February 28, 2024

Non-partisan and pluralist communication and debate platform

Home » Content » Urkullu demands by letter to Sánchez to be able to decide on the closure of the companies
The Lehendakari demands that "it is each autonomous community that, from the specificity of the territory, can specify activities and companies that are auxiliary and necessary for critical activity"

Jose Mari Alonso. Vitoria – 03/29/2020

Urkullu attends Sánchez’s meeting with the regional presidents by videoconference this Sunday. (Irekia)

The lehendakari[vmda1]  Iñigo Urkullu asked last night by letter to the Prime Minister  Pedro Sánchez moments after he announced the closure of all non-essential economic activity to combat the advance of the coronavirus that the measure be not mandatory in general in Spain as a whole, so that each autonomous community can specify which companies can continue to operate because they are “necessary” and based on the “specificity” of the territory.

Specifically, he claims that “according to the criteria based on Public Health, according to the guidelines of the health authorities on which all the autonomous communities also base ourselves, it will be each autonomous community in its area of ​​Social Dialogue which, from the specificity of the Territory, may specify activities and companies that are auxiliary and necessary for critical activity after communicating it to the Spanish Government”.

Urkullu has defended insistently during the health crisis the need not to paralyze activity so as not to enter the “economic coma”.

This request from the Lehendakari, who during the health crisis has insistently defended the need not to paralyze business activity so as not to enter the “economic coma”, is included in a letter sent to Sánchez last night and which has just been released by Urkullu on social networks on the verge of the meeting by videoconference between the Prime Minister and the heads of the autonomous communities taking place this afternoon, in which Sánchez will explain the decisions announced yesterday and that will be approved today in an extraordinary Meeting of Ministers.

In the letter, the Lehendakari does not hide his discomfort for the ways followed by Sánchez to decide and make known the closure of all non-essential activity. Thus, he criticizes him for the fact that the third meeting of presidents since the health crisis broke out due to the pandemic occurs again after a public appearance before the media and the second in which the appointment “is preceded by knowledge from certain media of the draft Decree to be approved by the Council of Ministers to be held before” the meeting with the regional presidents.

“What was announced yesterday is not only unknown to certain presidents of autonomous communities (PSOE and PP) before the appearance before the media of the Government and who called me when they knew through the press conference of ther announcement in their terms, but also is contrary to what until the previous day had been stated by the president and various ministers of the Spanish Government to political, economic and social agents who called me yesterday and I was able to know in a verifiable way”, he reflects.

Urkullu says it is a measure “not clear and difficult to interpret”, and asks the communities to decide which companies to close based on their “specificity”.

Likewise, the letter states that this is an “unclear” and “difficult to interpret” measure when determining which companies it affects, at the expense of the details that Sánchez provides in the meeting that morning via telematics . For this reason, the document seeks, according to the record of the Lehendakari, to send the President of the Government “a contribution so that it can be taken into consideration before the final drafting and approval of the Decree” by the Council of Ministers this Sunday, and that it consists of the Basque Country and the rest of the autonomous communities being able to decide which companies and activities to close based on their “specificity”.

Urkullu justifies his request “taking into account” various factors, the main one being the “specificity of the productive economy in each autonomous community and its incidence on GDP, as well as the consequences that, added to the measures already adopted, will be seen at the time when the state of alarm decree will be lifted”. Along these same lines, he points to the “difficulty that would inflict onthe competitiveness of sectors that see that companies in their field in other countries keep their activity open” to claim that the final decision on which companies should or should not close is in the hands of the autonomous communities. It also alludes to the “operational difficulty of implementing the Decree announced on a Saturday afternoon for any activity that is reflected in it from Monday after the weekend”, in an allusion that contains a criticism of Sánchez for their way of proceeding.

He critically alludes to the “operational difficulty of implementing the Decree announced on a Saturday afternoon for all activities from Monday”.

Likewise, it highlights “the difficulty of interpreting a generalized measure that affects even companies that are collaborating in the manufacture of medical equipment, even on the impulse of the various public administrations”, as well as the “condition that a measure not clear could suppose to the value chain of basic sectors such as food”. Finally, among the reasons to support his request, he records “the data on reduced mobility due to the measures taken so far” to curb the expansion of the coronavirus.

Since the state of alarm was declared two weeks ago, Urkullu has been rejecting the general closure of all non-essential companies to prevent the spread of Covid-19 against the approach of the nationalist unions or EH Bildu at the political level. “We do not see this need for the closure of companies, we cannot make the productive economy languish and we can enter the ‘economic coma”, he said last Sunday in an interview in ETB. “It is very easy to say that all companies are closed, it is very easy to say that all economic activity is closed and we do not realize that, on a daily basis, we also have to resort to services, shops, centers of food, from pharmacies … “, he stressed.

Faced with the growing voices calling for the cessation of business activity, the Basque president warned that the economy is already going to be “very touched” by the consequences of this unprecedented health crisis. “The economy must continue because there must continue to be productivity because, if not, we are going to enter a situation in which the shutter closes, but lifting it from scratch costs a lot. There can be no economic blackout”, he said.

“Today the picture is worse”

The protest for the imposition of the closure of all non-essential activity was verbalized by Urkullu during his intervention in the meeting with the regional presidents, in which he regretted that his proposal to leave in the hands of the autonomies the decision of which companies could continue developing their activity had not been taken into account.  “Today, employment, the economy and the future face a worse picture”, the Lehendakari reproached Sánchez, who reminded him that “our companies are going to close while the companies that are their competitors are open in Europe and in the rest of the world”.

In his speech, facilitated by Lehendakaritza, Urkullu has defended that the decision taken by the Government “was not the only one possible”, since there were “other less harmful alternatives”, such as the one proposed by letter on Saturday night to Sánchez to make “a counterproductive uniform application of the new restrictions” through its “adaptation to the health and industrial reality of each autonomous community”. In addition, from the point of view of the calendar, he defended that “starting a week later a fortnight of greater limitation of activities would have had a lesser impact on the economy, on industry and, above all, on job protection”. “It would also have allowed us to better assess the effect of confinement in its first phase”, he said.

Urkullu questions Sánchez for the “complementary measures” that he will adopt to support the industrial sector in the face of the “serious impact” of the closure.
Given that productive and industrial activity is “one of the key drivers of employment and the economy of a country”, the Lehendakari has questioned Sánchez for the “complementary measures” that the Spanish Government is going to adopt to “support the industrial sector and offset the serious impact on employment and productive activity that the closure decision will have”. As he has said to Sánchez, “it is the responsibility of your Government to immediately provide the maximum clarity in the criteria for applying the decree by sector of activity to ensure that the more than obvious risk of confusion and uncertainty that it may produce is avoided”.

Within the critical tone of his speech, Urkullu has also highlighted the complaints that he had already conveyed to the Prime Minister the previous night by letter about the ways of acting. “For the third week in a row, this video-conference is for informational purposes only and not deliberative. Honestly, communicating publicly, before we meet consummate and unanswered decisions, is not a good method. I do not share it and I expect from you a commitment to correct this distortion. I said it the first day: collaboration and cooperation is not imposition. I continue to act from responsibility and collaboration. But the principles of loyalty must be reciprocal”, he warned.



View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *