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Regulatory positions

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We are in for a cruel winter. The sabotages in the Baltic, the Nazi annexation by Russia of the Dombas, the massacres in Ukraine, the change of government in Italy, the battle for power in Catalonia, the blockage of the CGPJ and its reform, the strawberries of Yolanda's anger, the threats of Irene-Pasionaria in Congress, the purge in RTVE, the four seasons of Vivaldi-Sánchez, his belated COVID-19 and the tax cuts. All these accumulated uncertainties come to nothing when you get your electricity bill.  

According to the government, after its penultimate decree on energy saving measures, it should be called the Putin Tax, but in a display of transformative imagination it has remained in regulatory charges. On a total electricity bill of 24.40 euros, the regulatory charge is 30.04, 123.1% more. They have scandalously increased the kilowatt/h and the cubic metre of gas and, in addition, they are imposing an extraordinary surcharge that will force taxpayers to reach the end of the month with their tongues hanging out. We are facing an emergency winter, which should be the more correct title. But I wanted you not to forget those two magic words that will poison our current account until the ecological transition kills our dreams in 2030.

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No deflation

The May elections have forced the social-communist government to lower taxes for the lower classes and raise them for the rich, -imposed solidarity-, Garzón dixit. Where has this government of the people left the middle and working classes? Out in the open. We will continue to support the system with an inflation rate of 9% after changing the leadership of the INE. Welcome the rebates for SMEs and the self-employed (a symbolic rebate), but the extra 3.4 billion in surplus will be paid by citizens who earn between 22,000 and 60,000 euros a year. What reduction has the government made? None. It is still there with its 22 ministries, its Falcons at will and its endless legion of advisors with scandalous salaries. The Congress has raised its salary by 3.5% for next year with the votes against of the PP and VOX. Shameful example.

Just one piece of information: since Mr. Sánchez's ascension to the Moncloa, we taxpayers have paid 5,400 euros more. The debt and the deficit, that of our children and our grandchildren, are rising exponentially. With the new ECB interest rates there are already 350,000 families mortgaged up to 40% of their income. How many will be left behind?

The race for tax cuts began in Madrid 20 years ago, followed by Andalusia and Castilla y León. The government's offensive, by land, sea and air, has been disproportionate and sectarian. When Urkullu deflated personal income tax in agreement with the PSE, Calviño, Montero and Patxi López continued their one-way criticism of the PP. Ximo Puig, overwhelmed by the corruption of his family and his partner Compromís, was forced to make a move.

Extremadura's Vara will next year reduce ITVs by 10% (5 euros) while Page and Lambán are thinking about it. The Finance Minister gave birth to a mouse and sensitivity also left out the mileuristas and coeliac families. This is the government of the people... socialist.

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The disobedience to the leader had begun with statements to EL MUNDO by Emiliano García Page (PSOE-C-LM) publicly warning that "if Sánchez continued with bad company, the socialists would have a bad time at the polls". López and Alegría tried to silence the Toledo native. The message got through. The Popular Party won the public opinion game while Ferraz and Moncloa drove without anyone at the wheel. Without deflating the IRPF in the national tranche, there will be no peace in the middle and working classes, squeezed for another year. The sovereign people should be reminded of this until the day of reflection at the end of May.

The measures taken by the Executive will begin to take effect in January next year with 30,000 million in the saddlebags of Alcalá 3. And until then, how to climb this autumn-winter slope that has left us in the middle of the climb in the middle of summer? Every man for himself. The president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has described the government's electioneering measures as insufficient. Tax populism while we get poorer. Too much social pain.

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The clarity of money

Pere Aragonés i García (ERC) dismissed his vice-president Jordi Puigneró Ferrer (Junts) citing a lack of political trust. Pujol's convergents have governed Catalonia confusing fatherland and corruption. They have stolen more than the Ceaucescus in Romania. A saga of thieves waiting for the patriarch after the stroke to get on a marble horse for the next century lighting the way to the unredeemed Damascus. For 35 of the 42 years of democracy, CiU members have sat in the shadow of the 3% and the Andorran bank. The time has come for a changeover. The entire budget for Esquerra Republicana, a xenophobic and racist party, related to Italian fascism, which is now going through life as a democrat. It is time to displace the impostors of Convergencia and Unió.

