The Horticultural Exporters Federation of Las Palmas, Fedex, has described as a “severe blow to the Canary agricultural sector”, the anticipated reduction in transport subsidies, announced recently as part of the government’s austerity drive.
Presently, because of their geographical position, the cost of transporting goods from the islands to the mainland is subsidised to the tune of 20 million euros a year.
That figure is set to be reduced to 18 million in 2013, according to the latest budget announcements.
Fedex spokesman, Roberto Goiriz, said any cut to the transport subsidy was bound to affect the ability of businesses in the islands to compete, not just in Spain, but across the EU, where transport costs were a major factor.
The latest cuts come on top of a 50 per cent reduction on the subsidy, from 40 million to 20 million, which took effect at the beginning of this year.