The level of pandemic disaster is such that Portugal is considering requesting international aid. Over the last seven days, in Spain alone, 1,369 additional deaths have been declared due to Covid. Hospital, ICU and emergency room overcrowding is openly acknowledged. The slaughter’s mark is already felt even in the figures of the pension system. In France the figures are also terrible, but Macron is reluctant to organize a new lockdown because he considers the economic price of doing so justto save a few thousand lives to be unbearable. The European Commission, which until less than a week ago was calling against closing borders, is now calling for the closure of human flows between regions. Always too little and always too late
And what’s the point? The labor contracts fell by almost 30%. And according to the Oxfam report published yesterday, severe poverty, that is, the number of people living on less than €16.1 a day, could increase in Spain by 790,000 people and reach 5.1 million, raising the poverty rate to almost 23%. According to Eurostat, today over 9% cannot even heat their homes to the minimum temperatures deemed by the WHO to render them inhabitable.
And yet when we read the business press, capital seems happy. According to the cited Oxfam report, the global bourgeoisie has already made up for its wealth losses. The Swiss bank has doubled its profits. And listed companies are heading for a dividend recovery.
At the heart of so much happiness: the Green Deal, that never-ending festival: takeover bids and billion-dollar pledges on a weekly basis, massive projects in the most absurd places, war-scale supply deals, daily announced start-up purchases worth hundreds of millions… That new economy as Biden and Sanders, Lagarde and Errejón call it to a chorus is made of outrageous figures that do not fit together on any side:
The Red Eléctrica de España website (REE) states that there are 121.7 GW of wind and photovoltaic power with access and grid connection rights awarded, plus another 47.6 GW in the pipeline. That volume of power more than doubles the country’s needs over the next decade, and in addition to revealing a tremendous bubble, is backed by 6,772 million in guarantees, quantified at 40,000 euros per MW.El Economista, 3/12/2020
But whatever. Thinking green already profits even small speculators. On the first day of Davos, Lagarde is calling for more fuel for the new green bubble. Biden will launch tomorrow the first guidelines of his own Green Deal, brought forward in part by Princeton University, lest we forget that environmentalism is supposedly a grassroots movement. Merkel and Macron no longer know what is more important, either the opportunities that the US joining the celebration will bring for European companies, or worrying about the competition that is coming their way. And the fact is that, after the first courtesies, Biden went head-first into the fray. He first phoned Johnson, setting the hierarchy of relationships, then Macron – who was once a young banker in the London City – and finally Merkel… the only one who formally invited Biden. When journalists asked German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas if that was a bad sign, he replied:
You can look at it that way, but you shouldn’t look at it that way.
This also applies to the pandemic and the recovery. What do they mean when they say that we are reaching stabilization? Do we consider 400 deaths a day reassuring? What do they mean by recovery when they unabashedly acknowledge that we are on the eve of new waves of layoffs and that one in four people will be living in poverty in a matter of months? You can look at it that way, but you shouldn’t look at it that way, they reply to us, stabilization is this, recovery is this. Actually, in their language, it has always been like this. Stabilization of economic expectations, recovery of dividends. Poverty for all, helplessness for the victims.
For workers who still harbored hope for the class ruling society to correct and stop prioritizing profits over lives, for workers who chose to wait for the stabilization of the pandemic and the recovery of the economy, it is time to shatter the illusions. This is the way it is. And there is no room for us and our needs within this so-called “stabilization”.