Wednesday, September 27

The Omnibus Law threatens the public and erodes democracy

The Omnibus Law is the perfect example of the authoritarian seams of the Ayuso government, responsible together with the extreme right for the undermining of democracy in the Community of Madrid.

Since the legislature began, Ayuso has stepped on the accelerator of the liberticidal reforms and, to avoid criticism of his unpopular measures, he has displayed authoritarianism in form and substance, with the ultimate goal of curtailing any type of debate, any kind of public reflection on issues that concern us all.

In the forms, from silencing uncomfortable questions. From those that have to do with the finger contracts that the company where his brother works has signed with the administration, to the approval of laws by way of urgency, without debate, presented during festive periods and without giving them publicity. The latter has occurred with the Omnibus Law, whose preliminary draft was published on December 23 and with only 7 days for the allegations.

This law is a kind of catch-all that will reform 32 laws and 5 regulations of a very diverse nature. That yes, all the modifications will delve into privatization and deregulation, to facilitate the “negotiation” of friendly companies or foreign multinationals, to the detriment, of course, of the public and the SMEs or the self-employed who, by the way, always pay your taxes here.

This reform affects very different fields. In terms of health, Ayuso intends to create the Health Contracting Agency, an entity without parliamentary control with which it will be easier for him to continue dismantling public health and distributing it among the companies that are friends of the PP, as we see they do whenever they have the opportunity. It seems that the government of the Community of Madrid has not been alluded to by the urgent need to strengthen public health that has been evidenced by the Covid-19 crisis.

In the environment, the Omnibus Law opens the door to outrages such as allowing hotels to be built in nature reserves, facilitating construction on undeveloped land or authorizing hunting and gathering of protected species. Quite the opposite of what is expected from a region that is respectful of its ecosystems.

In transport, it exacts its revenge against the taxi sector, allowing the intrusion of the VTC. The result is to leave 20,000 families lying around to favor companies —some of them owned by colleagues and former party colleagues— that are not even taxed in Spain. We already know that Ayuso’s model for Madrid is to bet on precarious work, turning his back on small businesses, the self-employed and workers in the region. This is how he shows it whenever he has the opportunity: the other day, without going any further, doing a commercial for Uber.

They also intend with this Law to create commonwealths ad hoc with the “friendly” town halls, that is, governed by the PP. To inject them with financing without falling into the shame of favoritism, a somewhat more sophisticated way to continue with their policy of inequality, favoring certain municipalities to the detriment of those with a different political color.

By the way, they are going to abolish the role of the Town Halls when it comes to processing the Minimum Insertion Income. Beneficiaries will lose the much-needed advice that local entities provided, especially with regard to the digital divide. Nor do they allocate their own funds from the Autonomous Community to this aid, so we continue to be completely dependent on the European Union.

In addition, they make sure that this aid is subsidiary to that of the Minimum Vital Income and not complementary as it was thought when it was designed. It is clear that Ayuso’s roadmap goes through the cut in social services. If anyone can still have any doubts, check the recently approved budgets, where it goes from 160 million to 40 this year.

We could go on, because in the 215 pages of this Omnibus Law there is time to curtail many rights and freedoms. In a healthy democracy, political leaders must actively listen to citizens. Winning an election does not give you a blank check, especially when half of the population that has voted has not voted for you.

Many of us remember the messages of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the campaign. The word freedom occupied everything. However, the first thing he did as soon as he assumed the presidency was to put an end to freedom of the press through his coup in Telemadrid, hand in hand with the extreme right. While he kept talking about freedom, the second thing he did was try to muzzle the parliamentary opposition, preventing free debates in the Madrid Assembly or presenting this covert law to catch the people of Madrid off guard.

With so much repeating his magic word, freedom, he forgot to present his program. His program of truth, the one that we now see is full of freedom-killing measures, like this backwards Law that he will approve despite going against the general interest. What is happening in the Community of Madrid, with the Ayuso government, is an outrage and a scam against the public. In a healthy democracy, the work of the opposition is not curtailed, explanations are not spared, nor is it blatantly lying in the face of any adversity instead of being accountable, therefore it is normal and desirable for people to mobilize, because the following questions are: Freedom for whom? Freedom for what?