LAST Friday, July 31, Pedro Sanchez had a meeting with the 17 Presidents from the Autonomous Regions at The 21st Conference of Regional Presidents which concentrated on the management of resources covered by the European Recovery Fund, and on the COVID-19 health crisis.
Many presidents asked for common actions to be taken regarding COVID health and safety as currently there is no coordination or unification between regions which can be confusing for both residents and those travelling into different areas.
As soon as Spain entered the “New Normality” the central government ceded all the competencies back to the Autonomous Regions.
However, as seen these days if you happen to travel around Spain you must know the details which each region has decreed concerning COVID health and safety measures.
However, we find ourselves with 17 different systems. Unfortunately, the virus, like the general public, doesn’t understand these differences. If we also add the factor that the 17 presidents are making statements which are confusing and creating sensationalist headlines and general misleading news on social media platforms, there is a much larger problem.
Overall there was no consensus with the Health and Safety measures. On the other hand, Mr Sanchez did state that the Central government would handle the recovery fund that was coming from Europe, in this case, the 17 presidents were keen to handle their own budgets.
Just like the budget from Europe, it would be logical to think that the central government coordinated the so-called “New Normality” until we are back to the old normal. Considering that, it would be much easier for the general public to understand.
At the plenary session of the conference, Sánchez stated that an Inter-ministerial Committee will be set up chaired by the President of the Government.
He also specified that a Recovery Fund Monitoring Unit will be set up at the Office of the Presidency of the Government and a high-level group will structure public-private collaboration.
The Minister for the Treasury will head up the sector conference with the regional governments and cities, to establish multi-tier collaboration.
Local authorities will also be able to take part in this governance process.