Spain asks Brussels for emergency funds to help farmers cope with drought



Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas on Tuesday said Spain has asked Brussels for emergency funds to help the agricultural sector cope with the ongoing drought.

In a letter, Madrid asked the EU’s agricultural commissioner to activate the common agricultural policy’s (CAP’s) crisis reserve since the drought “is much more accentuated in Spain” than in other countries.

Spain is bracing for potentially record-breaking heat this week, which could drive temperatures to near 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) in Andalusia by Thursday.

The country’s meteorological service AEMET said the temperature will make it feel like mid-July, even though it is still April.

The heat, combined with abnormally dry conditions, is only exacerbating the drought that has been gripping Spain for over a year.

Bank of Spain Governor Pablo Hernández de Cos said climate change will be a “fundamental determinant” of economic growth and financial stability. He added that “Spain, could be more affected, in certain dimensions” by a warming planet.

The government has also decreed tax breaks for farmers to help them deal with failing crops.

Those working with the hardest-hit crops such as olives, almonds and beekeeping will see income taxes cut in half. Others working with grains, oil crops, legumes, chestnuts, peaches, nectarines and livestock will get 30% reductions.—AA