Juanma Moreno with the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, in Brussels. / EFE

Andalucía needs five billion euros from Europe to combat the drought

The regional government is calling for the EU’s Next Generation funds to be reprogrammed so that urgent works can be carried out

HÉCTOR BARBOTTA Brussels

On the second day of his two-day visit to Brussels, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, said on Tuesday that the present drought in the region is a serious threat to the economy and major investment is needed to provide adequate infrastructure.

He explained that works costing one billion euros are already under way and another four billion euros of investment will be needed, so he called for specific plans to be drawn up by the government in Madrid to finance these projects in southern Spain and for the EU’s Next Generation funds to be reprogrammed to cover not only environmental and energy efficiency projects but also to solve the water problem.

He calculated that around five billion euros will be needed from the EU to finance desalination plants, new pipelines and recycling facilities. This, he said, would enable supplies to be guaranteed for “the next 3, 40 or 50 years”.

He also said he regretted that the drought is not talked about much in Europe because most EU countries are not affected by it. “This is something that the European authorities need to understand,” he said.