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Spain's PM announces 11-billion-euro aid package for businesses and the self-employed

The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, speaking today (24 February) before Congress.
The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, speaking today (24 February) before Congress. / EUROPA PRESS
  • Pedro Sánchez said that additional aid measures will be approved 'in the coming weeks' to help sectors that were competitive before the pandemic, such as tourism and hospitality

Spain's prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced in Congress this Wednesday (24 February) that the central government will approve in the "next few weeks" an additional aid package of 11 billion euros for "new actions" for companies, small and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed.

This is a "significant amount of resources for sectors that were competitive before the pandemic, such as tourism, hotels or small businesses", according to Pedro Sánchez during his speech to the lower house.

The objective, said the prime minister, is "to facilitate the return of the economic activity, reinforce the solvency of balance sheets and to make investments and hire workers to face the economic recovery".

However, Sánchez has not specified whether it will be direct aid, which other countries, such as Germany, have deployed and something that the business sectors, employers and different economic organisations are demanding.

During his speech about coronavirus and the current state of alarm, the leader of the PSOE said, "We not only want to save companies and jobs but to strengthen them and create new companies and jobs."

"Economic recovery is a firm hope," he said.

The prime minister highlighted that, since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has committed 20 per cent of gross domestic product in resources in "an exercise of protection never seen before".

He also added that transfers to the autonomous regions since the beginning of the pandemic exceed 24 billion euros, designed to strengthen healthcare but also, he said, to inject direct aid as the regional authorities are closest to and aware of the impact of the restrictions applied.