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The windmills that inspired Cervantes for El Quijote, Campo de Criptana, Spain. Don Quixote, the main character in the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine it. The present Spanish PM Sanchez is a modern version of the character. Photo credit: Katia De Juan

Spain 2050: No personal homes, no permanent contracts, no domestic flights, retirement at 70

On Thursday, May 20, the Spanish Prime Minister presented a voluminous plan developed by a hundred researchers from more than 40 universities, NGOs and international organisations over a year and aimed at transforming Spain into a socialist utopia with no personal freedom.

Published: May 24, 2021, 8:58 am

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    Socialist PM Pedro Sanchez presented a 675-page plan entitled Spain 2050, foundations and proposals for a long-term national strategy, inviting a collective reflection on the challenges of the country after the pandemic, in an effort to propose the kind of country “we want to be in 30 years”.

    “The vision of the future must be that of the state and not the government. The present occupies us, but we must also worry about the future,” said the Prime Minister. The so-called Spain 2050 project, a “collective reflection” on the future of the country “in the post-COVID world” for the next 30 years, was met with criticism however.

    The Spanish newspaper El Mundo deduced that according to Sanchez’s plan for 2050, Spaniards will no longer own a personal car or house and will have to share an apartment. They will be forced to forgo flights for short-haul journeys and will have to use the train instead. In terms of employment, they will only be offered temporary or fixed-term contracts and may have to work until the age of 70 before retiring. They will have to eat less meat and pay more taxes for drinking or smoking. And efforts will be made to increase immigration.

    The document, developed with the input of over 100 experts from various fields, is now open to amendments from political parties, local and regional authorities, trade unions and employer groups, non-profit organizations and universities.

    The ambitious project aims at propelling Spain into the ranks of the “most prosperous countries in Europe”, but nothing indicates that these proposals will enhance prosperity or find an echo within the Spanish population, weary of a long governmental instability.

    The document provides for the introduction of the “frequent flyer rate” or the establishment of taxes on airline tickets according to the proximity of the destination in order to reduce its environmental impact. In addition, the authors of the study recommend banning flights on those journeys that can be made by train in less than 2,5 hours.

    To achieve this goal, the plan proposes to progressively raise the tax rates on diesel and gasoline consumption until both are equal to the average rate of the richest countries in the European Union.

    Also, consumers and manufacturers will be put in charge of waste management and assume all associated costs, thus freeing municipalities from this burden.

    The document proposes to promote “active aging” so that each person can decide whether or not they want to continue working once they have reached the legal retirement age. “This is the case, for example, in the Scandinavian countries, where a significant part of the elderly combine their retirement with a certain work activity, often associated with leadership positions, advisory work, or replacements to cover the losses and absences of the workers. younger workers,” Sanchez said

    The Government foresees that the population living in rental housing will increase in the coming years and, with it, the difficulties of access to housing, especially in some cities. Faced with this situation, the executive’s plan is committed to encouraging alternative forms of tenure to freehold ownership and rent, such as temporary ownership and shared ownership.

    “The collaborative economy could also break into the housing market in our country: some forms of shared housing, such as cohousing , can be an interesting option for both young and old, giving rise to new forms of intergenerational coexistence,” the document stated.

    The general secretary of the conservative People’s Party (PP), Teodoro García Egea dismissed the project. “I think these people believe that when a citizen comes to a town hall to ask for a solution to their problems, you can say ‘not today, but in 2050 I may solve it for you’.” He said that the Government was focused “wasting the time of the Spaniards” with such plans for the future, instead of presenting, for example, plans to face the current economic situation.

    The Government presented this plan fifteen days after the setback that the regional elections in Madrid caused for the coalition government, in which the Socialists suffered their greatest historical defeat in this region.

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