Aragonés knows he has the support of the PSC and the CUP to continue governing without having to bring forward elections. Illa, el Salvador, like Maragall, Iceta and Montilla before him, always go out to meet separatism. They are more collaborationist than General Pétain with the Third Reich. How could they not be if the one who leads separatism in the Table of Shame is Pérez-Castejón himself, Don Pedro.

Outside Parliament and the Constitution, he has initiated a dialogue of the deaf, dumb and blind on Article 2 of our Constitution. Meanwhile, ERC will vote for the General Budgets and, moreover, in exchange, will manage to "repeal" the crime of sedition, neutralise the crime of secession and "de-judicialise" the 200 dossiers of high-ranking officials charged in the coup of five years ago. All of this, without these crimes being accompanied by the accessory offences of political and economic disqualification. The Parliament passed a resolution declaring "legal and legitimate the referendum of 1 October 2017 as well as the result in favour of turning Catalonia into an independent state in the form of a republic". Another provocation to the Constitutional Court; in short, that they will once again stage a coup d'état to break the unity of Spain as soon as they can.

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The Republicans no longer need the old Convergencia. The consultation of the militancy is a joke to gain time. The councillors and public officials of this formation that the coup leader Puigdemont leads less and less every day from his lair in Waterloo know that if the party loses the 23 million annual salary, in May they will be campaigning from the helplessness of the seats at the door of the Christian Democrat churches. So they will continue to suck from the regional and state teat "per secula seculorum". They will claim that they do not abandon their "normative posts" out of responsibility.

It is curious that the most profligate autonomous regions are the ones that always complain about tax cuts. Juanma Moreno's call for Catalan fortunes to settle in Andalusia has been seen as a declaration of war. Setting up a recruitment office for the rich in Barcelona is nonsense. What they hide is that Catalonia is a fiscal hell for its citizens.

Of course, the bankruptcy comes because a) it has autonomous police (33% are on sick leave due to stress), b) it has "embassies" all over the world, c) it maintains TV3 with an expense and a staff bigger than Antena 3 and Telecinco combined, d) it buys the media to have them at its service, e) it has to feed the long royal family of Pujol-Ferrusola, f) it maintains three former presidents as if they were marajahs (Mas, Puigdemont and Torra) and g) it has the sleeping CDRs and civil servants paid as MEPs without working. Marcos de Quintos, ex-deputy of Ciudadanos, has compiled the points on the i's. When will they return the FLA money, which amounts to 78,000 million?  Never. The difference with Madrid and its prosperity is simple: here we have Isabel Diaz Ayuso governing.

This Catalan crisis is a fake. ERC and the former convergentes agree on the essential: to destroy the state from within. They are two Trojan horses undermining the institutions.  An agreed referendum is impossible. They only play to keep getting paid while they raid the budgets, like the PNV. When will the fiscal harmonisation that Calviño and Montero preach but do not practice be implemented?  ERC wants to politically assassinate the old Convergencia. And have the whole budget at their disposal. Linguistic immersion unfortunately seems irreversible with the PSE, PSOE and Education looking the other way.

Catalonia holds the first place among the communities in violence, squatting, rubbish and murders. 7 deaths in the last week of September.  Gerona, Lérida, Barcelona and Tarragona, in that order, are the provinces with the most street terrorism. Thanks to Colau and the separatists. Five years after the illegal referendum, we are worse off thanks to Rajoy's mistakes and the condescension of the president of the national government. A wound that will not heal until a decent Executive enforces the law throughout the national territory. And one that does not pay traitors.

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Iglesias and company

It seems that Little Red Riding Hood Yolanda and Garzón have overheated the "shopping basket" at Carrefour. Mrs Diaz now insists that we only eat seasonal strawberries - Spain is the biggest exporter in Europe - and local produce. To import strawberries is to enslave those who pick them in the Third World. This is a far-fetched theory from this "listener" of the milkmaid's tale. Garzón - the one of the solidarity imposed on the rich by means of the BOE - continues in his line of destroying the countryside, the farmers, the hunters and now the fishermen. In 2030 we will all be eating Bill Gates' grass hamburgers, we will all be poor as hell and, moreover, happy. There is no one who can give more. Well, yes, Minister Belarra who will bring out an animal law where we will have pets with more rights than people and no duties. Neither Gandhi nor the end of the Hymn of the Third International have been read.

