, that it is the support of life. "
Restriction on advertising of bets
In order to protect the most vulnerable consumers, a moratorium of three extendable months has been agreed on the payment of personal loans.
The vice president has also cited measures for the return of canceled trips or to restrict advertising of bets, in a context and confinement that makes it even more necessary to protect people who have problems with the game.
Equality and fight against sexist violence
The Executive has decreed as essential the care services for victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking; guarantees the safe housing alternative for victims of gender violence and other forms of violence against women, and promotes a extraordinary subsidy to domestic workers.
Complementary Social Security and economic measures
Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe third vice president and minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, explained that the Royal Decree-Law also contains specific consumption measures, support for workers, maintenance of the productive fabric – from self-employed to SMEs and the rest of companies- and others from different areas destined to cover needs detected throughout these weeks.
The Royal Decree-Law extends the duration of the exceptional measures previously established by the Government until one month after the end of the state of alarm, unless they already contain specific deadlines, and includes technical adjustments to guarantee their effectiveness.
Support for economic activity and the productive fabric
The vice president has broken down the measures related to Social Security aimed at companies and the self-employed, among which the moratorium of up to six months for the payment of obligations and the postponement of the installments that must be paid in April at a reduced interest rate of 0.5% have been highlighted.
On the other hand, the supply of electricity and gas contracts for freelancers and companies, and the deadlines and administrative procedures for companies are made more flexible. In addition, interest payments and loan repayments for entrepreneurs, especially in the tourism sector, are suspended for one year.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism will streamline and facilitate the management of your aid, while the Foreign Credit Institute (ICEX) will reimburse companies for the expenses derived from their participation in fairs of this organization that have been canceled.
Agencies with which package tours have been contracted (flights, hotels, excursions or car rentals) may offer a one-year voucher to affected consumers, but, if it is not used within that time, the amount will be refunded.
In the case of contracts in language schools, student residences, gyms or nursery schools, the company may offer the recovery of services, once the state of alarm has ended, unless the client chooses to refund the money.
Nadia Calviño has anticipated that donations to the public sector will be made available to reinforce the actions against COVID-19. Likewise, healthcare professionals who want to return to active service will be made compatible with the perception of the retirement pension, and the voluntary collaboration of public employees on the healthcare front will be facilitated.
The recovery of the amounts contributed to pension funds will be made more flexible to "allow alleviating liquidity needs" in households, the minister continued.
In the field of research, special rules on the duration of contracts held by universities and in the National Health System, while they will also be adopted measures for the cultural sector, cinematographic and the performing arts, attending to their specific characteristics.
Control the epidemic as soon as possible, key to minimize damage to the economy
Calviño has insisted that the objective of all these measures is to continue weaving a safety, social and economic network, in parallel with the health emergency, which continues to be a priority. The minister has argued that entering a phase of greater control of the epidemic as soon as possible will prevent the damage to the economy from being "longer, deeper and more lasting" and expressed her confidence that soon "we can talk about reactivation and promotion plans "
The third vice president thanked the social partners for their participation in defining some of the measures, and also praised the "responsible action" of companies and workers in this crisis, especially to guarantee the continuity of agri-food supplies, medical equipment and the rest of essential services.
Strengthening protection for victims of sexist violence
The Council of Ministers has approved urgent measures to protect and assist victims of sexist violence during the crisis caused by Covid-19.
The Government spokeswoman explained that the operation, since they are classified as essential, of the information and legal advisory services and of the emergency centers, reception, supervised flats, and safe accommodation, both for victims of violence of gender, such as sexual exploitation and trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
One of the novelties highlighted by Montero is that hotels can be used as safe accommodation for victims, in the event that there are no places available during the state of alarm in the centers designated for it.
Another service that is launched is the psychological attention service by WhatsApp, which joins the Telephone Service for Attention and Protection for victims of gender violence (ATENPRO), which continues to function normally, and the information and advice telephone numbers 016 , and emergencies 112, 091 and 062, operating 24 hours.
Social confinement saves lives
Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la BellacasaMaría Jesús Montero has affirmed that the data that today the members of the technical committee offer, with all the precautionary measures, indicate that we are going in the right direction and that we are in a phase of stabilization of the pandemic.
Montero has highlighted the "exemplary behavior of citizens", which he has asked to persevere, since his social confinement saves lives and his responsible action is allowing the contagion curve to drop. "We all have a fundamental role to play and we are acting effectively because this is evidenced by the daily surveillance of the pandemic," he said.
The recoverable paid leave, he added, also saves lives and has been made possible by the agreement of employers and unions. Decreasing contacts with older and vulnerable people also saves lives. The sacrifice, he said, will be compensated when we stop the virus and we are able to progressively recover daily activities.
14 tons of sanitary material
The minister stressed that the ministry is monitoring the arrival of medical supplies at the minute to know what is delivered and what are the needs that are being met and which are pending.
He also recalled that yesterday an Army plane from China landed in Torrejón with 14 tons of medical equipment. Today, the arrival of two million face masks for healthcare professionals, 180,000 protective glasses and almost 63,000 disposable gowns are expected to be distributed in the next few hours. among all the autonomous communities.
In addition, Montero has reported that, from March 10 until today, more than ten million masks have been distributed for patients and health professionals and, throughout the week, more material will arrive by air that will nourish the whole from hospitals in the health system and other sectors that require these protection products, basically nursing homes.
The minister has expressed her gratitude to the health personnel, to all public employees and to the national industry that is carrying out a rapid reconversion process that is allowing the manufacture of essential masks, respirators, gels and products for health personnel.