Bad times for Spanish tourism, on which more than 12 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) depends in pre-pandemic years such as 2019, if neighboring countries begin to advise against coming to take advantage of the offer of sun and beach that Spain offers tray to foreign citizens. Outside our borders, the image of the mega-outbreak and easy drunkenness spreads, but at the moment, it is combined with headlines of lack of containment and harshness in the face of the coronavirus. This impression was made official yesterday by France, which these days shows great concern about the evolution of the health crisis that Spain is experiencing, and asked its fellow citizens to avoid as much as possible traveling to the Mediterranean coast this summer.
“It is a disaster,” criticize sources of the parliamentary opposition when asked about the management of the pandemic in this fifth wave. We are the second country in number of infections and Pedro Sánchez goes on a Baltic tour, he washes his hands and lets the autonomies respond as they can to the vertiginous increase in cases. We return to talking about 17 different ways to manage the fifth wave. In a global crisis, you need everything but isolated measures.
Other sources of the PP recall that the report of alerts last Monday demanded the Ministry of Health to adopt expeditious measures to stop the explosion of infections and that, instead, Minister Carolina Darias He calmed down the spirits with a letter sent to the regional councilors of the branch and ruled out reactivating a brake through the curfew, the perimeter closure and by sectors.
But from the sources consulted in the most touristic Spanish autonomies, blows like the one that France delivered yesterday can be the final blow for a sector that was confident of recovering this year 60% of the visits of foreigners that occurred in the last year before the pandemic, 2019. Last year, the tourism sector already plummeted eight points in the percentage it represents in the pie of annual GDP, down to just 4.3%.
«Avoid crossing the Pyrenees»
On the other side of the Pyrenees, it is curious how the Government and public opinion coincide on the need to “avoid” spending summer holidays in Spain. “The message is lethal for the sector’s economic and recovery prospects,” Popular Party sources told this newspaper yesterday. Yes, yesterday morning the Spaniards had breakfast with the statements of Clement Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, who emphasized what many French already thought quietly. He discouraged potential travelers and tourists from spending their vacations in Spain and Portugal, due to the dramatic evolution, he said, of the Delta (or Indian) variant on the Iberian Peninsula. This mutation is already dominant in four Spanish autonomies and continues its escalation of infections also in Portuguese soil.
Echoing the course the pandemic is taking in several European countries, including France, Beaune declared: “In general, the pandemic is not over. Health risks remain high. Those who have not booked hotels or summer residences are wise to avoid going to Spain or Portugal. It is more sensible to stay in France or visit other countries».
The Secretary of State thus expressed the concern that exists in France towards the “irresponsibility” of the governments (the state of Pedro Sánchez and the autonomic ones), as well as of a part of society more willing to throw themselves into the streets happily, as was stated. It has been featured in newspaper headlines and news openings in recent days.
France criticizes harshly now that there are no sharp measures to curb the virus. According to a survey made public by BFTV, the first permanent, private audiovisual information channel, 61% of French people are in favor of adopting “restrictive, more coercive” measures for the unvaccinated. In practical terms, these same French people have followed with some suspicion the evolution of the crisis in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and other regions, where it has been necessary to take hasty measures, given the worrying escalation of the epidemic curve, and where, according to the opinion In France, containment measures are now being improvised as the curve grows. A sample button: last Tuesday, the evening ‘Le Monde’ headlined full page: “In Spain, a new wave is spreading at spectacular speed.”
Autonomous decentralization with regard to Spanish healthcare is reasonably incomprehensible to the average French. When the reference press refers to study trips that spread uncontrolled outbreaks, illustrated with images of neighborhoods with nightlife and crowded beaches, the damage to the image of Spain and its credibility is very great. The fifth wave is perceived in Spain with alarm. And the Government of Emmanuel Macron It is evaluating some statistics to give a national balance next Monday, when the President of the Republic will meet a security and defense council to evaluate possible, tougher measures that could be taken on a strictly national scale.
«Lightening measures just at the time of the rebound, such as the mandatory use of masks in the street, was done with a single purpose: to open the news with people taking off their masks, and not with pardons. What Sánchez does once again is hide his head under the wing. It does not assume its responsibility in the face of this new wave that affects, above all, the youngest ”, criticize opposition parliamentarian sources.
Curiously, the same day that France makes official its suspicion of the laxity of Spain, the United Kingdom, the country with the most infections in Europe, does not fear the return of British citizens who spend a stay on Spanish soil, as in the Balearic Islands. For this reason, it has advanced seven days a measure that was reserved for next July 26 and announces that from the 19, whoever returns from Spain and other countries in your ‘amber’ list, vaccinated and with a complete schedule, will be exempt from the mandatory ten-day quarantine that was imposed until now. However, the requirement to carry out a test before traveling and a PCR in the first two days after the return is maintained.
The announcement made by the Secretary of State for Transportation, Grant Shapps, It has been received with open arms by the tourist industry and airlines, as it opens the doors of 140 countries to 34 million Britons who have already received both doses. He was not greeted with applause by the Labor opposition who accused the prime minister of fueling “a summer of chaos and confusion.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism