Círculo de Empresarios has presented the book “How to save liberal democracies”, in whose preparation has participated a team of six experts, coordinated by professors Víctor Lapuente and Elena Costas. The presentation, which took place by videoconference, was attended by the chairman of the Círculo, John de Zulueta, the professor at the University of Gothenburg, Víctor Lapuente, and the president of the working group of Institutional Relations of the Circle, Carmen Mateo, and some of the book authors.
The book warns of the dangerous trend of deterioration of democratic quality at the international level, but Zulueta has also highlighted the threat that populist and autocratic movements mean to Spanish democracy. “The very reality of a coalition government, without a clear roadmap that questions basic consensus and can destabilize the pillars of our model of a social market economy, is a truly worrying illiberal threat,” he said.
“When the Círculo de Empresarios was founded some forty-three years ago, our main concern and aim was centered upon ensuring that economic freedom would develop in tandem with increased political freedom. Our founders understood that we would be unable to enjoy liberty in general if our political freedom did not extend to all aspects of public life. Although after all this time, more than four decades later, it may seem that the safeguarding of these freedoms is a task already accomplished, the defense of both political and economic freedom is as urgent today as in those times. Fortunately, today we enjoy the protection guaranteed by our membership of the European Union.
The current threats to liberal democracy mean that we must be particularly vigilant in protecting these precious freedoms. Just when we thought we had surfed the wave of interventionism derived from the 2008 crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, inflicting poverty, unemployment and recession, threatens to become the perfect breeding ground for increased demagoguery, interventionism and populism that could jeopardize our freedoms. The truth is that we are already headed down that road. A reading of newspaper headlines on any day is sufficient to demonstrate this…”