Spanish journalist and “120 Minutos” TV program’s coordinator Laura Bueno Cabrera shared important details about Spanish election. Cabrera drew attention about far-right threat in Spain and European Union (EU) during her interview. Also Cabrera told that there can be a hope for the Welfare State with Pedro Sanchez government. Near this Cabrera pointed to EU-Turkey relations and said: “Turkey has been in this struggle for decades and it is time for it to become part of the EU.”
How do you evaluate Spanish elections?
“We are in the most delicate electoral moment in Spain since the transition to democracy. The emergence of the extreme right in the Spanish political scene has mobilized the left voter, so participation in the elections has been very high. It has exceeded 75% in the whole country, almost 9 points more than in the 2016 elections. It has always been said in Spain that the left-wing vote was asleep, so the fact that the Vox party (of the extreme right) has appeared and won 12 seats in the elections in Andalusia (prior to the general elections) has pushed the people to the polls. The fact that in Andalusia the Popular Party and Citizens party have agreed with Vox to govern has not been a good thing, not even for their own voters, since many are considered center (moderate). Proof of this is that the Popular Party has obtained the worst result of its history in these past elections.”
What will change in Spain with Pedro Sanchez new period?
“The society has voted Pedro Sánchez to continue the policy that has been applied these nine months (since the Motion of confidence that made him president). Expanding the social rights of the people, raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing universal health, free quality education, ending precarious jobs (in Spain there are many), the minimum vital income, increasing pensions… If you manage to fulfill his entire program, the life of the people improves a lot. The important thing for me in particular is that I fight for the Welfare State, that I maintain it. That the rich pay more taxes than the middle class and that we all have the same opportunities no matter how much money we have.”
Why far-right parties found a huge answer in this election? What you think about far-right organizations rising in Europe?
“For me, the rise of the extreme right, both in my country and in the rest of Europe, is a danger for all. With them on the public stage, all the social rights that we have been winning over the years are in danger. The welfare state would be absolutely destroyed with politicians who want to privatize health and education. That goes against freedom, homosexual marriage, against self-management of autonomy… It would be a disaster. Near this the feminist mobilizations was very important for Pedro Sánchez and his party could win the elections. In Spain, women were taken to the streets to demonstrate, to demand that we be recognized as equals, since we believe that the far right parties would end many of our rights and freedoms that we have won over the decades.”
Spain felt a strong economic crisis before. Is Spanish economy safe or still under threat?
“The Spanish economy is not yet safe. Society still is not recovered completely. We have gone through a very strong crisis. The economic rescue of Bankia, Real estate Bubble, the unemployment, the risk premium … these are problems that once took their toll and today the sequels continue. Many people work and are still poor. They have precarious jobs, with very low salaries that are not enough to pay for the house and food. In fact, we are now living in the main Spanish capitals: Madrid and Barcelona, above all, a rental bubble. It is impossible to rent a house. The prices are exorbitant. Young people are very prepared but cannot find work or the work they find is very precarious. So you cannot afford a house. Many live with their parents or rent very small and very expensive rooms in shared flats. It is impossible for them to emancipate themselves.”
How does Venezuela crisis affect Spain?
“There is tension right now in the relations between Venezuela and Spain. It is something that affects the commercial relations between both countries. After the crisis in Venezuela, in 2015, the situation of insecurity led many companies to leave the country. Since then, the volume of exports has fallen to 43%. Some companies, such as Iberia, came to modify their route to prevent their crew from sleeping in Caracas. And, on the sentimental level, we are very sad for our brother country, such as Venezuela to which so many Spaniards emigrated in their time. A country that was so powerful, rich in raw material is going through this critical moment of insecurity and poverty in its population.”
How Turkey is seen from Spain? What is Turkey’s importance for EU? Do you think can Turkey be a member for EU?
“I think it is important that Turkey to be part of the European Union. It has been in this struggle for decades and it is time for it to become part of the EU. The countries that oppose its integration give the argument that Turkey is not yet ready to guarantee the criteria that are required, but I think that is not entirely true. Those powerful countries of the EU are afraid that Turkey will become one of the countries with more weight in the EU for its economy and its population. It would be the second country with the highest representation in the European Parliament, behind Germany. It has a large market and its economic growth is evident. Also, it has a very powerful renewable energy industry and this is very positive. Many of us think that Turkey could be a key country to help resolve international crises, such as the drama of refugees or the struggle against the ISIS terror. With Turkey in the EU all are advantages: cultural, economic and territorial.”
This interview published in Intell4 Strategy Channell on June 1, 2019