A total of 62 municipalities in the Madrid region, including the capital, will receive 4 million state aid this week for the damage caused by Filomena and another 34 towns will receive another almost 3 million euros throughout the month of January.
The Government delegate in the Community of Madrid, Mercedes González, explained this afternoon at a press conference that the town councils of the region will begin to receive Civil Protection aid this week for emergency expenses “that cannot be postponed in an emergency situation” carried out on the occasion of the storm Filomena, from January 8 to 18 of this year.
Before the appearance before the media, the delegate has met with the councilors that make up the Governing Board of the Federation of Municipalities of Madrid (FMM) to inform them of the process.
In person, at the headquarters of the Government Delegation, the meeting was attended by President Guillermo Hita (Mayor of Arganda), Vice President Ignacio Vázquez (Mayor of Torrejón) and the General Secretary of the FMM, Cristina Moreno, while the The rest have participated by videoconference.
With the Madrid City Council, the delegate explained, they have maintained a “differentiated treatment”, since it is the City Council that will receive, with much distance from the others, the largest amount of the amount of those 7 million euros.
In fact, today, Monday, the delegate councilor for Economy and Finance, Engracia Hidalgo, has been summoned to the meeting, but she has not attended because she is pending the approval of the municipal budgets. Thus, until they have a meeting with her, they will not report the amount that the matritense consistory will receive.
Requirements to receive aid
As requirements for the aid, as González has remarked, “the expense should have been made immediately or on dates close to the storm and to guarantee life, the safety of people and the operation of essential public services.”
In this first aid package, opened on May 18 and closed on July 20, only what is considered emergency and is within the competence of the Ministry of the Interior is eligible, Mercedes González has specified.
They are articulated on the basis of Royal Decree Law 10/2021, of May 18 (article 7) issued by the Council of Ministers. It approved complementary measures to the first aid package. It is strictly referring to the emergency. It regulates the aid scheme to which local authorities are entitled to reimburse the emergency expenses they have needed in order to guarantee life, the safety of people and the operation of essential public services.
“These actions include the evacuation, accommodation and food of the affected people and the cleaning of roads and public environments essential for the purposes described. The work of the local Corporation is excluded and, in no case, will the expenses of personnel generated by firefighters, local police, civil protection and others of a similar nature “, according to the current legal framework.
108 municipalities submit applications
A total of 108 city councils of the Community of Madrid presented applications for an amount of 98,202,773 euros. However, 96 consistories have finally met the requirements and will receive a total value of almost 7 million euros (6,965,093). Internal aid for all of Spain is 11.6 million in this aid, so 60% goes to Madrid.
The significant difference in money between what is requested and what they will receive is due, as sources from the state department have explained to Europa Press, because the municipalities have included many expenses that do not adhere to what is stipulated in these specific emergency and protection aid civil.
They are those destined to guarantee the life, the safety of the people and the operation of the essential public services, being excluded the own means of the municipalities, the repair works and the supplies, except the salt purchased during the emergency.
These expenses also include the cleaning of downtown streets or the felling and pruning of trees, only in those cases necessary to allow the circulation of vehicles or people. Gasoil costs, repairs to buildings or machinery, accommodation of staff at the service of councils or overtime of staff are not eligible either.
Territorial Policy Aid
The Government of Spain, through the Ministry of Territorial Policy, is also instructing aid to 79 municipalities to repair damage to municipal infrastructures.
These are grants that are based on Royal Decree Law 10/2021, of May 18 (article 8). In this third aid package, 50% of the repair of municipal infrastructures and provincial road network will be subsidized. The deadline for submitting applications was from October 21 to November 26.
The maximum eligible amount estimated for the whole of Spain is 251.8 million (152,475,720 euros for the Community of Madrid, according to a first provisional estimate). The total amount requested by the 79 councils amounts to 184,556,900 euros, and it is still unknown what the central Administration will finally pay.
In addition to the aid to the municipalities and the Territorial Policy, the Government Delegation is instructing 955 files of direct aid for family units, 562 for commercial establishments and 2,388 for communities of owners that suffered damage and destruction due to the passage of the storm. In total, they have received 4,013 files. These grants will be paid in the first quarter of 2022.
It is about aid from the Ministry of the Interior based on Royal Decree 307/2005, of March 18, a royal decree that is always “alive”.
The first call for grants ended on February 19, 2021. It is intended for Local Corporations and finances 50%. There are 5 lines of aid: Family units or economic coexistence; Communities of Owners under the horizontal property regime c) Local Corporations; Natural or legal persons who own commercial, industrial or service establishments (with 50 or fewer employees) and for damage to premises and property; and Natural or legal persons required by the competent authority.
The delegate justifies the delay
Faced with criticism from some parties for the delay in which municipalities and individuals received the first state aid, Mercedes González has argued that since the emergency call was closed, at the end of July, five months have passed, with the holiday month August of by means, and that they have had to make requests to the applicants to verify the documentation.
The representative of the Government in Madrid has also remarked that she will not appear in the Assembly, as requested by PP and Vox, to explain the state aid on Filomena because “she has no obligation to do so”, as neither did the current Family Minister, Concepción Dancausa , when she was a government delegate before a similar request.
They argue that parliamentary control of the legislative assemblies of the autonomous communities “should be limited to the actions of the bodies and authorities of the autonomous community itself, without reaching bodies and authorities outside their scope of action, such as those of the State Administration “.