The People's Republic of China has broken the seal on a possible biological bomb and no one quite knows what the consequences will be. More than 1,400 million people have kept an iron distance from the Covid-19 coronavirus for three years while the countries with the highest levels of well-being in the world alternated confinements and massive infections, as Western vaccines demonstrated their effectiveness. When the epidemic seemed to be dying out in the West, the Chinese ruling group, frightened by the social protests, decided to cancel the rigorous confinements that began at the end of 2019. The epidemic is now beginning in China.
A huge population, less effective vaccines and a poorly reinforced health system, summed up Dr. Antoni Trilla on Thursday in La Vanguardia. Between one and two million people will die between January and March, virologists say, and no one knows for sure what the other consequences of the outbreak will be. New variants of the coronavirus could emerge. That is the main fear today in the West.
If the situation does not get out of control beyond what is tolerable in a society accustomed to obedience for centuries, within a few months there may be a vigorous rebound in the Chinese economy, with the consequent repercussions on the world market. More global economic growth, but also increased demand for oil and gas.
A new increase in the cost of liquefied natural gas naval shipments would test the effectiveness of the cap on the price of gas at a European level that has just been approved in Brussels, with a strong role for Spain in the discussion with Germany. This would coincide with the beginning of summer, a time when all European countries must make an effort to replenish their gas reserves, ahead of the following winter. At that point, if it has not suffered a major battlefield shock that forces it to negotiate with Ukraine, Russia will have to decide whether to try to subject Europe to a second difficult energy winter, in the hope that this time the temperatures are less benign. Europe looks set to get through the winter of 2023 without power blackouts, partly thanks to mild temperatures from October to December that have helped reduce gas consumption.
We have two dice rolling on the world board and there will be a moment when the consequences of the new Chinese health policy and the uncertain war in Ukraine will intersect. Vladimir Putin invited Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping to visit Moscow at an early date on Friday, offering greater cooperation between the two countries in the military field.
These are the dice: the Chinese biological bomb and the uneven war in Ukraine (rain of Russian missiles and strategic advantage of Ukrainian troops on the ground thanks to American artificial intelligence that provides them with highly accurate maps of the position of enemy units ). Depending on how these two realities intersect in the coming months, the Spanish general elections at the end of 2023 will be held in a context of great tension and uncertainty, or in an atmosphere of some social hope after three years of consecutive misfortunes.
Pessimism is in, and the human mind, biologically programmed for vigilance, is more drawn to danger than to peaceful pauses. Rationally, however, a December 2023 with some respite cannot be ruled out, if the Chinese population accepts the covid blow and the Asian giant's economy grows again, and if the negotiation between Russia and Ukraine, with the United States behind , step opens. It would be the best scenario for Pedro Sánchez and the PSOE, who have clearly opted for the exhaustion of the legislature. The fight against adversity is currently the main currency of the coalition government. Managing adversity in the face of an opposition magnetized by catastrophism since the epidemic began in 2020. These will be the constants of the political year that is beginning. From there we will not move in twelve months.
The Government has not been slow to take seriously the risks that may come from China in this phase of massive contact with the coronavirus. On Friday morning, the Ministry of Health issued a mandatory negative Covid-19 test for travelers arriving in Spain from China. This measure had been demanded on Thursday afternoon by the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, in the wake of the precautions adopted in Italy by the Executive chaired by Giorgia Meloni. This time Sánchez has not allowed the controversy with the regional authorities of Madrid to grow. While the PP dusted off the 'Chinese danger', the Minister of Health called a press conference.
The Government has taken seriously the risks of the Chinese biological bomb and has taken even more seriously the new front that the Madrid right wing was trying to open up for it, as a revival of the bitter discussions of three years ago. The Europeanist Sánchez did not want to wait this time for the European Union to make a slow decision for everyone. 2023 will be a politically decisive year in which every week, every day and every hour there will be a fight for possession of the ball and the political agenda. From now on, errors score double. The basketball player Sánchez knows it.
From now on, errors will score double or triple. Alberto Núñez Feijóo also knows this, after the mistake in October when he backed down from the pact for the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), an erroneous decision – under pressure from the Madrid media right – that now shows its full dimension. In an unexpected turn of the script in the trenches of the CGPJ, the 'progressive' members have managed to force a change of majority in the Constitutional Court with the replacement of the four magistrates with expired terms. After the drama of ten days ago in Congress, an unexpected change of script.
The King's Christmas speech, addressed to everyone and warning about the erosion of the institutions, now points to the immobile PP. If Núñez Feijóo had not withdrawn in October from the pact for the renewal of the constitutional bodies with an expired mandate, today he would appear as the captain of a responsible policy. The leader of the Popular Party, subjected to constant pressure by the Madrid political and media right, may end up appearing as a politician with little autonomy, a prisoner of Vox, who is rebounding in the polls and will soon present his second motion of censure against Sánchez in Parliament .
Errors score more from now on. Yolanda Díaz will soon find out, who riskily plays with timeouts before facing what her relationship with Podemos will be in the general elections. And ERC will know it, which has a lot at stake in the May municipal elections after failing to impress anyone with its idea of another referendum in Catalonia.