As Spain continues to fight the Covid19 crisis, the country is embroiled in an angry political war that has the potential to bring down the Government as old allegiances stir the blood. Spain is made up of 17 autonomous states, all different in thinking and culture, with Ibiza being part of the Balearic Islands autonomy with its seat of power in Palma. Recent elections have witnessed the rise of VOX and the far right, rekindling fascist ideology. In the middle, but leaning to the right, is the PP and Ciudadanos party, to the center left is the PSOE led by Spanish PM, Pedro Sanchez, and supported by the far left party Podemos and the Catalan Independents, not the radical Catalans linked to Charles Puidgemont, but those that want to sit down and talk with Madrid. Before the rise of VOX, Sanchez had stated that he would not sleep soundly at night if he went into coalition with Podemos, but the specter of a far right coalition of Vox and their PP cousins, forced Sanchez to jump into bed with Podemos and the Catalans, making for very strange bedfellows indeed.
One of the first actions of the new government was to declare an unpopular state of alarm, which restricted the rights of citizens and devolved the 17 regional Governments to Madrid. While Sanchez had PP and VOX supporting his National Plan at the start, this Nation Government styled agreement went out the window when the opposition claimed Sanchez was not consulting with them especially in expenditure and taxation. This came to head on Thursday when the PP and Ciudadanos voted against Spain and the Corona Bonds proposal in Brussels, a bailout fund Sanchez required to keep the economy afloat and pay workers to stay at home. The PP and Ciudadanos argued the new coalition government could not be trusted to spend wisely, a view held by Holland and Germany, who reminded Spain that they have still to repay the loans from the EMF bailout in 2012. Both Spain and Italy are now teetering on the edge of recession as their economies are locked down under Covid 19 restrictions, severely impacting on their lucrative Tourism sectors. So the right are arguing that Spain needs to get back to work and open its doors to business, while Sanchez is half following the Catalan lead, that all resources are prioritised into health measures, ensuring the contagion is halted at the borders and ports.
Ibiza is under Catalan administration, but they are not as radical as their cousins in Barcelona. The Catalans are logical and cautious when it comes to health and procedure issues, hense the islands love for bureaucracy, and this was the main point that the local Government in Ibiza has hammered home since the start of the crisis – Poc a poc, little by little. Everything else would be secondary to protecting the heath of their citizens and containing the spread of the virus – get that stablised and then fix the associated problems like the economy and tourist season. The PP party in Ibiza, while supporting this view at the beginning, are now offside with Sanchez and ready to vote down his request for a further two weeks of direct rule lockdown next Wednesday extending the state of alarm to May 9 which has knock on effect to Tourism. Its got the makings of a real gunfight at the OK Corral and while Sanchez has the numbers to dictate policy and legislation, his three department direct rule policy, is been questioned by the 17 regional states who are doubting the centralised government in Madrid.
Another contentious issue for the right, is the plan by Sanchez and the Catalans to tamper with the Moncloa Pact a vital organ that guaranteed liberal rights and freedoms to the people and paved the way for Spanish Democracy after the death of Franco. It also recognised the position of the Spanish Monarchy but like its British counterparts, they have been subject to corruption claims in recent years and the King does not enjoy high public satisfaction rates with the working classes. The right are furious that the Moncloa Pact is being revisited, as its a very delicate piece of legislation that sets out rights of social freedom and cultural pluralism in a once bitterly divided Iberian Peninsula. The rest of Spain is watching attentively as to what happens on Wednesday, as it will have a big impact on the coming months and will tell us a lot more about the summer season ahead and what may or may not, be salvaged from it.
Join us tomorrow as we discuss the impact that Covid 19 may have on the islands World renowned clubbing industry, as everybody awaits official announcements on any proposed start to the season.