Saturday, September 25

Government allies veto Sanchez from giving explanations in Congress on Afghanistan

Congress will resume its activity a couple of days before schedule with the appearances of three government ministers before their respective committees, as the Permanent Delegation has decided on Wednesday. They will be the third vice president, Teresa Ribera, to report on the measures that the Executive is studying to contain the price of electricity, which this Thursday will set another maximum. The Department of Health will also do it to address the vaccination process, and that of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, on Afghanistan. Precisely the parliamentary partners of the Executive have rejected that it is Pedro Sánchez who goes to the Plenary in an extraordinary way to report on the evacuation process of the Central Asian country, as requested by the PP, the only opposition group with the capacity to do so.

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The three appearances were already anticipated on Tuesday by the government spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez. PSOE and United We can add 31 of the 67 members of the Permanent Delegation, which allows them to easily add the majority of the body that replaces the Plenary session outside the ordinary period of sessions with their usual parliamentary allies.

This has happened this Thursday with the request for the president to go urgently to the Plenary, next Monday or Tuesday, to report on Afghanistan. The Permanent Deputation has powers outside the ordinary period of sessions, which begins on Wednesday, September 1. The government spokeswoman already pointed out on Tuesday that Sánchez will attend, when they resume, the usual control sessions that are held on Wednesdays.

In favor of the president’s appearance, the rights have voted, which have criticized the evacuation process from Afghanistan of the Spanish personnel, as well as the collaborators and their families who have managed to reach the Kabul airport in the middle of the chaos in which they have found themselves become the capital of the country after the triumph of the Taliban. The PP deputy Pablo Hispán has accused Sánchez of “hiding” behind Albares and has indicated that other leaders of countries allied to the US have gone to their respective parliaments. He also pointed out that the president and the foreign minister himself went “on vacation” despite knowing that the situation in Afghanistan could end as it has.

From the PSOE, the deputy Héctor Gómez has reproached the PP for not making a “state policy” as a “government party” with issues like this. Pablo Casado’s party attacked the Executive in the first days of the evacuation, but after the support of the EU and the US for the Spanish government, the leader lowered his tone. This Wednesday they have returned to recover the toughest facet in this area.

Measures to stop the rise of light

The Permanent Council has also approved the appearance of the Vice President for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, to report on the measures that the Government plans to adopt to contain the rise in the price of electricity, which this Thursday will once again set a historical record .

As in the case of Albares, the vote has been settled with the unanimity of the deputies who have voted. In the previous positions, and unlike other items on the agenda, the position of all the groups has been very critical. Both the opposition of the right and the allies of the Executive.

Or even one of the coalition partners, United We Can. His deputy Javier Sánchez Serna, has assured that “the minister will appear to present effective measures with which to reduce the price of electricity”, without anticipating which ones. His party has defended setting a fixed remuneration for electricity or a reference price for hydroelectric power, something that Ribera herself already pointed out that she was studying in 2018. Sánchez Serna has also opted for a state company that manages the waterfalls, public domain although managed by private companies.

From the PSOE, the deputy Susana Ros has justified her favorable vote in that “the problem of light is essential” and has announced that the appearance will take place next Monday. But in this case the Socialists did not have many options because both from ERC, as from Bildu, PNV or Compromís, for example, the positive vote has been announced. The allies of the Executive have been very forceful in this debate. For Gabriel Rufián “the energy market is a scam”. Aitor Esteban has defended that “the system does not give more of itself” and that it is necessary to take “drastic measures”. Joan Baldoví’s party has registered this morning, together with Más País and Nueva Canarias, a request for an investigation commission on the matter.

Darias will report on vaccination

The last of the appearances admitted by the Permanent Council has been that of the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, who will report on the vaccination process. The PP reproaches the Government for not having fulfilled the promise of reaching 70% of people inoculated with the complete guideline within the period of 100 days proposed by the president.

“We are only 100 days away from achieving group immunity,” Sánchez said on May 10. That period ended on August 18, and Pablo Casado took it literally, for which he reproached Sánchez for not keeping the word supposedly given. The official vaccination data indicates to date an immunization of 67.5% of Spaniards, with five communities above 70%.

Darias’s appearance has also been resolved unanimously and with much less criticism from the government’s parliamentary allies.

The Permanent Council has rejected, in addition to the appearance of Sánchez, those of the first vice president Nadia Calviño; the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños; the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto; the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero; the Minister of Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez; the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez; and the Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop.