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Palma de Mallorca (Spain), 16-17 November 2012: 12th Symposium of Red Renta Basica

The proposal for a universal basic income, namely an unconditional allowance to the whole population, first appeared several decades ago. The world-wide organisation, the Basic Income Earth Network consisting of 20 organisations from as many states, including the Kingdom of Spain, has been working in support of basic income for 26 years now. The basic income network (, the section of the Kingdom of Spain which was founded in 2001, is holding its Twelfth Symposium in the cultural centre Can Alcover, in the city of Palma de Mallorca, on 16 and 17 November. The symposium is organised by the Ateneu Pere Mascaro.

Does it make sense to talk about a basic income in a situation of economic crisis affecting ever greater numbers of people around the world, including the badly hit Kingdom of Spain? As some authors have argued, a basic income is even more desirable in an economic crisis than in boom times. More importantly, a considerable range of political organisations and some widely supported social movements, have begun to take an interest in basic income and, understanding what it represents, are incorporating it in their programmes. To give just one example, in the last elections in Galicia and the Basque Autonomous Community, at least three parties included it in their agendas: Bildu and EQUO Berdeak, in the Basque community, and the newly formed Anova, which performed successfully in the Galician elections, all champion the proposal in their programmes in different ways.

Moreover, the very large 15-M protest movement added basic income to its claims on its first anniversary in May this year. One of the big differences with regard to the founding programmes drawn up by the movement’s various assemblies in May 2011, was the condensation of its demands into just five points: 1) not one euro more to bail out the banks; 2) quality education and public health; 3) rejection of job insecurity and the “reforms”; 4) adequate, guaranteed housing; and, last but not least, 5) universal basic income.

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