By: Octavio Cabrera Toste
May 30th, 2025. Today is Canary Islands Day.
How time has passed and how many things have happened in these five years. It was four years ago, just coinciding with that last Sunday in May 2021, that something began to stir on our islands. A kind of tsunami flooded our consciences, those of everyone, politicians, officials, entrepreneurs, executives, workers, families, everyone…. A kind of benign virus was spreading through the archipelago by the time the Covid was diluted. It was as if the vaccine, in addition to inoculating us with the remedy for the “corona”, had put into our body a new understanding of our “Canarian reality”.
Indeed, since those weeks everything started to change. Our politicians all agreed in a meeting that lasted just a few hours. They had finally realized what had to be done: to enhance our region in a harmonious and consensual way, by using the magnificent tools that we possessed. On the one hand, those that nature had given us, recognized worldwide, and on the other, our political condition as an inseparable part of the European Union, and our always ever weighted, but never optimized, REF (Economic Fiscal Regime)
Suddenly, everything came together, sustainability of economic growth, absolute impulse to social growth, stability, and legal security, they became the pillars of our new reality.
We realized that the Canary Islands was not a matter of ideologies, it was a matter of UNION, of UNDERSTANDING, of assuming that we all wanted the same thing, GROWING, but growing well, growing in ECONOMY but at the same time in SOCIAL RIGHTS, raising the standard of living of all canaries, from an ECONOMIC revolution, but also from a SOCIAL one, from the absolute empowerment of EDUCATION, ETHICS and VALUES, from the maximum investment in RESEARCH and DEVELOPMENT.
Thus, the transformation was and continues to be amazing. In these four years, while TOURISM continues to be our great bastion, CANARY ISLANDS -IN CAPITAL LETTERS-, in a few months became the largest refuge for digital nomads in the world, and the following year, suddenly, ten UNIVERSITIES of the most prestigious in Europe and in the world decided to open university and research centres on the Islands. The REF, which had been urgently modified in the second semester of 2021, had introduced full exemptions to university centres and had finally expanded its scope to personal taxation, by eliminating once and for all, the TAX ON WEALTH and the INHERITANCE TAX, and introduced important reductions in personal income tax and non-residents income tax. From that moment on, that was A REVOLUTION.
We became aware of our strength, and we became a worldwide reference that nobody could copy, only admire, because nobody had what we had here: the best physical and political circumstances on the planet, and the most committed rulers, public servants, and society. And when I say society, I mean PEOPLE. We are all filled with pride and canariety. Sustainable investment, the revolution of our tourism industry and the new educational structures, where public and private education came together hand in hand, through the best policy of public aid and scholarships that had ever been seen, were financed with massive private investment of quality, with great family and business assets moving to our islands, in search of HAPPINESS that can only be achieved here. In just two years, we reached zero unemployment rate, and doubled our per capita income. So that later they say that the UNION (and intelligence I would say) does not make force.
It seemed like a dream, but it was reality: SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND TOURISM, ECOLOGISM, QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL, MAXIMUM DIVERSIFICATION OF THE ECONOMY LEADED BY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, AND THE ABSOLUTE PROTECTION OF OUR EXCELLENT NATURE. We got it all in a great couple of years, filled with a wonderful combination of madness and good sense. The COMMITMENT of all, our perpetual SUN, and our new REF 2.0. had succeeded.
I am writing these lines full of pride and love for our Islands, from T3 of the TFN Airport. I am in a hurry, leaving for Gran Canaria. This afternoon, the CANARY ISLANDS Sport Union Club (oh yes, I forgot to mention, in 2022, Tenerife and Unión Deportiva Las Palmas merged, and the matches are played in turns on one island or the other), they play the semi-finals of the Champions League with PSG. They continue to have Neymar (but he is older …), but it was two years ago when we stole Mbappe from Madrid, and I can assure you that no one will move him from here.