This EU country offers free train travel

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that the state will offer free train travel on short and medium distance journeys to alleviate the economic burden caused by inflation.

Speaking at the first state of the national debate in parliament since 2015, Sanchez also announced a host of other measures he says will protect the working and middle classes and incentivize lower energy consumption.

“I am well aware that it is becoming more and more difficult to reach the end of the month… Inflation is to blame and I will do everything I can to deal with it,” he said. declared.

In addition to the train service, which is scheduled to operate from September 1 to December 31, Sanchez shared plans to provide monthly scholarships of €100 ($100) to around 1 million students and to increase grants for efficiency energy and solar panels.

Travel on certain parts of the public rail network, Renfewould be free from September 1 to the end of the year.

The 100% rail discounts will apply to multi-ticket journeys on cercanías (suburban services) and media distancing, or medium distance routes (less than 300 km). The measure is mainly aimed at Spanish subscriptions but tourists could benefit from it if they buy multi-trip tickets.

The aid comes on top of a €9 billion aid package announced in June and a €220 billion stimulus announced in March to deal with the effects of the war in Ukraine, which began in February.

To help pay the costs of the progressive government’s spending, Sanchez said Spain would impose windfall taxes on big financial and energy companies that profit from high energy prices and rising interest rates.

“People talk about profits falling from the sky, but that’s not true. Profits come out of the pockets of consumers…this government will not allow the suffering of many to benefit the few,” the Spanish prime minister said.

He said the new taxes will take effect for two years from 2023 and add around €7 billion to state coffers.

After the Prime Minister’s speech, Spanish banking stocks plunged. CaixaBank’s value fell by more than 10%, as did Sabadell’s. Santander shares fell almost 6%, while BBVA shares were more dynamic with only 3% losses.

Some Spanish energy companies like Repsol also fell, but the government had already floated the idea of ​​taxing them at the end of last month.

Source: AA

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