Spain is to shut down most of its coalmines by the end of the year after government and unions agreed on a deal that will encompass early retirement schemes for miners over 48, with environmental restoration work in pit communities and re-skilling schemes for cutting-edge green industries.
Privately owned coal mines are covered under this deal. Almost all the pits were financial burdens that the European Commission had allowed Madrid to temporarily subsidise with €2.1 billion of state investment.
Mining and subcontracting jobs that will be lost due to the closures have a transition plan as part of the deal in the form of early retirement funds for miners over age 48, and comprehensive retraining schemes and economic support for younger miners.
Investments in the mining regions that will be made over the next 10 years - financial package agreed between the government and trade unions. Teresa Ribera, the minister for ecological transition, said: “With this agreement, we have solved the first urgent task we had on the table when we came to government. Our aim has been to leave no one behind. We also want to go further, we want to innovate. That is why we offer the drawing up of ‘Just Transition’ contracts, with the aim of helping the regions to consolidate the employment of the future.”