Thursday, November 26

The Pandora effect, by Juan R. Gil

A senior official in the Generalitat this week used the expression “tense calm” to define the situation in the Executive ahead of that control session on Thursday. Ximo Puig He has not met with Mónica Oltra, as she claimed loudly, but neither has he made any gesture against her and it is clear that, after the first blushing scuffle on social networks between the PSPV and Compromís as soon as the conflict broke out , has given orders to hold the pull without giving a public response to the attacks of his viceroy. For her part, the vice president has gone from more to less in her pronouncements until she was practically silent. If he has replied to someone, it has not been to Puig, but to the third member of the Consell, the second vice president Martínez Dalmau, of Unidos Podemos, which reproached him, with more reason than a saint, for his lack of neutrality in his exercise as government spokesman. And it has even softened its position regarding a possible budget pact with Ciudadanos, leaving the door open to expand public-private collaboration in the field of residences for the Third Age that oranges claim, among other points, to support the accounts of the Generalitat. But, at this point, no one trusts anyone anymore. Hence, the apparent calm of the last days it is not known if it is the beginning of the forced recomposition of the unit or, simply, the disturbing stillness that always precedes the storm.

Everyone, in the PSPV and in Compromís, is waiting for Thursday morning. When the times were still about wine and roses, Puig and Oltra made it a custom that the day that there was a control session in the Cortes, the president would approach the vice-presidency, where he would pick up Oltra to address Parliament. It is assumed that this time it will be the same, that the two will arrive together and smiling at the Palace of the Borja, residence of the Legislative, and they will pose just as together and smiling for the cameras in the Government bank. But even if this is the case, the session will be very difficult because Oltra, with her movement, has even gone further than the opposition and the PP is not going to miss the opportunity to delve into a wound that continues to fester. Bonig has it easy: just asking Oltra if he maintains or rectifies his accusations against Puig is enough. Above, the popular ones arrive in a better situation to this debate than they could have imagined, because for the first time in the pandemic Madrid has better relative data than those of the Valencian Community. The “Madrid disaster” has been referred to as the “Madrid miracle.” And although at this point it begins to be difficult to know why the things that happen in each community happen, and the “oasis”, the “disaster” or the “miracle” are meaningless terms, the truth is that, in case the Consell was missing something, the epidemiological situation in which this appearance is going to take place catches him with a changed foot.


No matter how the control session ends, it happens that Mónica Oltra’s pronouncement against the way of managing things of the Consell has caused the focus to be placed, not only on the two confronting protagonists, the vice president and the president, but also on the government’s own health. Which has raised serious questions. For example, the regional secretary of Public Health and the Public Health System (when the Botànic II gave names to the positions it did not define them, it made a redundant manifesto with each of them), that is, the person in charge of executing the policies that they decide on health matters, Isaura Navarro, is from Compromís. So, when Mónica Oltra alleges that Ximo Puig adopts the measures without consulting them with Compromís, despite being her preferred partner in the Council, does the vice president mean that the Minister of Health and her regional secretary do not speak to each other? That the regional secretary executes the measures without knowing or participating in them, as if she were a zombie? Or that the regional secretary does not tell the vice president? What is Mónica Oltra talking about when she says that the Council does not talk?

It is not just a play on words or a minor matter. The PP has been denouncing through the mouth of the Alicante deputy Jose Juan Zaplana, in charge of these matters in his group, the lack of coordination and the confrontations within the Ministry of Health. And the statements of Mónica Oltra have managed to give a letter of nature to these accusations. We have already written here that mestizaje, the practice of alternating in the councils number one of one party with number two of the other, theoretically to improve coordination, had been perverted until it became a drag. But now the question has to be whether, with regard to Health, the miscegenation does not work, the Ministry does not work or the Government does not work.

Something, of course, is not working properly. But not because the vice president says so, but because the data is piling up: antigen tests that are bought but take forever to be distributed, field hospitals whose capacity and use are unknown, accumulation of waiting lists … The Community does not it is having, despite the number dances, a bad behavior in the pandemic. And the Consell has acted so far with criteria, facing not only the health consequences but also the social and economic ones. That has been written like this in this newspaper and in all of them. But Oltra’s fright has had, among other effects, to point out that, although the king is not naked, it is also true that the costume is becoming more and more fair.

Check operation

That is why it will not be enough that this Thursday there are good faces and enough oratorical resources in the gallery of the Courts to save the situation. The crisis opened by Mónica Oltra can only be resolved, even if that was not what she was looking for, with an in-depth rethinking of the operation of the Consell, because in the current conditions its weaknesses are evident. Because, whoever looks at the government bank, what will they see? The prominent figure of the president, without a doubt. And around them, islands: the vice president denying in public and in private, the Minister of Health alone in her own department, the Consellers of Compromís in profile before the audience and remugando when they think they are not heard, those of Podemos who They always seem like newcomers … Even a councilor from whom great things were expected, such as the person in charge of Infrastructures (I mean Territorial Policy, Public Works and Mobility, I already told you about the charges as manifestos), Arcadi Spain, has been completely overshadowed, it is not very well known if due to the pandemic (which would not have much logic given its competencies, more important than ever at the moment) or due to the lack of gear of all the pieces that the puzzle that begins to suffer. seem like the Consell. Some will say that perhaps it is stretching the rope a lot if, from Oltra’s criticisms of Puig, we start to question the architecture of an entire government. Well maybe. But Pandora’s box was opened by her and you already know how difficult it is to control what comes out of that box. Let’s not say to close it again.

Don’t repeat mistakes at Christmas

If any of you have not read the interview that this newspaper published yesterday with the epidemiologist Jose Maria Alvarez Lozano I encourage you to do so as soon as you can. It is an example of common sense. And a perfect guide on what to do and what not to do now that key dates such as Christmas are approaching. Álvarez Lozano remembers what happened at the end of the first wave: it was practically summer when the quarantine ended, the Government spoke back to normality, we all relaxed and the consequence was the rapid relapse into a second wave that still has us overwhelmed . That was, in the scientist’s words, “an outrage” that now cannot be repeated. The president of the Generalitat asked yesterday that Christmas shopping be advanced to avoid crowds. The Alicante City Council has already turned on the special lighting, which is undoubtedly another good measure on the same path of “stretching” the calendar and fighting the concentrations. Certainly, the number of people in the houses on the most important dates of the next festivities will be increased to ten if the health situation allows it, but most of the restrictions will remain, including curfews. The epidemiologist said it in that interview: in July we jumped into the pool and the consequence was that the second wave was anticipated, with dire consequences not for health, but for the economy. Not repeating the same mistakes is a matter of responsibility.

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