Spain is different!
Cartoon of 21/03/2021 in CTXT
Staying informed has never been a more difficult task and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change for the better. The bombardment only pauses to drag us into the daily irrelevance that marks every move of the TV show, grabbing all the attention only to expire in less than 24 hours.
While this is going on, the main topics are becoming dull, because “current affairs” are the order of the day and there is no time for pauses and rest. Between anecdotes about the election campaign in Madrid, everything is sold as self-conclusive pills for quick consumption.
One of the issues that once again governs everything is the smooth but inevitable transition from the third to the fourth wave of the pandemic. Here we are watching its impact around the world, but especially on all-powerful capitalism, which without our pockets is nothing more than a whimpering crybaby crawling around corners demanding a public bailout. But make no mistake, its sources for milking us are endless.
Just as in 2020 it was sold to us as a neoliberal imperative to “save” the summer season, the Christmas season, etc. everything is once again about tourism.
Cartoon of 21/06/2020 en CTXT
In Spain, it was decided that during Easter Week it was necessary to open its arms and legs to German tourism while continuing to restrict the mobility of Spaniards within its borders. And of course, this incongruity had to be sold at any cost.
Spain is different! said that tourist campaign that Manuel Fraga, Franco’s minister and founder of the Partido Popular, invented in the 1960s to make up for Spain’s shabby image abroad and portray it as a virtue. In reality, we were not so different then and we are not so different now.
It has only slightly changed the decor of the beach bar that we always were for Europe and increasingly for the rest of the world. Just take a look at the outlook of our most powerful EU neighbours.
Germany, from yes to no in one sneeze
Yesterday, Angela Merkel held a press conference at 3 a.m. after 12 hours of negotiations: “We are in a very serious situation. This means a quiet Easter for 5 days, where people should stay at home”. See how the decision was praised on Twitter.
It was short-lived, the measures died in just one day. The German government has rectified today to get rid of the announced restrictions and finally will not close at Easter. Merkel argues that she has made a personal mistake.
Economy or health, a false dichotomy. Cartoon of 31/10/2020 in CTXT
Reviewing the reactions of the public sector managers here is like attending a world convention of sociopaths gathered in a bathtub full of speed. Don’t look for coherence, it was lost in the labyrinth of locked doors of the criminal, selfish and inhuman rhetoric of this demolition we now call the economy.
Long live “the fiesta”
It is not only Madrid, half of Spain is a party in the middle of the pandemic and from Brussels the EU is asking for “coherence“ with the restrictions, but in a low voice and without nuance so as not to get too involved as if they were just another opinion-makers with no relation to the issue.
Madrid, capital del turismo europeo. Británicos, franceses, italianos y alemanes huyen de las restricciones en sus países y aterrizan en Barajas en busca de fiesta, terraceo, y cultura
Sigue el DIRECTO https://t.co/ygpf7Gbuwy pic.twitter.com/TYZknrXMpU
— Telemadrid (@telemadrid) March 20, 2021
Sacrifice to the capital god
The mayor of Málaga, Francisco de la Torre (PP), yesterday defended “sacrificing our mobility” to “guarantee” safe spaces for visitors. If we have to say that the mayor of Malaga is a shit, we say so. We can even deploy our best ironies and jokes as a way of letting off steam, but in the end all that remains is the same as always. Capitalism in its purest version, the one that lets the wounds it has caused you get infected and then defecates on them, promising you that its shit is the cure.
De la Torre is just another frame in that endless looping sequence. He follows the party line, like Ayuso, always immersed in her spiral of generating conscious stupidity when Madrid registered almost half of all the contagions in Spain, again approaching levels of extreme risk followed by other localities in the north.
“If a Frenchman comes to move Madrid’s economy, I welcome him,” said Isabel Ayuso, adding that tourists come to visit museums.
— Olmo Calvo (@OlmoCalvo) March 23, 2021
Meanwhile, the Junta de Andalucía comes out with a surreal “Welcome Mr. Tourist” style video as if nothing is happening here and Juanma Moreno announces a three million euro aid package for Andalusian cofradías.
🌍👝 España, Reino Unido y Alemania consideran a #Andalucía un destino seguro para sus vacaciones. 🗺 Entre los factores para elegirla, el clima, el entorno, la hospitalidad, los lugares históricos, los alojamientos y las playas. #AndalucíaSegura ➡ https://t.co/Tdh6GZrShu ✅ pic.twitter.com/KmhapEcyhZ
— Junta de Andalucía (@AndaluciaJunta) March 20, 2021
One of the sectors that is supposed to be losing a lot of money is the service sector, such as the bars and restaurants, but money is being pumped into those who are not losing a penny because this year they will not be able to walk images of saints. On the other hand, a scientific study claims to prove the link between the hotel and catering industry and the virus: “The more closures, the less contagion”.
What’s more, twenty scientific studies argue that closing the inside of bars is the way to curb contagion.
The data said just three days ago that the pandemic had already left more than 122 million people infected worldwide after another 525,000 new cases were registered, but here we continue to treat the spread of the virus as something short term and local, a matter confined to each city, town, neighbourhood and terrace.
Ministers of Things Happen
Reyes Maroto, the Minister of Tourism, defended the fact that it is not possible to travel in Spain but that foreigners can come because “they all come with PCR and this cannot be guaranteed for trips on the Peninsula”. And she remains so broad-minded. You can’t. And that’s it. And that’s it. A declaration of incompetence that, on top of that, she pretends we understand as a valid and rational argument.
The day before, the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias , warned of a “possible change of trend” in cases of COVID-19 and called for “maximum caution and concern”. Who is she asking for what? Well, whatever it is to the wind. At least in one thing we have to agree with them, it is something to be concerned about, but to have these elements involved in the pandemic equation.