Spanish PM announces fund to help regions recover

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a 16 billion euros ($18 billion) fund to help the country’s 17 Autonomous Communities recover from the impacts of the coronavirus.

In a televised speech on Sunday, Sanchez described the fund as “the biggest transfer ever of resources to the Autonomous regions”, explaining that 9 billion euros would be for the public health service, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It should be the start of the repair of the deficiencies that have been detected in the health system during the crisis,” said the Prime Minister,

He added that a further 2 billion euros would be kept aside to education while the remainder to help compensate for the loss of economic activity during the pandemic.

Sanchez also confirmed that a cabinet meeting on Tuesday will approve a new law to establish the rules and health controls to be put into place in the “new normality” when the current State of Alarm, which was put into effect on March 15 to control freedom of movement during the epidemic, expires on June 21.

He informed that by June 26, around 255,000 people would receive the first payment of the guaranteed minimum income approved by his government at the end of May to help the families suffering the worst economic effects of the crisis.

With 241,550 infections, Spain currently accounts for the sixth highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, while the death toll stands at 27,136.