Updated on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 – 01:19
The expansion of El Prat is fraught with controversy.
The Spanish economy is recovering at a good pace, which is very positive, but it will not reach the pre-crisis GDP, that of 2019, until mid-2022 (Banco Espaa). As the former minister pointed out Luis de Guindos This month, the evolution of our economy cannot be assessed until it recovers the previous level of income. This is because as long as there is excess capacity, even more so in circumstances as exceptional as those caused by the pandemic, it will be difficult to distinguish the recovery of activity, after a halt such as the one suffered, from the generation of what constitutes new activity. true growth. Getting active and growing are different things. The real test will be a year from now, for example, from the moment when the hundreds of planes parked at airports are flying normally again.
But the fact that the Spanish economy rebounds or recovers does not mean that it does not grow, or that it cannot do so by simultaneously increasing its potential output. This requires transformative investments and reforms carried out with efficiency and agility while the percentages of use of installed capacity (those planes still stranded) return to normal. If in 2022 the rate of change in GDP slows excessively as it approaches previous levels, then we should be concerned. If, on the contrary, it holds and remains in sustainable and usual ranges for periods of stable and balanced growth, we will have proof that it was able to take advantage of the moment. To do this, the maximum possible return must be obtained from the planned investments, especially those to be made with the European funds of the NextGenerationEU.
However, for the economic recovery to turn into true growth, it must show some vital signs, some background elements, an anatomy of recovery based on something more than the broad catalog of measures that accompanies the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. .
When Spain recovers its pre-crisis GDP in 2022, the European and global economic context will be very different from that of 2019. The covid has accelerated the transformation of the global economy by advancing the energy transition years and promoting digitalization and technological revolution, at the same time that China has become consolidated as a global power. The immense and still incalculable adjustment costs are unknown and a source of uncertainty. Politically, the almost certain victory of the Social Democratic candidate (SPD) in Germany and the socialist victory in Norway have returned prominence and leadership to the Social Democracy, reinforced thanks to its “materialist” agenda, as pointed out by the Spanish MEP. Jons Fernndez, an agenda of sustainable economic, social and environmental growth, and a clash against inequality, away from the identity and cultural wars that other political forces have led in both countries. The fiscal turn of the Biden administration in the United States is no stranger to such progressive materialism.
In 2022 growth will really coincide with a new reality (and a new German government). The new reality will be accompanied by a redefinition of European fiscal rules, and regardless of our negotiating position as a country in its urgent reform towards a “meaningful deficit”, as Daniel Fuentes has argued, we must assume that we have a problem with our public accounts that demand something from us, even if nobody wants to remember it.
Regarding the ecological transition, this summer it has been shown once again that neither the political class nor the Administration have yet internalized the issue. We have seen it in the Mar Menor, in the Tablas de Daimiel, in the recovery of real estate projects on the coast, in the repeal of Central Madrid, in the tourism model that destroys the environment and expels millions of people from the right to housing … and in the controversy over the expansion of the El Prat airport. At the same time, the exclusion of “green investments” from the new European fiscal rules for calculating deficits and debt is unashamedly defended. Sustainability is not compatible with the false green developmentalism that is preached ignoring its global impact. We suffer the consequences of poor regulation when global public goods, such as the defense of biodiversity, conflict with local interests.
There are more issues that must be taken seriously, real challenges: regional financing, to shield the role of public policies of cohesion and guarantee equal opportunities, and for the recovery to make it possible to heal the pending social wounds; unemployment and temporary status; not to mention institutional polarization and deterioration. In 2022 a new time begins that will demand much more from us.
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