Catalan government launches plan to help take in refugees and other measures to aid in the Ukraine crisis

President Aragonès calls on the Spanish government to make the deficit restrictions more flexible in order to deal with the emergency: “It is necessary to protect the welfare of the citizens and preserve the country’s productive economy.”

Catalonia’s Generalitat government approved a crisis plan on Tuesday to deal with the various emergencies triggered by the war in Ukraine, attending to the refugees arriving, speeding the energy transition, and helping citizens and businesses with the rising cost of living caused by rocketing energy prices. “It is in times of greatest difficulty when it is most important for the government to stand by the people, so that no one is left behind because of the crisis,” said the president of the Generalitat Pere Aragonès at a press conference.

This is an “ambitious plan” that will “initially” allocate €120 million to “protect the welfare of the people and safeguard the productive economy of the country,” said Mr Aragonès. “These are ambitious measures based on the shared purpose of accompanying all those facing the various crises triggered by the war, those that we are and will be facing over the coming months,” Mr Aragonès summed up.

In order to provide immediate assistance for refugees from Ukraine, reception and accommodation mechanisms, schooling and school-meals will be provided “for all schoolchildren who need them.” In fact, the president explained that since the beginning of the conflict, almost 2,400 children who have come to seek refuge in Catalonia have been enrolled at our schools.

Measures for the care of refugees have already been introduced across all government departments, for example by centralizing the delivery of medical supplies, strengthening emergency accommodation and launching job placement programmes. Catalonia has already welcomed more than 17,000 people to date.

It is in times of greatest difficulty when it is most important for the government to stand by the people
Pere Aragonès President of the Generalitat

Taxes on electricity utilities

In regards to the energy utilities, the Executive has decided to increase taxes on the production, storage and transformation of electricity by 33%, and has increased the tax on nuclear power to create a fund “entirely” dedicated to furthering the energy transition. In addition, the creation of the public energy utilities programme has been sped up and the law on renewables and the civil code will be amended to facilitate self-consumption.

As to financial aid for the productive economy, a €39 million facility has been set up to finance SMEs and the self-employed in the agricultural, the agrifood, the forestry, and in the fisheries & aquaculture sectors. It has also been decided to freeze the 2020 road tax rate on carbon dioxide emissions of motor vehicles.