Local Daily News 3rd September

Nightlife possibly to reopen for clients who are vaccinated or those who have a covid passport

The leisure sector has asked the Generalitat to implement the covid passport, the vaccination certificate or the result of a diagnostic test that proves that people are free of covid so that clients can access the premises, and help the sector get back to its usual activity. This is one of the requests that representatives of leisure premises entrepreneurs have transferred to the Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, in a meeting held this Thursday in which the Secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, was also present. “These tests and certificates would be an opportunity for us to work normally,” says Lalo Díez, spokesperson for the Valencian Community Leisure and Hospitality Business Coordinator (CEOH). According to Díez, Barceló has promised to transfer this request to the Interdepartmental Commission on Monday, as well as to the Ministry of Health, “although we have been warned that in some communities where they have tried to follow this initiative, the justice system has overthrown the plans until everyone has had a chance to get vaccinated. However, the CEOH representative believes that this should not be a reason to wait, “because in a few days everyone will have had the opportunity to get vaccinated here.”

The leisure sector has also asked for longer opening hours as of Monday, and that customers may be permitted to dance inside the premises around the tables and with their masks on. “We are happy because the counselor has told us that there is a plan that begins on Monday and will end on the 9th of October, when we can foreseeably open normally”. The association wants the leisure sector to start taking the first steps in this de-escalation from next week. The counselor, explains the CEOH spokesperson, “has committed to transferring to the Interdepartmental Commission the proposals of the sector both at the level of extension of hours, capacity, use of the health passport, as well as the  ability to dance at discos and entertainment venues”. The Ministry of Health did not want to make statements about it.

On the other hand, the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, has indicated this Thursday that the de-escalation that will begin from next week will be “prudent”, taking into account that there are still areas of the Valencian Community that register an increase in infections and that 300 people remain admitted in hospitals because of the virus. Next Monday a meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission will be called to decide how the de-escalation will be carried out, which will begin on Tuesday 7th of September and will last for a month, until the 9th October.

“The pandemic is not over,” said the president after a visit to the Fallas monuments damaged by the torrential rains that fell the other morning in Valencia. However, the president added that the trend of this fifth wave towards stabilization and vaccination is accelerating “and there are already 76% of people vaccinated with the full course of vaccines.”

The lemon campaign expects good prices at origin

After a ruinous campaign (2020-2021), in which ASAJA Alicante estimated economic losses in the Vega Baja lemon industry of 110 million euros (85 million euros for the Fino lemon and 25 million for the Verna variety), This year, farmers hope to recover, and predict a good season for 2021-2022, due to the current favorable context in which several factors are converging.

And it is that, along with the European shortage of lemon, where the citrus fruit of the Southern Hemisphere is arriving as a result of the pests detected, the presence of harmful and prohibited substances in our continent and the strong increase in costs of maritime transport due to the lack of of containers, in the southeast of Spain and, specifically in the south of our province (an area that accounts for 40% of the national production), the campaign presents a significant decrease in the harvest of the Verna variety, which reaches 50%, thus going from about 130,000 tons that were produced last year, to 60,000 or 70,000 that are expected to be collected this year.

A significant loss of kilos caused by three factors: a previous year of great harvest, the consequences that still continue to emerge from the DANA, from which many trees have not yet recovered, and the abundant rains in April, which affected the flowering of trees.

“All the indicators lead us to believe that the current season of the 2021-2022 lemon from Vega del Segura will be in a good position in the coming weeks to negotiate and generate multiple operations with favorable prices for the producer”, says the President of Young Farmers ASAJA Alicante, José Vicente Andreu.

Despite this, the highest representative of the organization asserts that we are also facing a campaign with some shadows. “It is true that we think that prices at origin this year will be clearly higher than the previous year. But it should not be overlooked that the trees carry fewer kilos, so profitability could drop”.

However, “if there is an aspect that worries farmers, it is the water instability that the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, is generating, who continues in her trend of cutting each monthly transfer of the Tajo-Segura as long as the aqueduct is maintained at Level 3, the threshold at which she has the power and the last word, even against the advice of her own Committee of Experts ”.

“For this reason, and in order that this Government does not leave the winter fruit and vegetable campaign in the south of the province at the mercy of the weather, ASAJA Alicante requests that as of September it sticks to what is marked by the Law of the Memorandum of the Transfer and to which, under a technical and qualified criterion, the technicians of the Central Exploitation Commission advise to transfer every month in Level 3, in such a way that the continuous cuts cease and the transfers stipulated by the law, of 20 cubic hectometres to the Levante, in order to provide stability and security for the plantations that agricultural entrepreneurs in our province have to carry out”.

Orihuela approves the building of 2,200 houses in the last stretch of the coastline free from urbanizations

The government team of PP and Ciudadanos in the Orihuela City Council has approved the modification of the Partial Plan for the Improvement of Sector D-1 ‘Alameda del Mar’, that is, it gives the green light to the project that contemplates urbanizing Cala Mosca, last virgin stretch of the Oriohuela coast where there are plans to build more than 2,200 homes.

“An aberration and act of urban violence”, as expressed by PSOE and Cambiemos who have voted against this project that benefits “men of the brick,” said the spokesman for Cambiemos Carlos Bernabé.

Bernabé has assured that the arguments of the government team, to approve the modification of this partial plan, are full of “lies such as that it is severe to process the file as it is and vote in favor. It is radically false. There are negative reports from municipal technicians and the state administration that point out great deficiencies and non-compliance by the promoter and the threat that what has been approved will be null and void”.

Likewise, he has made reference to “the insistence of PP and Ciudadanos that not processing this would imply patrimonial responsibility for the city council for which it would pay millions of euros” emphasizing that “this would be ruled by a judge, but this is not being seen here. Instead, the enormous cost of following through with this outrageous project is not being valued, which will entail a collapse of water resources on the coast, threatening fauna and flora, there will be a collapse on the road and a worsening in the services and conditions of the neighbourhood”.

On the other hand, according to the spokesman of the PP, Rafael Almagro, the modification of this plan occurs in terms of the need to preserve the protected fauna and flora of this place and that what the opposition tries to convey is deception and confusion to the citizens.

Almagro explained that “the developer has approved the partial plan for 25 years and now what is being processed are the conditions for the urbanization to be carried out with all the guarantees set by environmental regulations and other categories”. For this reason, Almagro continues, “what is stated is the conditions that we impose on the developer to make it so”.

Rafael Almagro has lamented in this sense the “hypocrisy and incongruity” of the opposition, referring to an amendment regarding the PSPV PSOE to its government partner Unidos Podemos in Valencia. 

Unemployment in Spain falls by 82,583 people, marking the best August in the current statistical series

Traditionally, Spain’s job market receives a boost at the outset of the summer season – mostly thanks to tourism – and then recedes in August. But this year the positive trend is yet to subside. According to data released on Thursday, unemployment fell by 82,583 people in the eighth month of the year compared to July, and the total number of jobless fell to 3,333,915 workers. The ranks of the unemployed have been falling for six months in Spain now, and according to the Labor Ministry, this August saw the biggest fall in the current statistical series, which began in 1996.

However, this fall in jobseekers in August was not accompanied by a rise in the number of people signed up to the Social Security system – considered a key indicator for job creation in Spain. Compared to July, there were 118,004 fewer contributors, but this is an average and without taking seasonal factors into account. The total number of contributors for last month was 19,473,724. Once this number is seasonally adjusted, the results are more positive: 19,477,505 contributors, up 76,541 compared to the month before.

The sectors that created most jobs in August were hospitality (+2.39%) and household activities (+3.91%), while the greatest losses were seen in education (-6.7%) and artistic, leisure and entertainment activities (-5.29%). The number of self-employed workers also fell by 7,358 (-0.22%) from July to August, to 3,315,603.

The deputy prime minister and labor minister, Yolanda Díaz, had stated yesterday during a radio interview with the Onda Cero network that the latest unemployment data “would be surprising.” There is optimism within the Spanish government – a coalition of the Socialist Party (PSOE) and leftist Unidas Podemos – that the economy will continue to recover in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, and the positive data from the labor market are serving to bolster that sensation.

While the summer is traditionally a good time for the Spanish job market, this boost is usually limited to June and July, when contracts are signed. August, however, usually offsets this positive data, given that it marks the end of the tourism high season and thus the end of many of these work contracts.

This year, the lifting of many coronavirus restrictions and the advance of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign – which has now seen more than 70% of residents fully vaccinated – has served to stimulate activity further in the eighth month of the year.

During August, a total of 1,407,563 contracts were signed, which is 288,900 more than in the same period in 2020 (+ 25.83%). The cumulative number of contracts signed so far this year is now nearly 11,864,833, a total of 1,910,570 more (+ 19.19%) compared to the same eight-month period last year.

There was also positive news last month for the Spanish government’s ERTE furlough scheme. By August 31, 272,190 workers were still on the scheme, which is a fall of 59,296 people compared to the last day of July. The average number of people on the ERTE scheme in August, however, was slightly higher, at 277,905, but this is a far cry from the 3.5 million workers who were on furlough at the peak of the labor crisis in 2020 that was caused by the pandemic coronavirus.

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