Not even 24 hours have passed since Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias will present their proposal for Budgets for 2019, and the representatives of International Monetary Fund (IMF) prefer to be cautious before assessing them. But the general diagnosis of the organism is clear: the countries of the eurozone with a high level of debt -between which clearly is Spain, with a debt close to 100% of the GDP- must do more to adjust their accounts now that the conjuncture economic is positive. This is an idea that clashes with the increase in spending by 5,000 million which includes the pre-agreement of Sánchez and Iglesias, who must still seek parliamentary support that they lack.
On the increase in the minimum wage, the IMF is warmer. He has limited himself to asking the Spanish Government to be "careful". Poul Thomsen, director of the European department of the Fund, has refused to comment on a document he said he did not know. But it has given some clues as to where the body that celebrates its annual meeting in Bali this week is breathing.
Sánchez and Iglesias have agreed on the greater increase of the minimum wage of the Spanish democracy; 22% more, up to 900 euros. In this regard, Thomsen was ambivalent. He asked the government to be "careful" to remember the negative effects on employment that such a measure may have, especially to expel those employees for whom employers are not willing to pay those 900 euros.
But he also recognized that this was a very demanded social measure. "I perfectly understand. We must balance both factors, "concluded Thomsen, who praised the structural reforms undertaken by the PP government, which, he said, have boosted productivity.
On fiscal policy, there is no doubt. "We are concerned that some eurozone countries, especially the most indebted ones, have not created enough fiscal space for the bad times. In these countries there has not been a significant reduction in debt despite the years that have had growth above their potential. This increases the risks, "said Thomsen.
The person in charge of Europe for the Fund criticized Spain for not having promoted a sufficiently anti-cyclical policy, that is, to increase spending and investment when the economy goes down; and apply saving measures when the activity grows strongly.
It is a clear message for countries such as Italy, which has challenged the European Commission by presenting a Budget that foresees a deficit of 2.4% for the next three years. Or for Spain, whose president has just presented a budget proposal with an additional 5,000 million distributed spending, among other items, in 1,300 million for education and science, 1,0000 million for pensions, 859 for unemployment and dependency, 600 for housing and 300 for paternity leave. Despite being asked on several occasions, Thomsen said he did not want to comment on these figures.