Saturday, December 10

González and Rajoy converge in criticizing the tax auction of the autonomous communities

Two views, two different parties, two former presidents, two nostalgic for bipartisanship and a conversation between the two that has already become a classic at the La Toja Forum. Felipe González and Mariano Rajoy, led on this occasion by the journalist Anabel Díez. Closer than ever. Such is the synchrony that Spain would already have a “grand coalition” with them. Or not, what would the popular say. Namely. The truth is that there is a shared vision in European politics, in the defense of the Atlantic Alliance, in support of Ukraine, in energy policy and even in the need for an income and salary pact against the crisis that emulates those of The Moncloa in 1977. With nuances, yes, but they also converge in criticizing the fiscal auction of the Autonomous Communities. “This is Pancho Villa’s army,” laments the socialist. “He is a Frankenstein model,” adds the popular.

A statute for former presidents? asks the moderator. “Yes, to find us a place as far away as possible from the centers of power,” González replied, recalling his old contribution about the Chinese vases that those who leave La Moncloa become and do not know where to put those who succeed them in the position of heads of Government.

Ironies aside, the shared reflection of those who have spent more than 20 years as heads of government allowed us to exchange impressions on Europe, Latin America, Ukraine and a global future plagued with uncertainties while the national debate these days revolves around taxation and the crazy autonomic race – in which the Government of Pedro Sánchez has also entered – due to tax reductions. For Felipe González, we are facing very serious economic consequences that require a “revenue agreement not only in the sense of wages and prices, but also include fiscal policies to prevent this from becoming Pancho Villa’s army and each one acting for your account”.

It is necessary, in his opinion, more than ever to “sit at a table”, and not only unions and employers, but “also politicians”. “Either we adjust or they adjust us. And if we adjust, it is better to do it equitably to share the burdens of the adjustment”, he stated after calling for a serious debate on what state we need and how it should be coordinated with Europe. His diagnosis includes a tax system “deteriorated by the passage of time” and legislation that includes the setting of autonomous powers in basic taxes, something in which he declared himself unreliable, after apologizing to Moreno Bonilla and Ximo Puig, alluding to his decision to reduce the autonomous section of personal income tax for incomes below 60,000 euros in one case and 40,000 euros in another.

Mariano Rajoy also moved towards the income pact, with the supervision of the Government, and agreed with the socialist on the need to distribute the costs of inflation. “If we are not able to reach an agreement on this, we will have a serious problem.” The popular also considers that the income agreement should affect everyone, including officials. “Leaving them out – 14 million people receive public income – can be complex and we are not here to make demagoguery,” he added. Contrary to what the socialist defended, the former president of the PP fails to see the viability of the fiscal pact, although he said that Spain is moving towards “a Frankenstein model.”

With the presence of Feijóo and Moreno Bonilla in the audience, Rajoy charged against Sánchez’s tax proposal and expressed his concern that the “old rich-poor debate” be revived and said that “this is populism” in the manner of Perón or Robin Hood . “I am more interested in ending the poor than persecuting the rich,” he blurted out, endorsing a phrase that González had to remember was pronounced by former Swedish minister Olof Palme, assassinated in Stockholm in 1986.

“In Spain more than ever is being collected, we have received help from European funds, taxes have been raised, what interests us least is to add demagoguery to smack big companies or those who have assets,” he continued after clarify that he had no intention of criticizing anyone, but to show that the government’s fiscal policy “affects the credibility of the country.” González recalled, later in a conversation with journalists, that the Wealth Tax that Moreno Bonilla has suppressed this month was created by his government, that it had a census objective and not a collection objective and that he is in favor of its suppression today.

González succinctly introduced into the conversation an issue that no one asked him about, but which he wanted to go into to record his perplexity, such as the visit to Spain by the EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, to try to mediate between the Government and the PP with the aim of unblocking the General Council of the Judiciary. “Perhaps the Belgian comes here to tell us how Justice should be,” he said ironically.

The former president is not in favor of the mediation of a Belgian external party, nor of the PP’s proposal so that the judges are the ones who choose themselves for the governing body, much less of the obstructionism of the popular to keep the renewal blocked. . The basic principle of democracy is to comply with the law and, later, the reforms that are considered are proposed, he usually says when asked about the matter. Neither Rajoy nor Feijóo, of course, who also participated in the La Toja Forum, referred to the blockade of the Judiciary.