Amancio Ortega is in the news this week. He has graciously donated heavily to the national health system with 320 million euros in radiotherapy machines (gathering the approval of something called El Diario Patriota here), yet has gathered criticism from Podemos and others for not meeting his tax-obligations (El País in English here). Says Isabel Serra (candidate for Podemos in the Madrid Community): ‘"Public health cannot accept donations from Amancio Ortega. It must be financed with taxes. The same ones that Inditex isn’t paying: 600 million in the past three years ".
Diario 16 seeks to put things in perspective here: ‘Ortega, 82 years old and the sixth richest person in the world, enjoys a wealth of 57,200 million dollars thanks to his company Inditex. Since 2015, through its foundation, he has donated a total of 320 million euros to the public healthcare system in this country for state-of-the-art cancer equipment...’.
El Independiente reports that the Spanish Cancer Association says that ‘any help is welcome’ remembering that ‘100,000 people a year die from cancer in Spain’.
Other wealthy Spaniards (who may or may not be up to date with Hacienda) are contributing to society in various ways through their foundations, says Moncloa here, including the Botín, del Pino and Koplowitz fortunes.
From Bloomberg here: ‘Spain’s richest person bets billions on prime U.S. real estate. This month, the investment vehicle of the multibillionaire behind Zara owner Inditex SA completed a $72.5 million deal for a downtown Chicago hotel. That followed purchases within the past six months of a building in Washington’s central business district and two Seattle offices leased by Amazon.com Inc. for a combined $1.1 billion. Ortega’s U.S. spending spree increases the value of his global property empire beyond $13 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, giving him the biggest real estate portfolio among Europe’s super-rich. Diversifying his fashion fortune to preserve his sizable wealth, Ortega has invested more than $3 billion in U.S. real estate over the past six years, acquiring landmark properties like Manhattan’s historic Haughwout Building and Miami’s tallest office tower...’.
As the debate about Amancio Ortega continues... ‘Even before it gets worn once, that new T-shirt you bought is already dirtier than you can imagine. It’s soaked through with toxic waste, factory smog and plastic debris—all of which is likely just a few spin cycles away from an incinerator, or maybe a landfill halfway around the world. Our obsession with style rivals our hunger for oil, making fashion the world’s second-most polluting industry after the oil industry...’. From Truthout here.
And then we find in Tamil Nadu, India, '...Here there are sector giants such as Zara and Bershka (Inditex), Carrefour Spain, Corte Inglés, Cortefiel, Primark, Benetton or H & M, among others. The activity of this production does not stop for even one of the 365 days of the year. The work shifts are 68 hours per week, the environment is unhealthy, and there is no basic labour law, sick leave or union movement. And all for just 1.3 euros a day...'. Item from Spanish Revolution here.