The Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, has shown his “absolute willingness” to join possible State agreements to collaborate in the defense of the “common good” against the coronavirus, although he has specified that the current circumstances are “absolutely different” from those in 1977 they promoted the ‘Pacts of La Moncloa’. In any case, it has reiterated that the central government must “fine-tune” some of the measures that it is proposing, and that the decisions that are adopted from now on must attend to the “specificities” of each autonomous community.
Urkullu, in a press conference by videoconference after the weekly meeting of the Governing Council, referred to the proposal of the Spanish Executive to offer a joint response to the covid-19 crisis through new ‘Moncloa Pacts’ , political and economic agreements reached in 1977 by the central government and the main parties and socio-economic agents.
The Lehendakari stressed that the current circumstances are “absolutely different” from those of 1977 in what refers to the political, institutional and social reality of Spain, given that at that time there were not even autonomous communities. For this reason, he has called for “reflection” on the fact that agreements reached in circumstances “absolutely different from those of today” are cited as an example for the current situation.
“RESPECT AND MUTUAL RECOGNITION”
In any case, he agreed that it is necessary to put in place “state agreements” that respond to the coronavirus crisis. “What is relevant is not the name of the forum in which we can find ourselves, but to work for the common good and from mutual respect and recognition. In that sense, I am absolutely willing,” he said.
Despite this provision to the agreement, the Lehendakari has raised a series of objections and warnings regarding the way in which the central government is acting in dealing with the pandemic.
In this way, it has called for “deeper reflection” regarding decisions such as asking the autonomous communities for a list of centers that, if applicable, could be used to confine people infected with the coronavirus, but who do not present symptoms .
The Lehendakari has stated that, despite the “nuances” that the Spanish Executive has been introducing to this possible confinement, a measure of this type generates “certain doubts”. The Basque Government – as he has explained – is already working on the preparation of the list that has been claimed from the central Administration, although he has also consulted various experts on whether a measure such as that proposed by Pedro Sanchez’s cabinet is “feasible “
In addition, he warned that the Ministry of Health has not yet clarified some “doubts”, such as those referring to the way in which asymptomatic people would be detected, the requirements that the centers that would host these patients must meet. , or the way in which their care and maintenance would be guaranteed.
On the other hand, it has reiterated its request for the Government of Spain to “redirect” its attitude regarding the decision to suspend the items destined for the autonomous communities to cover active employment policies, funds that will be redirected to the fight against coronavirus.
The Lehendakari has condemned that this measure has been adopted in a “unilateral” manner and has called on Sánchez to “fine-tune” when making this type of decision. “I do not hide that there are decisions and forms that I do not like; but that does not detract one iota from my willingness to face a common task to stop the expansion of the coronavirus, take care of public health and protect those who are suffering the most,” he said.
CONVERSATION WITH SÁNCHEZ
Urkullu, who explained that last weekend he had a conversation in a “pleasant” tone with Sánchez, has reaffirmed his intention to dedicate “very little time” to objections and criticism, to focus on “working and collaborating.”
In this way, it has shown itself willing to collaborate in the search for agreements to apply measures of “flexibility” or “de-escalation” of the restrictions established due to the state of alarm, although it has specified that the steps taken in this regard have to take into account the “specificities” of each autonomous community.
The President of the Basque Government, who has assured that he feels “with all the strength” to face the challenge of the pandemic, has reiterated his support for the extension of the state of alarm until April 26, considering that it is necessary to maintain the measures of “social isolation” to contain the spread of the virus.
“BACK TO NORMAL”
In any case, he pointed out that, starting on April 26, it is necessary to begin to establish certain changes that allow “flexibility” in the restrictions that affect “day to day”, despite the fact that the declaration of the state of alarm can be maintained even after that date.
Urkullu explained that the regional government itself is working on a plan for the “return to normality”, which allows the progressive recovery – whenever possible – of routine activities in the health, educational, cultural or economic sectors.
Regarding the cancellation of non-essential economic activity decreed by the Government – a measure with which the Lehendakari has been very critical and has subsequently become more flexible -, he recalled that the central Government itself stated that its validity is until April 9, and that it has not proposed any extension in this regard.
In any case, he has insisted on the need to maintain a certain level of economic activity, “always complying” with health and safety protocols to avoid contagion.
Another issue that the Lehendakari has addressed is the controversy surrounding the advisability or not of extending the use of masks to the entire population. Iñigo Urkullu recalled that the World Health Organization (WHO) stated this past Monday that “it does not recommend the massive use” of these protections, but advises that their use be limited to health professionals, people with symptoms and people who are they take care of other people.
In addition, he explained that the Basque Government works with companies in the Basque Country and with the Basque Science and Technology Network in order to create “own” systems for the production of individual and collective protective equipment, in order to “supply” itself to the “global difficulties” that exist for the central government to achieve these teams abroad.
In this sense, he has expressed his desire that the Spanish Executive, which has assumed the centralized purchase of equipment and subsequently distribute it among the autonomous communities, “offer answers as soon as possible”.