Castilla-La Mancha considering requesting declaration of ‘catastrophic zone’ after Filomena pass

Publication: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 5:54 PM

The government of Castilla-La Mancha proposes to ask the government to declare a catastrophic area after the passage of storm Filomena. Regional Executive Development Advisor Nacho Hernando said a process would be open to gather information from employers, unions, third sector, municipalities and councils regarding the damage caused by Storm Filomena and, according to the data, the possibility of requesting the declaration of a disaster zone from the central government will be considered.

This was delivered in response to questions at a press conference on the PP’s request to seek such a statement. Hernando explained that depending on the “objective data” collected, the possibility of transmitting this information to the Ministry of the Interior will be raised or not, which is the one who decides whether the declaration of a catastrophic zone is feasible or not.

“The declaration itself is not the important thing, but the determination of the material damage that has occurred so that there can be compensation for these people,” said the adviser.

If the request is confirmed, it would be added to that of the Community and the City of Madrid, which had already requested the declaration of a “ catastrophic zone ” in the region due to the snowfall and frosts caused by storm Filomena.

A situation that the central government has not ruled out. From the inside, however, they stress that a final damage assessment will not be made until the emergency is over.

What does the declaration of a “catastrophic zone” imply?

It really has important effects on the pocket of the citizen, because it envisages measures for bodily injury, for material damages of a different nature, fiscal measures but also labor and social security.

More specifically, the authorities can establish direct aid to citizens for damage caused to their habitual residence or basic necessities, or compensation to municipalities and businesses for expenses incurred to deal with the emergency. Preferential ICO loan lines can also be established for those affected.

With regard to tax benefits, payment of the IBI or tax reductions on economic activities may be exempt. Moratoriums can also be established in the payment of social security contributions or also suspend contracts in cases of force majeure.

According to the law, it can be declared “when an emergency arises whose magnitude requires the intervention of the General State Administration for its restoration” and the Council of Ministers must do so after the request of the administrations concerned.

However, beforehand, the executive will have had to study whether there has been personal and material damage which disturbs the living conditions of the population or if some or all public services have been paralyzed to declare it.

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