The extraordinary Council of Ministers has approved the Royal Decree Law by which certain measures are adopted and extended for the economic and social recovery of the island of La Palma, to respond to the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine, and to address situations of social and economic vulnerability.

This RDL includes the extension until December 31 of the ERTE and the benefit for cessation of activity for self-employed workers affected by the emergency. The postponements and moratoriums on the payment of Social Security contributions are also extended for three months and the period for requesting aid by those affected is extended, which will be available up to 6 months after the declaration of the end of the emergency.

The extraordinary measures were included in Royal Decree-Law 18/2021, of September 28, on urgent measures for the protection of employment, economic recovery and improvement of the labor market, whose validity was extended by the Royal Decree-Law 2/2022, of February 22.

These measures were scheduled to expire on June 30. However, given that the labor and social effects caused by the eruption persist and continue to require aid and public intervention for the reactivation of economic activity, the Ministry of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory has proposed extending them with the aim to continue protecting the population and the productive fabric while continuing to advance in turn in the economic and social recovery, as well as in the reconstruction of the island, in collaboration and coordination with the Government of the Canary Islands, the Cabildo de La Palma and the affected municipalities.

In the 85 days and 8 hours of the eruption, La Palma experienced the greatest catastrophe in terms of duration, dimension and destruction of the last 100 years, with 1,218 hectares covered with lava, 1,676 buildings buried with 1,345 houses, 370 hectares of crops, and 73.8 kilometers of roads, with an economic bill of 982 million euros. In a perimeter of 68.8 kilometers, the destruction covered 10% of the island, forcing the evacuation of more than 7,000 people. Puerto Naos and La Bombilla, with more than a thousand inhabitants, are still closed due to concentrations of gases incompatible with life and there are hundreds of people still living in emergency-enabled areas.