We all knew this but we were waiting for the official announcement: the Spanish government applied even stricter measures.
An Extraordinary Council of Ministers, headed by President Pedro Sánchez, approved "a new limitation on workers in non-essential activities", who must stay in their homes from March 30 to April 9.
The novelty is that, from now on, homebound workers will continue to receive their salary normally from the companies. However, once the emergency is over, they will have to recover the unpaid work hours in a gradual and spaced way until December 31st. Pedro Sánchez revealed that "the measure was previously negotiated with the unions and employers". Also, it has been made clear that the announcement does not include those who have been teleworking from home. Rather, it was thought to include confined workers in the industrial and construction sectors, who for the next 15 days have been banned from all public and private works.
Sanchez's message was forceful: "The idea is that a worker on a construction site, as of March 30th, will not do so and will be able to have that paid leave. On the other hand, a nurse will do it".
One of the few construction workers who did not receive the news with happiness was Washington, a Paraguayan builder who makes sporadic repairs to the building where I live. "Macanada no má' luego decís", a phrase they say in Paraguayan lands when one hears nonsense. Including all sectors and categories, there are more than 3 million self-employed people in Spain. Washington is one of them, which is now forced to put aside for two weeks and has not yet received news of economic aid from President Pedro Sanchez. There is speculation that in the next few hours, there will finally be an official announcement in this regard: from a postponement in the payment of the monthly fee for self-employment to a palliative in the rent.
"The Spanish economy will fall by 9.7% and the deficit will reach around 10%," says the report by the American bank Goldman Sachs on economic forecasts for 2020.
We are facing a war economy and we are moving towards a post-war economy. In the face of global uncertainty, the aim is to impose a single discourse: saving lives vs. the collapse of the economy. Understandably, individuals take refuge in their homes in the face of the existentialist dichotomy in these times of crisis: it is life or be unemployed. Isolation is all very well! But as the days go by, the responsibility that falls to the States and their leaders grows: What measures do they plan to take in the face of the micro-economy? Is it fair that the public sector should receive its full salary while private-sector employees are out on the streets? Is this not a good time to call on everyone, to propose a reduction in salaries and to make it clear that this adjustment is to distribute the little that is available more equitably?
We have been in total isolation for two weeks and confinement is beginning to affect the daily, family and professional lives of each of us. But logic prevails in these times. As a Chinese journalist told me in the last hours: "We are going to stay in our homes so that we don't get infected ourselves but also so that we don't end up infecting a third partner".