The support given by PNV and EH Bildu for the European funds decree gives the go ahead for cutting back social and working rights

Feb 10, 2021
ELA does not share PNV and EH Bildu’s support for receiving European funds, a posture that is even more contradictory when it comes from the left, such as the case of EH Bildu (in our country) and from Podemos (in the State as a whole).

On many occasions, ELA has warned that the Next Generation European funds come clearly conditioned and they could mean a trap for the countries that are requesting them. The plans that the States present in order to opt for this funding will be accompanied by reforms recommended by the European Commission. In the case of the Spanish State, these include the sustainability of the pension system, the flexibilisation of the work market or the reduction of the deficit and public debt.

The crisis caused by Covid-19 has shown the vulnerability of our healthcare, economic and social protection systems and it has shown which sectors are really essential for sustaining life. However, the European funds and the Royal Decree-Law 36/2020 that regulates them has been conceived to use public money to fund private projects, promoted by the large companies, strengthening the model that has caused this situation.

For this reason, ELA regrets the support by PNV and EH Bildu for this decree, more so when the reforms that the Spanish Government is going to send to Brussels on the subject of pensions have yet to be specified: increasing from 25 to 35 years for calculating pensions and delaying retirement age (sanctioning early retirement or giving incentives for late retirement) is being considered. On the subject of work, it intends to flexibilise the market and to reject repealing the 2012 reform.

ELA’s concern is greater when the support for this decree comes from left wing parties. The commitments reached by Sánchez’s government for EH Bildu’s support are questionable. To date, there has been no transparency at all in the design of the resilience plans: the only “co-governing” has been established between the public administrations and employers. And as for the funding of town councils, we should remember that the Spanish State will be the entity in charge of channelling the European funds, therefore the increase in resources for the town councils will depend exclusively on decisions made in Madrid.

ELA has always rejected receiving European funds whenever they come conditioned by cutbacks affecting the rights of the working classes and at present, there is no proof that the opposite will happen. For this reason, ELA does not understand how the left has assimilated a framework designed to erode worker living conditions.