Pardons As A Positional Factor

catalan politicians prison

Fernando González Urbaneja | Are you in favour of pardons, meaning that you are a “sanchista” (a faction of Spanish socialism)? However, if you are against them, then your position is more or less conservative or fascist, or perhaps liberal, to the right. It’s a simplification, but describes in a nutshell the bureaucracy in which Spanish politics is bogged down. Pardons, their legality, convenience, usefulness… occupy all the space for debate in the media and in political discourse, with positions that are predictable depending on who is going to speak. Alignment by families/interests, opportunistic calculation, and disdain for the serious problems burdening citizens.

Now is the time to discuss the approach to pandemic policy and, above all, the measures to be taken to be prepared for the next pandemic. It is time to analyse mistakes, what was done wrong, what could have been avoided so that when it happens again we are prepared.

Now is the time to discuss how to underpin the recovery (rebound) that is taking place in the economy. The aim being that this is not a mere reaction, but something consistent that contributes to increasing the growth potential for this decade.

Pension reform should now be tackled in earnest, for a generation, and not mere rhetorical adjustments which do not upset anyone, but do not change the underlying negative trends.

Now is the time to adopt effective measures to reduce unemployment and job precariousness, especially amongst young people and the chronically unemployed. They are an anomaly, an exception in the so-called advanced economies.

We must now agree on an education strategy from the cradle to the grave, to adapt training to the demands of the new production systems and not miss the boat of progress.

At this time we should discuss and agree on concrete policies to solve the problems of the shortage of rental housing for people on low income. As well as improve the low and precarious salaries that conspire against having confidence in the future.

This is the time when it would be logical, intelligent and decent to concentrate on the known list of citizens’ priority problems, without being distracted by the particular agendas of some political leaders obsessed with their own agendas. Pardons are neither a priority, nor a unit of measurement, of the ideology or preferences of each analyst and each citizen.

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.