In a place in Castile whose name I do not have to remember, they explained to me a few weeks ago how the express reform of the Constitution came about a year ago. On the border between Castile and the old kingdom of Leon, small family wineries excavated in a land for centuries dedicated to the vineyard and the cereal are conserved. Like so many things of yesteryear, they were about to disappear, until the new generations discovered the pleasure of eating underground and invite friends to taste the mystery of underground cones where wooden beam presses are still preserved.
Inside one of those cones, at ten degrees of temperature and under the dim light of a light bulb, a diner perfectly informed of the ins and outs of shoemaking, slipped the confidence: “The reform of the Constitution did not obey a formal requirement of I can tell you that the Charter did not include this requirement, which basically urged us to close the year of 2011 with a deficit of 6%, to cut salaries in the public and private sectors, and to urgently change the labor legislation In a last demonstration of astuteness, José Luis found a shortcut: that summer,
Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy were advertising the golden rule
the inclusion of budgetary stability in European national constitutions, following the example of Germany – and Zapatero spoke to them, Rajoy, for obvious reasons, he could not resist, and the contact with Duran Lleida failed, everything had to be done very quickly. Ocalizar on time and CiU took it as an affront. Surely everything could have been done better, but we got three things: liquidity of the European Central Bank, avoid the formal intervention of the Spanish economy and save the PSOE the bad drink of new cuts three months before the general elections of November 20″.
Silence underground. The revelation is interesting. The reform of the Constitution was a placebo and a clever stratagem by Zapatero to buy time at a very difficult time for the country, for the Socialist Party and for himself. Everything fits. A year after that initiative, very few states in the European Union have modified their constitution to include the Tudesca golden rule. Sarkozy tried, but François Hollande’s socialists told him no. Portugal, modest and intervened, has not wanted to break its fragile internal consensus and has left the Constitution calm. Only Silvio Berlusconi joined the initiative and this past April – with Mario Monti at the helm of the Italian Government – the Rome Senate approved the constitutional amendment. Everything fits. Italy is the other country that received La Carta in August of last year.
The Charter is the key. On August 5, in the midst of a financial storm, Moncloa received a letter signed jointly by the then president of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, and by the governor of the Bank of Spain, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez. The document urged the Spanish government to launch an “urgent action” program to neutralize the financial operators that were turning August into a hell. There was an acknowledgment of receipt and after a few days, the ECB received authorization – from Berlin – to buy the punished debt of Spain and Italy.
The letter sent to the Palazzo Chigi in Rome was released after a few weeks. He carried the signature of Trichet and Mario Draghi, the president of the Bank of Italy, and demanded a severe program of reforms. The Corriere Della Sera, the great newspaper of Milan, published it on September 29 and that was probably the first step to remove Berlusconi from power, something that would happen forty days later – on November 14 – after a masterful maneuver by the president of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. The reforms and adjustments of the Monti government – the technocrat, first repudiated and now praised by Spanish socialism that hoists the flag of “national unity” – are guided by the Charter.
The Letter is kept secret, kept under seven keys.
Two books of recent appearance ( The days that we live dangerously, of Mariano Guindal, and Indecent, a chronicle of a perfect robbery, of Ernesto Ekaizer) reveal a good part of their content. Guindal tells that Rajoy had access to it thanks to the good offices of Antonio Sainz de Vicuña, general director of the legal service of the BCE. The PSOE kept it secret and the PP has not aired it either. Why? For the same reason that we do not know, in all its details, the deliberation in the Ecofin of May 9, 2010, in Brussels in which the Zapatero Government was forced to change the sign of its economic policy. A meeting in which Vice President Elena Salgado shed tears. Both episodes show that Spain has been tutored or officiously intervened for more than two years.
The Charter also offers some clues to the current situation.
After winning the general elections with a strong absolute majority, Mariano Rajoy believed that he had room and focused the strategy of his first hundred days to achieve an expansion of political capital with the conquest of Andalusia. Before failing in the effort, was apperceived from Berlin. The letter. After a stormy deliberation in Moncloa, it was decided to advance the labor reform and delay until March 30 the 2012 budgets. The unions called a general strike and this was reflected in the Andalusian vote, despite the laziness of the PSOE.
the nuclear explosion in the center of the Spain system, after failing the operation initially desired by Rajoy: the absorption of Bankia by CaixaBank, under the appearance of a merger. An operation today condemned to oblivion. In Madrid, there are those who regret not having supported it, and in Barcelona burn candles in thanksgiving to the Verge de Montserrat. (Confession of a minister of the current Government: “After a few months, the problem could have broken out in Barcelona”).
And after the collapse of Bankia, the bank rescue, the loan of 100,000 million euros, with the conditions included in the Memorandum of Understanding released this week- unsecured advance loans consolidated. Partial loss of sovereignty. Transfer to the European Commission and the ECB of the control of the banking system, pending the future European Banking Authority. The drama of the Greek elections and the European Council of June 28 and 29 in Brussels in which Italy and Spain played strong and avoided the worst. With a price to pay. The Monti package (15,000 million additional adjustments in two years) and the Rajoy package (56,440 million in two and a half years). A Spains that, now, feels intervened. The gloomy words of Rajoy in the Congress: “We have reached a point where we can not choose”. It all started two years ago. The tears of Salgado. The letter. The European Directory.
Zapatero, during the plenary session of the Congress in which the proposal of reform of article 135 of the Constitution (Propias) was debated Related Bankia receives 45 million to finance water infrastructures Goldman Sachs forecasts that Spain will not meet the new deficit targets Rajoy asks the PP militancy not to be embarrassed by the measures