Chakir el Homrani apologizes for self-employment aid chaos but rules out resignation

The Minister defends changes in the Ministry of Labour in order to "strengthen" the bureau

NÚRIA ORRIOLS / MIREIA ESTEVE / MARC TORO

After the Government's spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, avoided giving explanations about the dismissal of part of the Ministry of Labour's governing board, this Wednesday the Minister Chakir el Homrani answered the questions of the opposition in order to explain the reasons for this dismissal. "We did not properly measure the response" that the aid for self-employed workers would have; was the Minister's justification in relation to the chaos that was generated by the avalanche of petitions and the application system that was devised: whoever arrived first, received the help. "I apologize", he added, after several questions from the opposition.

However, El Homrani has ruled out resigning, although both the PSC and the Comuns have asked him to leave. "We have assumed responsibility", said the Minister after the dismissal of the Ministry's number two, Josep Ginesta, and the secretary for Social Affairs, Francesc Iglesias. In his opinion, in this way the council has been "strengthened" with regard to the second wave. This is the same reason that was given yesterday by the vice-president, Pere Aragonès, who also reiterated his confidence in El Homrani; and by the president of Esquerra's parliamentary group, Sergi Sabrià, who spoke of a "swift change" in the Labour Ministry.

The questions about the aid for freelancers have followed the vice-president, Pere Aragonès, who has announced - without specifying when - that the Government will start a new system of "maintained" subsidies for self-employed workers. He said that this system will have a larger budget - the first subsidies only amounted to 20 million euros -, and that the proposal will be taken to the freelance workers council where unions, employers, and organizations who work in the field are represented.

In Wednesday Parliamentary session it is also expected that the vice-president Aragonès appears to explain the coronavirus restrictions, as well as the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, and the Minister of Interior, Miquel Sàmper.

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