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The Basque Parliament asks to extend the reduction in transport

Vitoria (EFE).- The Basque Parliament asks the regional Executive to extend the 50% reduction in its public transport during 2023, with the abstention of Vox and the support of the rest of the groups, including the PNV. This party has insisted, however, on asking the central government to maintain the financing of this measure for the next year.

The approved initiative is included in an amendment negotiated between Elkarrekin Podemos-IU, proponent group, and EH Bildu. It indicates that the aid from the Basque Government to maintain these reductions will be evaluated after six months to decide whether or not they are still necessary.

The Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, and the Minister Olatz Garamendi before the debate on transport discounts. EFE/L.Rico

In addition, in a second point the text contemplates the summons to all the Basque administrations so that the Basque Transport Authority acquires the commitment to apply a system of discounts based on use and income.

With the exception of Vox, which has abstained, all the groups have supported the amendment. This initiative seeks to maintain the 50% discount on tickets for means of transport dependent on the Basque Government, financed until December 31, 2022 by 20% by the regional institution and 30% by the central government.

Central Government Funding

The PSE-EE and the institutional representatives of this party both in the Executive of Iñigo Urkullu and in the provincial councils had already shown their willingness to materialize this extension. Today the PNV has also been favorable, but has demanded that the Government of Pedro Sánchez maintain its part of the financing.

In fact, unlike what happened this Thursday in the plenary session of the Basque Parliament, yesterday the PNV did not support a similar initiative in the General Meetings of Bizkaia regarding public transport dependent on the Provincial Council of that territory.

The PNV parliamentarian, Irune Berasaluze, has insisted that the central government should maintain the financing of 30% of the reduction in tickets. She recalled that the fact that this part is assumed by the regional administrations will have a cost of more than 70 million euros in 2023.

“I would be grateful to Podemos and the PSE who are in the Government of Madrid to facilitate the arrival of this financing,” he requested.

The Basque Parliament asks to extend the reduction in transport
The Victorian tram. EFE/David Aguilar

For her part, the socialist Cristina Corcuera has reiterated the commitment of the PSE-EE to extend the 50% discounts throughout 2023 if necessary. She has made it clear, however, that it is necessary to evaluate these measures as they are “exceptional”.

Basque skills

From Elkarrekin Podemos-IU, Iñigo Martínez has warned that “there are no excuses or waiting for third parties to exercise Basque powers and self-government”.

“It’s not worth waiting for Spain when we have a record budget with enough remnants,” he claimed.

For his part, Unai Fernández de Betoño (EH Bildu) has insisted on defending that the 50% reduction lasts during 2023 after recalling that it is a measure supported by the transport departments of the main Basque institutions.

Finally, Muriel Larrea (PP+Cs) has considered it “vital” to maintain the reduction as long as the economic situation does not change. EFE