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What you should not forget

If crises don't end with Democrats, crises end with Democrats

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What you should not forget

The economic structure of Spain four decades ago does not have much to do with today's. Then Hispaniola was a society that was barely leaving dictatorship; Today is one of most open societies in world. Nor is capitalism same: now frame of reference is globalization. The agreements of Moncloa signed n belong to old plan, not to new economy, but — beyond cyclical imbalances that y fixed — re are some central aspects that are still in force and that it is advisable not to forget if y do not want to repeat bad Experiences.

1. If crises are not finalized by Democrats, crises end with Democrats. The death of Franco could not be repeated what happened in Second Republic: how a serious and unresolved economic crisis constitutes a liability that complicates, until it is impossible, construction of democracy. The economic crisis of 1977 reached Spaniards at a singular political moment: possibility of living in freedom. This democratic opportunity did not come alone, but accompanied by an open economic crisis in 1973 and not resolved but exacerbated. There is no stable coexistence between democracy and acute crises.

2. philosophy of shared sacrifices. Each social group was required to assume its responsibilities in face of crisis, without exception. Therefore, all parties, from communist to right, entered pact.

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3. in acute phases of difficulties, consensus is essential and not policy of command and command. No ideology n had enough answers and forces to imponérselas ors, rest of society, and overcome crisis.

4. It was necessary to gain time for a higher objective: to sign a constitution that represented all and lasted. The path between an unresolved economic crisis and a democracy is "a valley of Tears," in expression taken by Ralf Dahrendorf for countries that came out of communism and wanted to reach market economy. In beginning it can happen that living conditions worsen, before improving.

5. The sanitation policies (adjustments) of structural reform policies (not confusing with cutbacks) that require economy to be competitive and to give welfare and employment must not be separated. Sometimes y dissociate mselves by political laziness and by electoral unpopularity.

All se principles were contextualized in three demanding conditions that defined Fuentes Quintana, one of makers of pacts: first, clarity in recognition of situation; Politicians must tell truth and not hide crises as irremediable evils of those who do not speak; Second, transparency and equity in distribution of costs of crisis, so as not to delegitimize democracy to citizens; and third, believing/gaining a sense of common purpose of all social groups, by way of negotiation and pact, and constructive responses to main problems posed.

Against all odds we are talking about economic history and not Catalonia. But ultimately y look a lot alike.


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