Spain announced on Tuesday a 20 billion euros (27 billion dollars) fund to finance sustainable development projects plus a new local investment fund with €5 billion ($6.7 billion) of credit for local environmental works, and technological and social projects.
The state credit agency Instituto Credito Oficial would manage the fund, which would be operational from 2010, the government said in a statement.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told the lower house of Parliament it would finance “renewable energy, restoration of buildings, non-polluting transport and recycling”.
An example included in the package of measures is a subsidy for the renewal of non-contaminating and low consumption buses. Buses more than 10 years old will be replaced by new ones.
The government will therefore support the purchase of up to 2000 new buses. Companies will also be encouraged to provide their workers with bus passes which will result in a reduction of 24% in the cost of transportation.
Zapatero announced plans to help improve technology in schools with the purchase of 420,000 laptop computers for classrooms, wi-fi internet connection in schools, the installation of digital blackboards and training for teachers in the best use of technology for educational purposes.
Another measure announced in this package is the cut in taxes for small businesses that forgo layoffs. The tax cut would be applicable to companies with fewer than 25 employees and an annual turnover of less than 5 million euros ($6.8 million).