The virus that changed the programs and speeches of the campaign in Galicia

The health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the political course in Galicia, a territory in which the appointment of the voters with the ballot boxes was set for April 5 and which was forced to postpone some elections whose planned development has completely changed.

Despite the initial reluctance of many groups to delay the election date, the blazing spread of the virus and its tragic consequences completely covered the news agenda throughout the spring and forced political formations to readjust their programs and speeches to a new reality. still in a state of definition.

The majority party in the Autonomous Parliament and its leader and president of the Xunta, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, opposed their model of a single force in power in the weeks of pre-campaign to that of a multiparty opposition in which they tried to accentuate divisions and alert to voters of possible conflicts over the distribution of power in the event of victory.

Today, the popular continue to exploit this vein, while trying to capitalize on the political revenue of managing a pandemic that is still alive and that in its worst days shocked a Galician population that, despite being the first to have entered the new normality is still suspicious of it and takes time to recover its routines.

Based on this premise, the extensive PPdeG electoral program combines the review of the milestones of its more than ten years of interrupted management with promises for the future already formulated before COVID-19 and its plan of actions to overcome the pandemic, in whose diagnosis is highly critical of the role played by the central government in treating it.

In an opposite point of view is the PSdeG and its candidate, Gonzalo Caballero, who praises at all times the management carried out by the central executive of the pandemic and they explain that this is the model they want to bring to Galicia: that of the care of citizenship and public services instead of cuts and lack of solidarity on the right.

In addition, Caballero insists that, in the event of the coronavirus, it is "more necessary than ever" that there be a progressive government in the Xunta that takes measures such as those that he has advanced in this campaign to strengthen the welfare system and that they pass, among others, by the hiring of up to 5,000 health professionals through opposition or the reinforcement of computer systems and Internet access that educational centers can make available to students.

This differs - in his opinion - from the model followed by a PP that in recent years has taken measures contrary to the public health system and that has motivated the combativeness of workers and user associations.

The proposal of Galicia en Común-Anova-Mareas and of its aspirant to reach the Xunta de Galicia, Antón Gómez-Reino, also exhibits collusion with the central government and influences that the way out of the health crisis cannot be like that of the economic recession in 2009: that is, paid for by workers and by the most vulnerable sectors of society.

That is why they collect in writing that their main priority will be "the creation of employment and the recovery of decent working conditions", in addition to an increase in social contributions to attend to "urgent needs" for the sake of greater social justice; accompanied by a recovery for the public domain of outsourced services in recent years.

Meanwhile, the BNG and its spokesperson Ana Pontón include in their program multiple references related to the pandemic, although they hardly modify the structural meaning of a document already thought to carry out a profound reform of the existing system, which they now consider more urgent and necessary.

Attacks on centralism and the lack of decision-making capacity from Galicia are the differential factor of the proposals formulated by the Bloc with respect to the rest of the opposition, since they share common places such as the reinforcement of the health system, education or plans for dependence.

Likewise, historical demands of nationalists are included, such as a Galician public bank, its own electricity rate or greater fiscal autonomy.

Javier Ramos


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