Gabriel Rufián: “Less paramilitary Guardia Civil and Army patrolling for ‘peace of mind’ and more resources for medical staff”

The Esquerra Republicana spokesman at the Congress in Madrid asks the Spanish government to tighten measures of confinement and ensure that workers do not lose their jobs: “No one must be left behind”

“Hospitals do not need the military. They need more resources and more healthcare staff. Less Guardia Civil and Army patrolling for ‘peace of mind’ and more resources for healthcare staff.” With these words, the spokesman of Esquerra Republicana in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, referred to measures taken by the Spanish government to address the Covid-19 crisis. In an extraordinary sitting on Wednesday in Congress, Rufián called on PM Pedro Sánchez’s government to tighten the measures of individual confinement and to heed the Government of Catalonia’s request to isolate Catalonia. He also emphasized that it was necessary to ensure that no employee lost his job: “No one must be left behind.”

The Esquerra spokesman for Congress emphasized that “if this is a global problem today, it is because it was not dealt with territorially.” “If you were already irresponsible for territorial non-confinement, then don’t repeat the same mistake now by not reinforcing individual confinement. We have to isolate house by house, family by family,” he said. He also proposed a “total paradigm shift”: reducing the military budget by 40% to be invested entirely in the public health system, and in the meanwhile, reassigning the resources for military deployment planned for this crisis “in full to doctors and nurses.” “Hospitals are about to collapse, and if we do not prevent it, things will only get worse,” he said.

Rufián began his address by thanking healthcare professionals, carriers, cashiers, farmers, cleaning staff and the rest of the workers who are tackling this crisis, saying that “the health crisis will pass, but the economic crisis will endure.” To this end, he proposed a series of measures such as the moratorium on rent payment for all those affected by the crisis, a general and direct moratorium on the payment of Social Security contributions, self-employment dues and deferral of payment of taxes such as VAT/Sales Tax, or delay payment for utilities like electricity, water and gas. “Too many people have been abandoned in too many crises. May this not be yet another such case,” he said.

Finally, he issued a “warning” to those who “are using this crisis as a smokescreen to cover up their shame and their corruption”, in reference to the alleged illegalities committed by former King Juan Carlos de Borbon and the behaviour of the Royals. “We will investigate into the last Euro gotten in business with Saudi ruler. Whether past, present or future,” he said.