Can Spain really do it?

31 August, 2020 · News> Europe> Spain

The news of the day in Spain is an event organized by the government to which the heavy weights of the bourgeoisie and the Spanish political apparatus are expected to attend. It does not really have a name but rather a slogan: Spain can do it. A whole confession of the atmosphere that reigns in the ruling class: impotence. And it is no wonder.


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Of course, they will dress it up in Sanchist triumphalism once again. But the truth -which once again we had to find out in the Anglo press – is that everything is now ready for a new confinement and border closure. This is not a surprise either: with an average of almost 4,000 positives per day, Spain has 110.4 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest incidence in Europe by far.

More of the same: they chose the 18th to wait until the end of the tourist season, which officially ends on the 15th. They don’t want to admit that the rush to deconfine at full speed and before time not only took lives, but was also counterproductive for the only thing that really mattered to the bourgeosie: recovering profits. Spain became the most dangerous tourist destination in Europe and even the rural houses and tourist apartments, those they expected would compensate in part for the stoppage, lost more than half of the overnight stays. Today everything points to an fall in GDP even greater than the worst forecasts. The figures from the government and the banks point to a fall of 15% of the GDP and an unemployment of 23%.

And so far everything points that way. The GDP of the second quarter fell by 9.8%, the second largest fall in all of Europe after Great Britain. Between April and June, exports fell by 27.7%, the worst figure in the historical series. Prices continue to fall because products cannot find a buyer. The state is indebted en masse, competing in volume with France and Germany to stay afloat, because temporary layoffs are separate … at least for the moment, because it is increasingly evident that the temporary layoff model is going to be permanent.

A sole obsession: saving investments

As we write and discuss this article, Sánchez talks about social justice and how no vulnerable people will be left behind. However, if temporary layoffs are maintained indefinitely, this will not be done in order to save jobs, but to rescue a mass of companies that would otherwise go into bankruptcy. That lives, and especially those of workers, are not the focus of the government’s policy is clear when they insist that there will only be lockdowns if the health system is on the verge of collapse again while they are already setting a date for total disaster: September 18. Moreover, while they cut temporary layoffs at every turn and postpone payments of minimum income, they allocate to immediate payment 3 billion euros in military spending to fatten large Spanish companies, some of which, like Indra, did not even have to carry out temporary layoffs. As in March, as in June, everything is about pushing deadlines to the limit without looking at the human cost in order to boost cash flow and sales as quickly as possible.

It is the same logic behind a back to school campaign that they estimate they will have to cut short a few days later. In a country where more than half of the families turn to their grandparents on a daily basis to help them raise their children, reopening schools without performing daily PCRs is a tremendous irresponsibility. Even more so when it is now known that children tend to be asymptomatic and yet their ability to infect tends to be even greater than in sick adults. The famous safe reopening of schools is completely unsafe. There is no point in measuring fever if daily tests are not done and children remain crowded in classes of 30 to 40 students. Teachers know this and are afraid. The unions, for the moment, although they recognize that between 70 and 80% of the teachers want to fight, only call strikes in some communities and only as a threat to regional governments in order to fulfill their own insufficient plans.

This is only the beginning

No wonder that large companies, PSOE, Podemos, trade unions, regional nationalists and the entire apparatus closed ranks today around Sánchez. All of them, up to the independentists who were the pioneers in carrying out social cuts in the name of unity, share a common goal: to save the results of investments and the main instruments of national capital at all costs. They definitively leave behind the vague promises to raise the minimum wage and the increase in business contributions, they begin to prepare together a new attack on pensions and they close any option to repeal the Rajoy labor reform; if the latter is touched it will be to accelerate precarization even more.

The route has been fundamentally mapped out. Whether they can impose it is another matter. If it were so clear to them, they would not make such a boring and unbelievable liturgy as seeing Sánchez for the umpteenth time in order for him to show off and display unity in front of a class they never mention except to paint it as vulnerable people. In the end it depends on us and our ability to fight collectively, they are imposing barbarity after barbarity to save their investments at the expense of our most basic needs: not to be infected, to have a salary or pension sufficient to live and to have access to health, education and housing in conditions. Needs that are going to be farther and farther from being met for more workers if we don’t put up a fight. We must do it.

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