Francisco Esteva 04/25/2020 | 06:00
The pandemic shows attitudes of people and political leaders. There are those who believe that everyone has to shake up their own paper Envelope regardless of what happens to the others. They are those who write in the car of a doctor “contagious rat” or neighbors who ask to go away those who work on the front line, to leave their homes for fear of contagion. Those are the hypocrites who applaud them from the balcony at 8 in the afternoon while making life impossible for them. Think of politicians like Trump, who claims to defend Americans and has a super wolf capitalist behavior. He thinks closing borders and neglecting the others solves everything. Now he has just withdrawn the grant to the WHO. It does not matter to him that WHO takes care of the poorest giving some help to avoid they die like flies at the smallest health crisis? Also calls people to oppose confinement decreed by various governors. He is only interested in saving the companies, the American capitalism, regardless of the interest of ordinary people (the rich like him can be confined, have masks and doctors without problems).
Society progresses when it is able to collaborate and reach agreements, when looks for the general good of all people, for the advancement of civilization. In the present situation, we can go back, selfishly work only for our own safety, or either put all efforts in a collaboration that will help a true solution, without leaving anyone behind. Think of science, is it not safer if everyone works together joining efforts, will it be easier to move forward than if each laboratory keeps results at their headquarters?
These days people are talking about whether the AI could help in the search for a vaccine or in making virus spread maps. Well data are needed and only if everyone collaborates (maintaining the obvious privacy reserves) could the task be done. It was very difficult to create the WHO as an organization dependent on the UN and today its task is essential for many countries. The issue is not to strangle it but rather to strengthen it by making it more effective, criticizing if necessary but with constructive criticism.
Can the pandemic be left behind without coordinated global action? History teaches us that it has been in difficult times when men have realized the need to collaborate. It was after the great war that the UN and many of the organizations that we have today were created to face problems. Strengthening collaboration at all levels from the municipal to the Autonomous Communities and the state, to Europe and the world (putting the objective in the common good), is the civilized way out of the current crisis (and the basis of federalism).
Unfortunately this is not the case of the Government of Catalonia, which has not created any level of coordination with the municipalities and day after day demonstrates a great lack of loyalty to the State. Some days ago, the Basque Lehendakari Urkullu “proposed the Spanish Government confinement reduction measures …”. At the same time Catalan Government and public television TV3 said “the Generalitat has decided on a plan to reduce confinement …”. They want to show that there is none, that only they will take measures although they have not a plan and above all they want to make believe that they would do it much more well.
This behavior of Catalan Government increasingly reminds me of anorexia. Do you know what the test is to know what degree of anorexia a person has? Place her in front of a mirror, give her a plaster and tell her to follow the contour. They draw one much larger than the total image and the degree of anorexia is given by the difference between the actual and the drawn contour.
Here, in the midst of the pandemic crisis, catalan politicians, Oriol Junqueras, Xavier Trias and Meritxell Budó say that if Catalonia were independent the pandemic would have been resolved in a better way (repeating the sentence of Junqueras pronounced in 2008 “The crisis would not have affected Catalonia”) .
They do not give any argument that supports it, they do not talk about the mistakes made (remember that Geriatrics or centers for the disabled are the responsibility of the Generalitat), but they know, they see it reflected in the mirror, that they would have done much better .
The Center for Opinion Studies in the last survey said that 44.7% are in favor of independence compared to 47.1%, who are against it, then the vice president of Catalan government says that pro-independentist are a majority.
Catalans who were abroad at the start of the pandemic have been repatriated by planes facilitated by the Spanish Embassy, but the brand new Foreign Relations Adviser said that was thanks to the efforts of the “Catalan embassies”. I could go on and on but I think is not worth it.
The distance between the virtual Catalan Republic and the state of misgovernment of Catalonia is such that if we invented a degree to measure it (similar to that of anorexia) any number would be small. We will see what they will do regarding the reconstruction pact proposed by Sánchez and to calibrate it nothing more interesting than comparing it with what regional PM Urkullu and the Basques do.
Returning to serious issues. Sánchez has made a proposal in Europe to overcome the crisis with an economic recovery plan that would really mean facing the crisis jointly, a European plan. He has just received the support of Vice President Timmermans (Dutch but Social Democrat) and Garicano, Vice President of the liberal group in the European Parliament. It is close to that of the French Government and Merkel has moved in a direction that could converge. The route it has will give the measure of the European response, the real one for Spain and Catalonia.