We can all agree that we just finished one of the hardest years of our lives. Days dominated by the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, by uncertainty or economic ruin, by accelerated changes in the way we work, by the fear of disease and death. In this context of alarm in which so many professionals, starting with those of the health sector, have given much more than is required from them and bearable for them, we do not want to forget that the world continues to turn and that alongside the worst comes the best of the humanity.
What is the point, on the day that Catalonia has reached 16,792 deaths and Spain 49,824, of talking about good news? For us it makes perfect sense because 2020 has been a sinister year, but it has also been the seed of a future in which we will manage to recover the freedom to embrace that we miss so much today, a future in which we regain confidence.
In spite of everything 2020 has brought us good news, and we have decided to highlight it.
The year of science
Good news as the planetary scientific and financial effort to act together to come up with a vaccine against the coronavirus. With the precedent of diseases such as AIDS, that the vaccine is being provided is a great victory, achieved in a time frame that not long ago seemed almost unreasonable. Reality has shown that not just one vaccine, but a few (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, the Russian Sputnik V, at least a couple of Chinese and the Oxford vaccine) have already begun to be used.
The vaccine is a cooperative scientific and state success, which has allowed massive funding for research and production of cutting-edge, revolutionary vaccines that teach the body how to fight the virus by provoking an immune response.
If the vaccine is massively administered, we will be able to slowly regain freedom of movement. It is not a question of thinking that things will go back to the way they were before the pandemic, but that many older people will be able to go out into the street, be hugged, let go of some of the emotional restraint. Avoid death.
Biden and the return of politics
Politically, 2020 has been kind enough to kick Donald Trump out of the White House. On January 20, we will have the photograph of the new president, Joe Biden, being sworn in with his hand on the Bible held by his wife in front of the Capitol. If chance does not prevent it, we will see the Trumps' getting on a helicopter that will return them to the television cartoon. We'll say goodbye to the president who doesn't believe in multilateralism in foreign policy. The president who pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement, who withdrew from the nuclear pact with Iran, who liquidated the mid-range nuclear weapons treaty signed with Russia, and who withdrew funds from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the midst of the pandemic.
Trump is the fever of a disease and we would do well not to forget that 74.2 million Americans voted for him - more votes than Barack Obama received -, but this is another issue and the positive news is that Biden embodies the hope of a return to multilateralism in global struggles as well as the urgency for a new climate policy.
While the US has returned to the track of common sense, the EU has confirmed itself as the best club we can be part of. The big step forward is that some of the money from the recovery plan will come out of European debt, which until now was a taboo subject. Eurosceptics should be invited to think about what our present would be like without the euro, without scientific cooperation and joint action by the 27, and without the direct help of European funds that must enable the country to take a leap forward and not just to get out of the current economic doldrums. It will be up to the Spanish and Catalan governments to ensure that the Next Generation EU fund, the long-awaited aid programme for the continent's economic recovery, is actually used for business projects that modernise the productive fabric, such as digitalisation, environmental sustainability, training, research and health. The challenge today is to ensure that the subsidies really reach the fabric of SMEs and do not remain in the hands of large companies with the capacity for political influence.
Change is needed
2020 has also been a year of awareness of the need for change, whether in the mobility of large cities, in the flexibility of the way we work or in the dignity we want to die with, which involves a new law that will facilitate a dignified death in Spain.
Politically in Catalonia, 2020 has not been a good year, with political prisoners serving a sentence that is more a political revenge applied by the courts than a fair decision. The positive point was reached with Major Trapero's sentence, an interpretation that puts the very basis of the decisions of a flawed Supreme Court in crisis.
We hope that by the end of 2021 the good news newspaper you have in your hands will cost us even more to make, that we will have more to choose from the thousands of facts we publish throughout the year, that life will prevail over death and that joy and strength will accompany you. Happy New Year!