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Economic crisis, free trains in Spain and other aid proposed in Italy and Europe

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Economic crisis, free trains in Spain and other aid proposed in Italy and Europe

All European countries are preparing measures to combat the economic crisis which arises from the rise in the cost of energy sources, a consequence of the war in Ukraine, and from the rise in inflation. The Spanish government chooses measures for the less well-off sections of the population and extraordinary taxes on the extra-profits of large energy and financial companies. From this second measure, Madrid expects to earn 7 billion euros in two years. The measure that made the most of the news, however, is the choice of make trains free. There will be refunds of 100% of the amounts of local rail transport passes managed by the state from 1st September to 31st December 2022.

The premier announced, for the same period, a bonus of 100 euros per month for students over 16 who already benefit from study aid, therefore people who belong to families with lower incomes. Among the measures already active there are 20 euro cents per liter for fuel, the halving of VAT on electricity from 10% to 5% and a 200 euro bonus for low-income families.

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Similar measures have been implemented in Italy with the 200 euro bonus (for 31 million workers) and the cut in excise duties on fuels. There are others under consideration after the meeting with the unions on July 12, which ended with the promise to meet again by the end of the month. A 10-12 billion bill should arrive.

As with other countries, the goal is to curb the rush of inflation and high energy prices. On the table the tax wedge cut (the difference between what an employee costs the employer and what the worker receives net), the renewals of collective agreements and the hypothesis of minimum salary, following the European directive. On the latter issue, the proposal by the Minister of Labor, Andrea Orlando, envisages using the overall economic treatment of the most representative collective agreements in each sector as a starting point. Using this measure, around 700,000 workers would emerge from the state of poverty.

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Expected among the hypotheses the 0.8 point reduction in contributions social security on wages up to 35 thousand euros gross. For wages of up to 10 thousand euros gross, a deductible of one thousand euros on social security contributions would be introduced which would practically cancel the contributions. Hypothesized also the tax reduction of the increases contracted in the company.

In Germany an initiative similar to the Spanish one is already underway: all regional trains for only 9 euros a month. Applies to all routes except high-speed trains as early as June. The ticket is also valid for local public transport. With the autumn this initiative should end, but in Berlin the Greens are relaunching with a proposal: a monthly ticket of 29 euros against the current 84. The Germans chose the train over the polluting and expensive car.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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