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Speech by President of the Government of Spain on official ceremony panel of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the OECD Convention

Paris (France), Monday 14 December 2020


Q: President of the Government Sánchez, we have heard this morning that the post-war era gave rise to the Marshall Plan, the IMF, World Bank, the EU and public health systems in many places. Should we now think about something similar on this scale? Do we need a new scenario? Do we need great institutional architecture to overcome this?

President of the Government: I think we do; I think that as Ursula and Charles said, at a European level, we appreciated at the start of the crisis the need to not only share knowledge but also to be united against this pandemic that recognises no borders, ideologies or gender. So I think we must continue to push on. The WHO is an institution that we must strengthen. The OECD has also been of great help to all of us because it is somewhere we can obtain information from, share knowledge, and see the best actions to tackle the different perspectives of this pandemic. I am a firm believer in multilateralism and I feel that it is crucial to strengthen this multilateralism in the coming years.

Q: President of the Government Sánchez, do you believe that the United States has returned to the fold? And will things be easier this year with a new President of the United States?

President of the Government: I don't understand, and I have said this publicly on many occasions, this attitude by the Trump Administration to blame the EU and to see the EU as an enemy of the United States; the reality is quite the opposite. I am a firm believer in Trans-Atlantic relations. We spoke about this at this Council, but let me tell you this, since [Iván] Duque is here and the Secretary-General is Mexican: I believe that the EU is also closely associated with Latin America and that this is a part of the continent that we should, let's say, draw closer to, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.

Q: You, like the other participants, have spoken about the green recovery. My question is about the zero emissions targets for the year 2050, which is one thing, but now what? What will happen next year? If we could meet up again in a year's time, how much progress could we have expected to have made over the next 12 months?

President of the Government: Well, I think that the most important thing is that people understand that this ecological transition means jobs, prosperity, business and opportunities for everyone. It is crucial for all of us to create an integrating perspective of the ecological transition and that is the challenge we must face, in Spain as well, where the different regions are committed to this ecological transition. We must explain and commit companies to creating opportunities in these regions. Hence, my political goal is always to explain to people that the ecological transition and the energy transition mean jobs, prosperity and economic growth.

Q: Does anyone want to comment on this? (he refers to the response from Jacinda Ardern who reflects on the leadership of women in tackling COVID-19).

President of the Government: I agree with Jacinda; I think that we must tackle this huge challenge with humility, we must be humble, we must be transparent with information, we must base decisions on science and of course try and build consensuses and unity between the political parties and obviously between members of society.

(Transcript edited by the State Secretariat for Communication)

Non official translation