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Economy 2020: pandemic, European funds, telecommuting and disorder
I begin this end-of-year count with a personal memory: I arrived at The Conversation at the beginning of March, when the state of alarm had not yet been declared in Spain but the WHO had already announced that the rapid spread of Sars-CoV-2 was covid-19 a pandemic. 2020 in Europe: pandemic, shock and remedial measures The first article I edited was First objective: overcome COVID-19, not control the deficit of Professor Gayle Allard (IE University), and I was struck by the clarity of her message: “The Increasing our public debt is not what matters now, we will have time to deal with it when all this has happened. ”Time has proved Professor Allard right and we have seen how not only Spain but Europe have left behind the containment and have applied urgent measures to guarantee the attention of the health and economic emergency. In these months of 2020, the European institutions have not stopped when making economic decisions aimed at alleviating the severity of the crisis and, at the same time, strengthening the European project. It seems that the pandemic has brought Keynesianism back and Professor Castillo Hidalgo (ULPGC) reviews it in Keynes against the coronavirus: “The consensus is generalized (…), it is undisguisedly recognized that Keynesian-type policies will be necessary to reverse the (current) economic situation. ”This general consensus that state aid is necessary has its European manifestation in the Next Generation EU program. In Covid-19: the crisis that aroused the economic solidarity of the EU, professors Patricia García-Durán (UIB) and Marc Ibáñez (Yale University) speak of these recovery funds as “a Marshall Plan made in Europe”. This is an excellent summary article on the aid program: what it consists of, the reasons for the speed in its design by Europe and the generosity of the amount, how it affects Spain, how was the negotiation process (including the resentments and reluctance of some countries towards others), the European demands for its achievement and the long-term commitment that they imply towards the construction project in Europe. 2020, trade war, world hegemony, uncertainty and disorder Beyond Europe and the pandemic, in 2020 the trade war between the United States and China has been very present. Throughout the year, the already outgoing Trump administration has tried in various ways to undermine China’s growing influence on the world stage: accusations of espionage, the veto of Huawei for the installation of 5G networks, the prohibition of TikTok operations in North American territory. At the same time, the Asian giant has also been increasing the pressure by prohibiting some imports and through tariff increases … The truth is that this struggle does not seem to be only economic: behind it lies the struggle to maintain (for one) or achieve (for the other ) world hegemony and that is what professors Vázquez and Visintin (UCJC) explain in their article The United States and China are fighting for world hegemony (and not only in economics) .The mixture of pandemic, economic crises, uncertainty and geopolitical struggles has plunged 2020 into an atmosphere of chaos. Welcome to the era of disorder is the article in which Professor Jorge Hernando (Nebrija) analyzes the various factors that make many analysts consider that we are entering a new economic cycle that they have called, precisely, the era of disorder. One of the sectors most affected by the chaos that emerged in this year 2020 is civil aviation. The pandemic and lockdown implied an unprecedented drop in their business figures and bankruptcy for the weakest airlines, or that have not been able to count on government aid. Professor Pere Suau (UOC) exposes in his article Civil aviation: how to end the great hibernation of 2020? the state of the question, the possible solutions for the recovery of the sector and the alternatives for its sustainability over time. 2020, labor relations and domestic economics The pandemic has affected the labor structure in force until now and has introduced teleworking in the lives of companies and their workers. From one day to the next, and after the declaration of the state of alarm, workers and employers had to adapt to this new reality. Spaces were created within homes, work routines were established and there has been a lecture on leadership modes, worker control, and remuneration models. But perhaps what best defines the importance that teleworking has acquired in Spain (and what may indicate that it has come to stay), is the approval of the royal decree law that regulates it and that is analyzed by Professor Luz Rodríguez (UCLM), in his article, Teleworking in Spain already has its own legislation. The gender gap in the Spanish labor market is definitely an important and urgent issue. On this occasion, Professor Carmen Grau (ULPGC) addresses the tremendous differences between men and women at the end of their working life. In his article Why do women earn less and have worse pensions: gender gap or blindness ?, Grau points out the need to give a gender interpretation to social protection systems and points out that, until now, legislative reforms have been blind to the gender perspective. Beyond 2020, beyond the pandemic In Spain, traditional models have been cracking over time: with the arrival of divorce, more than forty years ago, marriage ceased to be for life. Then it was (in many cases stumbling and forced) work. And now what is questioned is the investment model in housing. Professor Ajuriaguerra (URJC) signs Is it profitable to buy a house for life ?, an article in which he proposes that the purchase of the first home should be assumed from the perspective of a temporary threshold and a clear use and not with the traditional perspective for life The town of San Cibrao, in Lugo, Galicia, has lived 2020 not only with pandemic uncertainty but also with the threat of closure of one of its main sources of employment: the aluminum production plant of the multinational Alcoa. Professor Miguel González Loureiro (University of Vigo) takes this case as an example to analyze the phenomenon of the location and relocation of factories by large corporations. This article was originally published in The Conversation. Read the original.