A NEW political initiative born out of the COVID-19 crisis has gained the support of more than 179,000 self-employed workers.
Created barely a month ago, the A.P.E (Autonomos, Pymes y Enprenedores) aims to defend and protect the interests of self-employed workers in Spain.
It comes as the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the lack of protection and support for the self-employed in the country.
There are over 3.2 million people registered as freelancers or self-employed, with the majority paying a minimum flat rate of around €250 a month regardless of income.
The fees and taxes have long been viewed by many as counter-intuitive to inspiring entrepreneurial spirit. And in the time of coronavirus, when most work has dried up or vanished, they seem punitive.
The lockdown has triggered social media networks to be flooded with complaints from self-employed workers who highlight how vulnerable and largely forgotten the sector is, triggering the creation of the Facebook group SOMOS AUTÓNOMOS (INICIATIVA POLÍTICA).
This movement has already applied for registration with the Ministry of the Interior under the name AUTONOMOS, PYMES Y ENPRENDEDORES and with the initials A.P.E.
The party’s four essential objectives are as follows:
- The promotion of an entrepreneurial culture, the driving force being economic and social development.
- The support of entrepreneurship as a generator of innovation, employment and wealth.
- The elimination of bureaucratic and fiscal obstacles for the self-employed.
- To maintain a strictly professional criteria in the management of public resources, away from ideological influences.
A.P.E with its motto ‘We are not politicians; we are self-employed’ is the current novelty in the national political scene.
The leader of the initiative, Moises Romero Cereño, said: “Autonomos will not only be a party for the more than three million self-employed people in Spain, but for the whole of society.
“The corporate colour of autonomos is white, which represents openness, transparency, cleanliness and the union of the entire spectrum of colours!”
Cereño added that in the current circumstances, self-employed workers with ‘0 income’ should be exempted from paying taxes and fees.
“We request more and better measures to overcome the unprecedented deep economic crisis in which we are immersed,” he said.