Tuesday, July 5

Government partners press for it to accelerate the fulfillment of its commitments

The PSOE and United We can coalition signaled the restart of the legislature after the May 4 elections. Despite having the polls against it, Pedro Sánchez looks to the medium and long term with the goal of group immunity after the good rate of vaccination has allowed him to announce the end of the mandatory use of outdoor masks to as of June 26, and above all, the economic recovery relies on the injection of 69,500 million from Brussels. Businessmen and unions have given a ball of oxygen by endorsing the pardons to the pro-independence leaders scheduled for this Tuesday, while Moncloa is putting the new stage on track with the Generalitat of Pere Aragonès.

Sánchez announces the end of masks abroad as of June 26

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With this encouraging outlook for the Executive, the parliamentary partners of the Government of PSOE and United We Can try to pressure Sánchez to fulfill the commitments he acquired in his inauguration and later, in the framework of the negotiations of the many measures adopted since he broke out the pandemic in March 2020. The housing law and the regulation of rents, the increase in the SMI, the improvement and transfer of the minimum income, the trans law, the law of official secrets or the electricity bill are some of the priorities of these groups, which are beginning to show signs of fatigue due to the “slowness” of the coalition.

The notices of the parliamentary allies have been reaching the Government for a long time and are added to the complaints, since the legislature started, due to the lack of dialogue with groups that are essential to carry out the initiatives in Congress. “Sánchez was invested with a set of commitments that he has fundamentally not fulfilled,” says Íñigo Errejón in conversation with this newsroom. The feeling is similar in other forces that usually accompany the coalition. “They have to comply with the agreements, because if not, the motivations run out,” said PNV spokesman Aitor Esteban in an interview on elDiario.es. Also in ERC they regret the “little desire” when it comes to addressing certain agreements.

From the socialist part of the Government they argue that the legislature has not even reached the halfway point, that as soon as the coalition’s mandate started, the worst pandemic in a hundred years broke out and that, even so, important advances have been approved, such as laws of climate change, education, euthanasia or childhood and many others are in preparation or processing. “15 months have passed since the moment the pandemic broke out in March of last year and in that time the Government of Spain has not stopped acting […]. This real policy that we have claimed from the Government of Spain has been translated into 32 laws and 50 decree laws, guided by the decisive transformations that our country needs in the short and medium term, “Sánchez said this Friday before the Catalan employers’ association.

One of the promises that the members of the Executive urge to fulfill is the regulation of rental prices. The appeal filed by the Government against the Catalan law that limits prices has felt bad among some of its allies. The partners also press for the state housing law, an element of the agreement signed by Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias that was later reiterated in the budget negotiation and that has already expired all the deadlines that had been set to reach an understanding.

Rental prices, one of the hot potatoes

PSOE and United We can have reached a common point on how to avoid the rise in rents in the so-called stressed areas, those where rents soar above what is set by the benchmark index prepared by the Ministry of Transport directed by José Luis Open them up. In these cases, the owners will not be able to raise the rent more than the expected CPI mark. Even for new contracts.

Until a few months ago, Ábalos’ position was to give a tax credit to owners who lower the rent they ask from their tenants. A proposal rejected by the social movements, by United We Can and by the parliamentary partners. In May, after the Madrid elections, the Ábalos department was already open to the new approach, although without affecting new contracts, an extreme that it now accepts.

However, Unidos Podemos does not think it is enough and they are committed to continuing to negotiate until a mechanism is also established that goes beyond freezing prices and affects their decline. This is what ERC defends, as part of Catalan law. “It was agreed that rents would be lowered and that is not what is happening,” say sources from the Republican group, the main support of the Government apart from the members of the Executive. “We think it is insufficient,” they add. EH Bildu also believes that the freeze is “totally insufficient” and that the solution is to lower them in line with Catalan law.

The leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón, was very forceful on Tuesday during a press conference in Congress: “The regulation of the price of rents is not our claim, it is a commitment thanks to which the President of the Government was invested . A commitment with the Chamber, not between parties, in which, among other measures, the regulation of the price of rents was established. Catalan law should not be appealed, but extended so that it benefits tenants in the rest of Spain ” . “I do not know what it is going to be. In this legislature I am learning to value from the Government what reaches the BOE and not the bombastic announcements,” he adds now.

The appeal against this Catalan rule for invading state powers does not include a request for suspension of the rule while the Constitutional Court decides. But, according to ERC, the government’s commitment was not to appeal it. However, from the department of Ábalos they argue that there was no other remedy since it is a regulation that invades state powers. The appeal only raises questions of form and does not enter the bottom line because even in the socialist part of the Government they do not believe that establishing maximum prices for leases is unconstitutional, but they are against the measure because they believe that it would discourage owners by reducing even more the offer and producing the opposite effect. In addition, they consider that tax incentives as well as a substantial increase in the public housing stock will contribute to lower prices.

“It is not fulfilling its own agreements”

Other groups that sometimes support the Government, such as Junts, also reject the appeal of the Catalan law, and in the case of the BNG, they see the freeze well, but consider it an “insufficient” measure. The PNV prefers not to comment on the proposal as it is not firm, but shows “reservations” when it comes to legislating issues that are the competence of the communities. In any case, the Basque nationalists voted against a proposal by Bildu in the Basque Parliament to establish caps on rental prices.

The fatigue of the PNV, which is Sánchez’s most loyal partner, has gone in crescendo as the legislature progressed and has come to speak of a “total break” with the Minister of Social Security and Inclusion, José Luis Escrivá, given the delay in the transfer of the management of the minimum vital income. That this initiative only reaches a third of the people initially planned is another reason for criticism from parliamentary allies.

Gag law, labor reform, official secrets …

“There are challenges that must be faced now. For example, the pension reform or the labor reform,” Esteban warned the Executive in his interview in elDiario.es. The repeal of the labor reform was a commitment by Sánchez in his inauguration in which he has been reaffirming himself with the groups in negotiations such as the extensions of the state of alarm or the budgets, but which has not yet arrived. The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has promised that the dismantling of the PP regulations be undertaken throughout 2021.

The delay in the gag law is another example given by the government’s allies, who complain that the deadlines for amendments in Congress are being consecutively lengthened. This same week a motion to declassify the documents relating to 23F was debated in Parliament. The modification of the official secrets law, which is pre-constitutional, has been a requirement of the PNV since 2016, but its proposal remains frozen while the Government works on a law that appeared in the 2020 regulatory plan, but about which nothing is known .

“There are not many arguments to defend the Government”

“They are not fulfilling their own agreements,” they say from ERC. “Repeal the gag law costs zero euros [expresa Errejón]. There is the circumstance that there is a government with sufficient parliamentary social support and direct resources from Europe and that it is not moving forward. It makes announcements that it is advancing. “” The citizens who have sympathized with this Government, what argument do they have to defend it? Today they do not have many “, ditch the leader of More Country.

The left-wing forces are also suspicious of Sánchez’s resistance to the rise in the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) in 2021. ERC, Más País, EH Bildu or BNG want the thesis of the third vice president to prevail and also Junts, a conservative training, bets on the increase to “recover demand and economic activity, promote social cohesion, eradicate labor poverty and accelerate the eradication of the gender pay gap.”

Also the “exorbitant” rise in electricity prices, in the words of Sánchez himself, worries his allies, who generally welcome the announcement made by the Government to tackle it imminently with a temporary tax suspension, but also They warn that structural measures are necessary, which include the promotion of investments in renewable energies and the use of networks or intervention in the electricity market.

“We must act to increase competition in the market and avoid concentration,” they point out from ERC. EH Bildu considers that the VAT reduction is a “patch” and considers that it should be intervened so that “multinationals are the ones who assume part of the costs of electricity generation and distribution.” In the same vein, they are pronounced by the BNG, which is also committed to “removing from the bill all the elements that do not have to do with production and consumption, such as renewable premiums, or lowering the VAT to 4% “.