But the hit of the week has been the "Irene effect". She defended the sexual rights of children in the Commission only to end up making an apology for paedophilia. Not only did she not rectify after reading the minutes of her speech, but, in plenary session, Montero-Pasionaria threatened the VOX deputy who questioned her: "How long will this campaign of political violence against any of us be tolerated; I ask you to stop them and to approve the abortion law. These fascists can be stopped with rights". In a cocky tone she said: "Your honour has spoken for the last time", just as Dolores Ibarruri warned Calvo Sotelo days before he was assassinated by the bodyguard of the socialist Indalecio Prieto. Montero has counted on the umbrella of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. The errors of pederasty in the Church do not justify public understanding with the Minister of Equality. Let spokesman Argüello explain it in religious schools and colleges.    

Meanwhile, the father of Ms. Montero's children, Pablo Iglesias, as a neighbourhood bully, has mocked the entire Madrid Municipal Police, praising the horsewoman Isa Serra, acquitted by the TSJM after being convicted of insulting a policewoman who was doing her duty. His contempt for the urban police was shared by his cronies Echenique and Otegui. She will not apologise because a communist never repents. In penance, he should run again as a candidate for the Community of Madrid. He has no guts. He will trick the good people into voting for him in the European elections in 2024 and with one more legislature, he will ensure himself an outrageous life pension. And Errejón, the one with the black-scholarship, demanding that VAT on food should not be lowered to 4% because it benefits the caviar-eating rich. They treat their voters as if they were imbeciles.  

That Isa Serra has been acquitted of her crimes so that she can stand in the next elections by the same court that convicted her confirms that justice is a joke. How is it possible for a popular representative to insult a policewoman, to be condemned and not be politically and economically disqualified?  The next day she was appointed advisor to her party's minister with a salary of 65,000 euros and the right to travel to New York in a Falcon, free of charge. And these were the people who were going to regenerate public life.

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Government and opposition

The president's international agenda before COVID-19 stopped him has been frenetic. It happens to all exes in their last year in office. Some are obsessed with the Strait of Hormuz, others with the EU Treaties, others with Latin America and others with the crises in the Middle East. Our man has wanted to pacify the Western Balkans, mediate between Venezuela and Colombia, show solidarity with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner after her fabricated assassination and has been very belligerent towards Putin while buying him more liquefied gas than ever so that he can continue mercilessly killing Ukrainians. He has kept a stony silence about his personal decisions on the Sahara, the deterioration of relations with Algeria and Pegasus. And, to top it all, he has reopened the water war by advocating desalination plants whose water is not suitable for irrigation in Levante, Murcia and Almería. The National Hydrological Plan in the middle of a drought? Never. That is why they are destroying 45 of the 500 reservoirs built during Franco's regime. And nuclear energy? No, thank you very much. OK. The noise of the windmills will give us more headaches tomorrow.  

At the United Nations, Pedro Sánchez said nothing. And in his meeting with vulture funds and investors he tried to sell a legal certainty that changes like a weather vane at the mercy of the pressure of his "bad companies". But he was generous to the Gates Foundation and UN gender equality bodies to subsidise other Bibianas Aido and Leires Pajín to live with a diplomatic passport for the rest of their lives. Of course, she did not know about the torture and murder of the Iranian Mahsa Amini, for not wearing the veil properly. Cynicism is his motto. Nor did Montero protest to the Iranian embassy in Madrid. It will suit the progressive president to lead the defunct Socialist International.

Sanchismo's fallen are legion: INE, CSIC, Attorney General's Office, State Attorney's Office, Indra, Transparency Council, CNMC, CNMV, -only Bacigalupo Jr., Teresa Ribera's consort, is saved-, CGPJ, Court of Auditors and RTVE. Pérez Tornero has fallen because of his mismanagement. Too many hand-picked appointees. His parliamentary backing is not enough. The Constitutional Court has deemed Rosa María Mateo's appointment unconstitutional. So what?  A dead president is a dead president. Elena Sánchez will pilot the elections, all under Socialist control. Everything under socialist control. Where did the Black Fridays against the previous government with Ana Blanco at the helm go? To the drawer of oblivion.

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I have received 630 consecutive pay slips from the Public Entity. I entered by competitive examination.  I will not be the one to speak ill of my house. But I was one of the few workers - no more than half a dozen - who stood up to the all-powerful Vice-President Fernández de la Vega, Rodríguez Zapatero and the trade unions UGT and CC.OO. so that TVE's advertising would not disappear. This is the result: a public television without an audience, discredited and with a deficit of more than 700 million euros. And now comes the Presidency of the Government with the series "The four seasons" to explain to us the benefits of the west wing of the Monclovite Palace". The BOE reports the agreement with the production company, but forgets - long live transparency - the most important thing: how much this publicity piece by the beautiful Pedro is costing us in the final stretch of the legislature with three crucial elections: municipal and regional elections in May and the general elections in November.  The trailer could not be more disappointing.  

