The Lehendakari announces anti-crisis measures to be adopted by the Basque Government
The Lehendakari has asked all social agents to "lend a hand" in order to find a way out of the crisis
The Basque Government will cut 5% off its wage bill to generate €87 million in savings.
In his speech before the Basque Parliament, the Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, analysed the economic situation of the Basque Country and proposed a set of measures and reforms to deal with the crisis. This involves a package of measures designed to deal with public debt, make savings in current expenditure, optimise the Government and adjust public services, as well as making a number of changes required in order to "modernise the country, improve our position, support those who need it most, guarantee the sustainability of our public services and initiate a future of progress and well-being for Basque society", the Lehendakari declared.
Patxi López went on to declare that "It is time for austerity, saving and reform in our administration". This statement is based on two premises: The first, that all citizens "without exception" must make the joint effort necessary in order to face the crisis in the Basque Country. Secondly, the measures required to guarantee the future must be adopted "now" in order "not to break interpersonal and intergenerational solidarity".
For these reasons, the Lehendakari announced the measures that the Basque Government are to adopt in order to deal with the economic crisis: reduce staffing costs and adjust and reorganise its workforces; reduced current expenditure, remove any unnecessary costs; remove the duplication of jobs between different government bodies and draw up a services map shared by everyone; maintain essential social services without reducing rights; maintain all investments approved in the budget; encourage agreements for progressive tax reform and fight against fraud, prioritising the allocation of extraordinary resources.
Through these proposals, the Basque Government will cut 5% off its wage bill to generate approximately 87 million euros.
With regard to investments, the Lehendakari confirmed that the planned savings will not affect the expenditure level in investments in 2010. Moreover, he indicated that it is a priority for the Basque Government to maintain its investment in the section of the "Basque Y" railway system that runs through Gipuzkoa.
The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, declared that in order to face the economic crisis and find a way out under the best conditions, "we all have to lend a hand" and therefore asked for the collaboration and responsibility of our social agents.