This week a Senate meeting has announced that La Graciosa is now the eighth island of the Canary Islands, forming part of several changes during the new Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands.
The new Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands detailed several changes, mainly to provide more self-governance of the archipelago. All political parties, with the exception of Podemos, approved the “shielding” of the new Statute of Autonomy… protecting it from being challenged by other areas of Spain.
The new Statute includes the following items:
- Isla la Graciosa is now considered the eighth Canary Island. It will be administratively dependent upon its closest neighbour, Lanzarote. Although there are 13 actual Canary Islands… historically only seven have been formally recognised as inhabited (El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, La Palma, Lanzarote and Tenerife). As of now, La Graciosa officially joins that list.
- The Economic and Fiscal Regime (REF) will be outside of regional financing and the electoral system will be changed. From now on, the president of the Government of the Canary Islands has the power to dissolve the regional legislature and call early elections.
- The number of electoral seats has been raised to 70 with a possibility of rising to 75 in the future.
- The Economic and Fiscal Regime (REF) now recognises indefinitely, the discounts for Canary island residents for travel by air or sea between the Canary Islands and the Peninsula.
- The islands will gain more self-government on their coasts and surrounding waters.
- Social inclusion: People who were in a situation of social exclusion now have the right to access a citizenship income “under the terms established by law”. The public authorities will ensure the eradication of the effects of poverty and social exclusion on people living in the Canary Islands through the development of public services.
The president of the Canarian Government, Fernando Clavijo, attended the session and said, “The Canaries have taken part in an unprecedented step and have, finally, a Statute of Autonomy that recognises the uniqueness of the Canary Islands and the rights of the 2.2 million residents.”