Last Update 19:56
Tuesday, 04 August 2020

Spain extends social spending through September

AP , Tuesday 7 Jul 2020
Volunteers show residents how to install an app to trace contacts with people potentially infected w
Volunteers show residents how to install an app to trace contacts with people potentially infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) being trialled on the Canary Island of La Gomera, Spain, July 3, 2020. (Reuters)
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The Spanish government is extending through September social spending to help families weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Utility companies cannot cut gas, electricity or water supply even if citizens fail to foot their bills until Sept. 30. Mortgage payments will remain frozen for those who can't afford to pay their dues.

Home rentals will be extended without changes in their conditions for six additional months, government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero announced Tuesday. Tenants who qualify can apply for discounts on their rents or delays in payments if their landlords own 10 or more properties.

A U.N. report published this week says the COVID-19 crisis has exposed ``serious weaknesses'' in Spain's efforts to reduce poverty, although it notes that the left-wing coalition government's response to the virus outbreak is ``encouraging.''

Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos also announced that more than half of a 1.77-billion-euro ($2 billion) aid fund for the transportation industry will be allocated to the state railway company, Renfe, whose operations nearly halted after the mid-March lockdown. Over 660 million euro will go to shore up private companies.

Spain has at least 28,300 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus.

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