The public services in Spain are the base of a social model that has cost many years to build since the Spanish transition to Democracy in 1975. From the universalization of healthcare to the free access to public education, we achieved many social rights during the prosper years of the economic boom that were defining Spain as a prosperous and united country.
In these previous years we were not only solidifying the welfare state in Spain but also strengthening our development policy and contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In 2010 we were the 5th largest European government donor, spending US$5.9 billion on net official development assistance (ODA) and in 2011 we had an ODA share of 0.4% of the GNI targeting a 0.7% by 2015.
The Spanish government is currently taking different measures that will drastically impact the welfare state in my country in the sectors of education, healthcare, dependency and justice. However, I thought it would be interesting to bring up some the governmental actions that will affect those in more need. Below are two examples worth to be commented:
– Starting September the 1st, only legal immigrants will retain health coverage in Spain. Among illegal immigrants, only children, pregnant woman and emergency cases will qualify for free treatment. This measure will leave 150.000 illegal immigrants who have been counting on Spain’s health coverage with no safety net.
– The Spanish government cuts US$ 1.800 million in Official Development Assistance (ODA) for 2012 reducing the funds allocated to this matter by a 40%. This measure will cause the percentage of GDP devoted to ODA decline from 0.4% to 0.23% down to 2004 levels and will blow up the objective compromised by Spain in international Human Rights and Development Forums of achieving the 0.7%.