Monday, September 5, 2011

Update: Reform of the Constitution

Last Friday a majority of  deputies of the Congress voted for the reform of the Spanish Constitution. The majority parties (PSOE and PP) reached an agreement to reform Article 135. This article referred to the debt and loans the State can get. The new writing of the article includes a limit to the possibility of the State and Autonomous Communities of getting into debt and obtaining loans. The limit (debt ceiling) will be established in a  subsequent Organic Law. The majority parties have decided that the deficit of the Spanish administrations can´t be more than 0.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This loans and public debt limit tries to satisfy the demands of austerity and deficit control of the EU and to appease the so-called markets (investors for some, speculators for others). 

This reform has been very controversial, because limiting the possibility of getting debts can mean the restriction of public investments and social expenses. The way the reform has been made has also caused a lot of protests. Two deputies of the PSOE voted against the reform and the minority parties consider that the constitutional consent has been broken, because the majority parties have decided the reform by themselves and very urgently. These parties criticize that there won´t be a referendum to ask the population for their opinion about the reform. 

Here you have the text of article in English before the reform:

And this is the new article in Spanish: 

The reform has to pass in the Senate as well. 


Ángel Aranda said...

Hi paqui!

For one part is good to limit the deficit, but i don´t like the way they change job contractcs now you can be all your life working with a temporary contract.

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Hello Ángel,

Job contracts are not included in the reform of the Constitution.This is one of the aspects of the labour reform. Temporality is one of the worst aspects of contracts. Paradoxically, temporality is becoming a permanent situation for many workers.

The reform of the Constitution is focused on limiting the borrowing capacity of the State. But limiting the debt is dangerous, because the State is in charge of providing some services and if they can´t get loans to do it, many people will suffer the consequences, especially the ones who can´t allow themselves paying for these basic services (education, healthcare, social services...). If the State has limited budgets, it won´t be able to provide the citizens with many services. Austerity (not squandering money in stupid or unjustified things) is the only way of reducing expenses. Cutting expenses is very harmful for the people who don´t have much economic resources. Sometimes you have to ask for loans to do things (ask your father) and so happens with the State. The alternative is this or collecting more taxes, as the Scandinavian countries do.

Just one correction: you have to say "on (the) one hand..., but on the other one ...".

See you tomorrow!