September 24, 2020

Spain is an admirable country, but it is difficult to know if it will endure another month like August

Moncloa had not chosen the wrong date the Pedro Sánchez conference Monday at the Casa de América before a large representation of the Ibex. The ones they had seen the weekend before the movie ‘Tenet’ and they had understood, let’s put the middle of the plot, they were not going to have problems understanding the president’s message. As it turned out, they wouldn’t have suffered any major problems if they had paid to see ‘Mary Poppins’.

We are still in summer, so it is early to release a new album. Sánchez limited himself to touching on his best-known topics of the pandemic. We must be united, we will not leave anyone behind or Spain will move forward were some of those who sounded. With the latter, Sánchez was about to enter the rugged terrain of plagiarism. “We are an admirable country,” he said in what sounded suspiciously similar to “Spain is a great country” that Mariano Rajoy performed countless times on his tours around the periphery. As it is not the first time that happens, it is possible that it is a tribute, like those that Tarantino does with the best scenes of the filmmakers he admires. Everything is a remix and in Spanish politics it is more so than anywhere.

Those invited to the event with the largest current account were the top executives of large corporations –BBVA, Santander, Telefónica, Inditex, Repsol, Endesa …–, the Spain that has the least interest in a tax reform for which those who pay more they have more, but also the one that needs the Government to succeed in its negotiations in Brussels. In addition, billionaire executives will not go to sleep more easily if their clients cannot pay their mortgage or reduce their telephone or electricity expenses. In any case, they were there as a token of institutional courtesy and some because their contracts with the Administration are a mouthful that should not be despised, especially in these times.

Sánchez wanted to send them a message that could somehow reach Pablo Casado’s ears, no matter how much the effort is doomed to failure. “We need a new political climate,” the president told them, who once again insisted on the importance of the unity of the political class to face a very serious crisis. “We can choose unity or we can choose the old divisions and the old grievances.”

He repeated the word ‘unity’ 18 times. It wasn’t the day to be subtle.

“Spain can” was the main slogan of the meeting. How can it not be possible if it is an admirable country? “No setback is going to prevent us from getting up. After each setback, we will advance again. No partial setback is going to deprive us of that long-awaited final victory.” It is possible that the increase in infections produced in summer, which the Government did not expect to occur so soon, should be included in the section of partial setbacks, but Sánchez did not influence it. It was not time to comment on the bad news, not even the ones that now monopolize everyone’s attention because of the danger that it will be the starting point for something worse when autumn arrives.

On that slope to the inescapable triumph, there was room to ignore certain parts of reality. “Nobody is left behind,” he said, when there are many who have been left far behind, such as those who exhausted their unemployment benefit months ago, those who need “help to survive, I no longer say to live”. “The problem affects all classes.” The pandemic – and now it is not like March, this should be very clear to everyone by now – harms those who have the least much more, both from a health and economic point of view. The idea that the coronavirus does not make distinctions is an argumentative device that could be used to convince people at the time of confinement, but not at this time. “We are the most decentralized country in the world,” Sánchez said in a statement that can only be true if the existence of the federal states is unknown.

If the government – or perhaps only the socialist ministers – trusts that big companies will pressure the PP to support the budgets or abstain from voting, it is daydreaming. Married could not be clearer. The new national spokesperson of the party remained in that line, as expected. “With Pedro Sánchez’s partnersWe cannot agree on the budgets, “José Luis Martínez Almeida warned. Sánchez is only left with the option of resigning from the coalition government and being isolated in the middle of nowhere and in the hands of the PP.

Perhaps Sánchez only hopes that the PP is not too harsh with Ciudadanos in the event that Inés Arrimadas’ party agrees to reach some kind of budget agreement with the PSOE. Regarding that, Casado does not seem eager to declare war on Ciudadanos. In an interview in La Razón, he commented that the support of the PP would not be necessary if the Socialists negotiate successfully with Ciudadanos, the PNV and the parties that have a seat. Casado has done the math so that the strongest businessmen on the Ibex do not heat his head.

A few hours after Sánchez’s speech, the depressing moment of the day reached the announcement of the new coronavirus infections known since Friday: 23,572 more, of which 7,457 are in Madrid. “As for the month of August, we have a bittersweet taste. We are detecting a huge volume of cases,” said Fernando Simón. So the best thing about August is that it is over. Let us hope that September is at the level of a country as admirable as Spain.


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