Andreu Claret – Saturday, 04/25/2020 – 22:14
In Spain, the coronavirus has raised confusion about what is the State of autonomy. It has highlighted our difficulty in sharing an articulated response that brings out the best in everyone. Of the State and the autonomous communities. The unity with which the Government has deployed its strategy has been shattered by the political fight between left and right and between center and periphery, to the point that in no other country has there been such a sour, unsupportive, Cain-like show, where they have thrown against each other the dead and the old. What is the reason for so much mess? Well, we are not Germany, where the ‘länder’ accept with loyalty that Merkel takes the baton, in exchange for giving them room to confine and dis-confine.
We are not Germany, for many reasons, but an intelligent articulation between central guidelines and local protagonism is also the one that best suits our political system. The virus could have been an opportunity to test it and it has not been. Why? The answer is that no one has wanted to. Knocked out by the first mistakes, the PSOE and Podemos have confused efficiency with homogenization. The right wing voted in favor of the state of alarm because it matched their DNA, while praying for the government to crash. Basque nationalists soon saw the opportunity to call elections when the storm subsided. As for the Catalan pro-independence crew, the state of alarm was a holy hand for them. An occasion to dream again in the republic as the solution to all ills, among others those of Igualada and the Catalan nursing homes, I suppose.
Sánchez’s decision to bet on an asymmetric dis-confinement is a new opportunity to demonstrate that we are a “quasi-federal” state. Federalism is the best system to face catastrophes like covid-19 because it is synonymous with solidarity and joint responsibility. The State of the autonomies can be this federal state if the autonomies are committed to the management of the State and this with what the territories do. It is not always easy, not even in Germany. Merkel herself has denounced the ‘Öffnungsdiskussionsorgien’, that is, the orgy of discussions that exists in her country about reopening times. It is not about falling into orgies, but better fighting the virus and the social crisis. Acting with loyalty and trust. Two principles without which federalism is not effective either.