The government's reaction to Giorgia Meloni's victory in Italy has been as expected from a radical government. As Alfonso Guerra would say, 'the Italians have made a mistake at the ballot box'. Are these the democrats who warmly congratulate terrorists like Gustavo Petro, after trying to humiliate King Felipe VI, or Gabriel Boric in Chile after imposing a new Constitution that would dynamite the Republic? Our foreign minister should have made a diplomatic career by correspondence.

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To the credit of this government, which is generous with coup plotters and corrupt individuals, we must note those 4,000 signatures asking for José Antonio Griñán's pardon. The signature of Fernando Savater, the philosopher of Ethics for Amador, is surprising. He has spent his whole life preaching virtue and now he joins because "he is a good friend at the horse races". Will the professor explain this argument to the workers who were left in the gutter and even to the corrupt socialists who took 33 million to Luxembourg. Will he also support the others condemned in this first indictment? The government is incriminating itself because the PSOE and its unchecked spending structure lived a doped life winning election after election and collecting payrolls and salaries for decades.

The position of the valido Bolaños in the CGPJ is aurora borealis: yes to the renewal of the Council, but no to the reform as demanded by Europe. Commissioner Reynders has haggled with both parties. If the PP does not obtain a written, public commitment in Parliament that there will be a reform of Article 122 of the Magna Carta before next June, the CGPJ should not be renewed, even if Carlos Lesmes is blown up. The independence of the judiciary depends on this pillar. September could not have ended better: the PSOE, together with Bildu and ERC, approved the decriminalisation of insulting the King. At the same time they will enact a second Law for the Defence of the Republic, I suppose.

If the Government surprises us every dawn with its incongruent declarations - it says in each territory what they want to hear - the opposition is no less disappointing. Macarena Olona's farce after her conversion in Santiago de Compostela proves that the media spotlight is more addictive than the disease itself. Olona has become our Joan of Arc. The Andalusian beauty was portrayed forever with Mario Conde. Now, let her reflect and whisper, like Yolanda Díez, until after the spring elections. Eight months of silence in politics is suicide. Espinosa de los Monteros was at the top: "The road is over".

Núñez Feijóo is up in points, but his message is still blurred. He did not attend the demonstration in Barcelona in defence of the Spanish language, although he promised from Toledo that he would defend it throughout Spain. His secret interviews with the Minister of Labour and Santiago Abascal raise the suspicion that we are facing an encore Rajoy. The polls indicate that with Ortúzar and Catalan constitutionalism there are not enough votes to reach La Moncloa. We have a government that we do not deserve and an opposition that is hard to believe in this time of uncertainty. 

As for the rest, Txapote and Parot are already at home. The Minister of the Interior, who mistreats the victims, here and in New York, will have to bring before a judge the files for which he has brought terrorists close to him. At the same time, he will have to explain why he has dismantled the special unit for the fight against drug trafficking in the Campo de Gibraltar. Urkullu is proceeding to launch another pulse to the State in agreement with Aragonés to neutralise Bildu and squeeze Sánchez. The blackmail is permanent. This extortion is indeed a perpetual normative charge.

Winter emergency  

The devastation of Hurricane Ian in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Florida should make us reflect on the interaction that might exist with the floods in China, India and Australia. Beyond natural catastrophes we must act on the misfortunes caused by Putin's Hitlerite Russia using deadly S-300 missiles in Zaporiyia. We are talking about genocide.

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The illegal annexation of part of Ukraine (some 90,000 kilometres, roughly the size of Portugal) is reminiscent of the invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939.  Zelenski's desperate appeal to the EU and his desire to join NATO is a wake-up call to our consciences. They need to know they are not alone. Moscow's obscene celebration confirms that the war will be long. Despite the veto of the big five, is there no way of expelling Russia from the United Nations? The exodus of its citizens in all directions but China is a symptom of its weakness. Russia's sabotage of the Baltic gas pipelines is a sign that winter has begun in autumn. And it will be a long one. It is time for free Europe's solidarity with Kiev. Glory to Ukraine! Freedom is at stake.

Antonio REGALADO directs BAHÍA DE ÍTACA at:

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