from the editor

A tumultuous year

Looking back on the previous twelve months helps us better understand the magnitude of the changes and surprises we have witnessed (as always, our December issue offers you a review of the year’s major events). The pandemic and wars in Ukraine and now between Israel and Hamas have marked the last years and months of our lives. 2023 has been far from predictable, continuing to bring disruptive changes in the way we live and understand the world. The effects of the pandemic persist, especially in our economy and industry. While figures indicate a relative growth in global wealth, the reality is that citizens now have much less purchasing power. The lower energy prices in Spain compared to the EU have not sufficiently compensated for the increase in food prices. Furthermore, the year has left us with a crisis it will be difficult to recover from: a drought that threatens to become chronic and seriously affect our way of life and economy. It has been a catastrophic year in terms of climate change and water shortage. Restrictions will seemingly be much more common and the primary sector will suffer in a way that may be insurmountable for many family farms, while rising temperatures and water scarcity threaten to soon turn part of our country into arid areas, something we are not prepared to deal with.

It has been no placid year in political terms, either. Not only because the fragility of the Catalan Government persists, but because two elections in Spain have brought about very significant changes. On the one hand, the local and regional elections that opened the door to coalition governments between PP and the far-right VOX. And on the other, general elections in which a PP victory was insufficient to secure the government, opening the door to the previously unimaginable PSOE agreement with Junts. As a result, Spanish politics is in constant turmoil. By way of example, the amnesty law, until recently rejected by the PSOE, will be approved in the coming weeks and may take effect in the first quarter of 2024... so hold on tight, the beginning of next year may well be as tumultuous as this year has been.

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