After more than one year of reforms, as cutbacks and fiscal contraction policy are euphemistically known, it now seems that the European Commission is sending us back to square one. Warnings and Brussels’ mistrust of Spain re-emerge, while the Government announces a new set of cutbacks for the 26th of the current month. President Rajoy sees it as a scolding, while doubts over our ability to pass the European examination at the end of May are being fed. Brussels believes that reforms should be deepened, and their pace and implementation speeded up.
It is all the more paradoxical that the Commission demands new sacrifices from Spain when its guidelines have been followed and, as of today, have proven inefficient. It is quite a contradiction that measures insist on the same path when unemployment and inequality figures are on the rise, and we are being warned that the Spanish economic outlook for 2014 remains uncertain and distressing. Its estimates indicate that in 2014 we will reach 27 percent of unemployment, and in 2015 public-debt-to-GDP ratio will reach 100%. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Cándido Méndez, in his management report for the 41st Confederate Congress of the General Confederation of Workers (UGT), accuses the Government of not knowing what to do, and that union delegates show their concern as to a foreseeable labour rights reduction.
As I heard at the UGT Congress, if the European Commission keeps supervising us and the Government keeps running aimlessly, the last straw would be that Brussels penalises us for non-compliance of deficit commitments. It’s all we needed!