The Senate approves the new Canary Islands Statute: without gauges and with a new electoral system

Meritxell Batet y Fernando Clavijo en el SenadoThe plenary session of the Senate has approved on Wednesday the reform of the Statute of Autonomy for the Canary Islands that dissociates the Economic and Fiscal Regime (REF) of the autonomic financing , modifies the electoral system and turns it into the first Community that suppresses the appraisals for the deputies. This will take effect in the coming days, once it is published in the Official State Gazette .

At the end of the debate, the Minister of Territorial Policy, Meritxell Batet, intervened to point out that the new Statute, which has counted on the votes in favor of PSOE, PP, Canarian nationalists, PNV, PDeCAT, the abstention of Citizens and the vote against Podemos , shows “the capacity of the democratic system of evolution and reform” because “to modify” a Statute of Autonomy is “to modify our territorial system”.

On behalf of the Government, Batet has expressed the “commitment” of the Executive in the “effective application” of the Statute and has asked the forces that have not been integrated into the consensus that it is possible to “recover the agreement” in the future development of the rule.

Qualified as a “historical day”

From the rostrum of the Senate, the president of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, has followed this last debate, in which the senators involved in PSOE, PP, Canarian nationalists and PNV have agreed to describe the day as “historic” to endow the archipelago with instruments to face future challenges.

However, the new Statute maintains a question about the reform of the electoral system as it now depends on the Canarian Parliament articulating, in the coming months, an instrument for its application in the regional elections of 2019.

For his part, Citizen Senator Luis Crisol has justified the abstention of his party in which none of the amendments have been accepted, and has referred in particular to those who advocate the independence of judges and public television. However, he admitted that it is a “historic day” for the Canary Islands for the suppression of the appraisals , an initiative that, he said, is due to his group.

For its part, Podemos has withdrawn its amendments “not to be an impediment and an obstacle” but they have demanded more citizen participation and have regretted that they have not bet more on issues such as unemployment, poverty or corruption and a change in the productive model or fight against climate change .

A “holder of the Presidency of the Canary Islands”

Fernando Clavijo will be the last president of the Government of the Canary Islands: the autonomous Parliament will not have the opportunity to elect any more because the reform establishes that from now on the legislative Chamber will invest “the person holding the Presidency of the Canary Islands” . The institution of the Presidency of the Canary Islands, replacing the traditional Presidency of the Government of the Canary Islands, is one of the novelties of this Statute of Autonomy, which succeeds that approved in 1982 and reformed in 1996.

So far the Statute established that “the powers of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands are exercised through Parliament, the Government and its president”, but from this reform will be different: “They are exercised through Parliament, the Presidency and the Government . “

The institution of the Presidency of the Canary Islands has its own chapter in the new Statute, the third chapter, which regulates the election of its owner and the power it has to appoint the rest of the members of the Government, including “the titular person of the Vice Presidency. “

A new Economic and Fiscal Regime

The reform also modifies the Economic and Fiscal Regime (REF) which, from now on, is anchored in the Statute of Autonomy and is totally disconnected from the ordinary regional financing system .

All the political groups, except Podemos, have voted in favor of the “shielding” of the REF, which will come into force on the same day of its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), for consolidating the region’s ultraperipheral nature and placing Canaries on equal terms with the rest of the citizens of the European Union.

In addition, the new REF contemplates the recognition, with indefinite validity, of the bonuses of the tariffs of the regular services to the air and maritime transport of residents between the Canarian community and the Peninsula and includes the compensation of the effective cost of the air and sea transport of goods.

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