19/10/2020 Jaume Reixach
Jaume Reixach Journalist by vocation and, for this reason, founder and editor of EL TRIANGLE since 1990. Member of the cause for a better world
We are governed by a gang of thieves
The second wave of covid-19, in which we are immersed, has lower health effects – fatal victims and patients admitted to ICUs in hospitals – than the first. On the other hand, the economic shock is much more serious, among other reasons because, after seven long months of pandemic, companies, businesses and professional activities suffer great wear and tear and many businesses have been ruined or are in the last stages. Consequently, thousands of workers, freelancers and their families go through an ordeal trying to survive in this very adverse situation and the deprivation of income means that they have to feed themselves as they can and when they can.
Contrast this growing hardship that affects increasingly broad layers of Catalan society with the opulent salaries charged, on behalf of the public treasury, by our professional politicians and their court of high officials, advisers, trusted journalists … who surround them. If before it was already a remarkable anomaly the generous salaries that, for years, the Catalan political class has assigned itself – the highest, by far, in the Spanish State – now it is, directly, a grievance and a spit in the face of the vast majority of the population, affected by the deep economic recession caused by covid-19.
Just four examples to illustrate how, in these difficult times, our institutions waste public money in a totally irresponsible way:
* Former president Quim Torra continues to collect 122,400 euros a year once he has left office (more than 10,000 euros a month)
* Marcela Topor charges 6,000 euros a month to do a weekly gathering in English on the television of the Diputación de Barcelona, which hardly anyone sees. If Marcela Topor were not the wife of former president Carles Puigdemont, it is clear that she would not have this chance.
* The term of the Síndic de greuges, Rafael Ribó, has expired since March last year. Even so, he continues to charge a large amount (138,000) of euros per year. (The salary of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, is 84,845.16 euros per year).
* As the newspaper eltriangle.eu has uncovered, TV3 has allocated 1.35 million euros for the program that the journalists Mònica Terribas and Jordi Basté will do. Mònica Terribas already charged 210,000 euros for directing the morning program of Catalunya Ràdio and, in addition to not having to get up early, she will surely earn more money on her return to TV3.
All of this is immoral, indecent, vomiting and disgusting. These execrable examples can be extended to other institutions in the country (large city councils, starting with Barcelona; provincial councils, the Barcelona metropolitan area, consortia of all kinds …) packed to overflowing with consultants-parasites who charge a few payroll and totally unjustified and inordinate fee invoices.
At this critical juncture, public money is more precious and valuable than ever. In the first place, to serve and help people and families who cannot take it anymore. Second, to guarantee the foundations of the welfare state (health, education, pensions, unemployment benefits and disability …). Third, to try to maintain the jobs of private companies, which are the basis of the current social structure. Fourth, to promote and accompany the economic reactivation that, yes or yes, we will have to face after this pandemic.
Administrations – all of them – must be required to proceed urgently and immediately to rationalize and reduce their spending on remuneration for senior positions and on hiring professional advice and services, so that these fees can be “understandable” and “acceptable” for public opinion. These savings are not, at the moment, the “drop in the bucket” and, furthermore, it is essential to rebuild the population’s trust in their democratic institutions, which has deteriorated after the repeated and inadmissible corruption scandals carried out by the political class during the last decades.
Knowing that the elite that has managed to place itself at the top of the political pyramid (thanks, let’s not forget, to the votes of the citizens) takes home every month, rain or snow, 6,000, 7,000, 8,000, 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 euros is simply an unacceptable aberration. The same can be said of the supposed Catalan media “stars” that swarm through the public media with absolutely insane rewards.
Since no one else will say so, I say so: we must immediately promote a Popular Legislative Initiative (ILP) in the Parliament of Catalonia to establish the maximum salary on behalf of public budgets at 3,000 euros per month for all senior positions and 1,500 euros for the advisers, after proceeding to a strict evaluation and reduction of this cloud of parasites that we keep tied to the trough.
In this sense, the renewal of the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation (CCMA) is also unavoidable so that a new address reaches the public media of the Generalitat to bring order and sanity and put an end to this great “whorehouse” in which they have converted TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio. The carelessness and irresponsibility that rage in the upper echelons of our country are a corrosive factor of disaffection and demoralization of the whole of Catalan society as much or more dangerous and lethal than COVID-19.