Tuesday, January 18

Six months after the change of Government: fewer puddles, more coordination and clashes with Díaz

Pedro Sánchez’s new cabinet is approaching half a year of operation after the profound remodeling carried out by the president to give a new air to the Government at a time of exhaustion after the pandemic and the wear and tear of some of its members. Since then, coordination within the Government and, above all, between Moncloa and Ferraz has improved substantially, as acknowledged by both sides, there have been no major errors and the relationship with United We Can remains stable, although the Socialists have certain misgivings about it. prominence that is acquiring the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, who maintained the loudest shock of the coalition regarding the labor reform.

The “Frankenstein Government” has 188 seats

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“Now we are working for the same objective,” sums up a socialist leader about the panorama that opened six months ago with the turn of the helm by Sánchez. Between the lines, he was referring to the departure of the president’s former chief of staff, Iván Redondo, who had a terrible relationship with the party and whom the socialist leadership accuses of having worked largely for his personal benefit over and above the interests of the Government. . Time, they consider, has proved them right after the spin doctor Now take advantage of your weekly page in La Vanguardia to sow doubts about the electoral capacities of the PSOE and encourage the expectations of the platform that Yolanda Díaz will foreseeably lead.

What all the sources consulted also agree on is that the remodeling of this equipment, with the addition, in addition, of two veteran socialist ‘plumbers’ –Óscar López and Antonio Hernando–, has greased the Ferraz-Moncloa machinery and has ended with the dysfunctions of the previous stage. “We speak the same language,” says one of Sánchez’s collaborators during his tenure.

And beyond the party-government relationship, what they also point to is the improvement of coordination within the Executive. That was a task that previously corresponded to former Vice President Carmen Calvo, who had a delicate relationship with some of her colleagues in the Council of Ministers, especially with the representatives of United We Can. The clashes with the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, were constant until she lost the battle she waged against gender self-determination that is finally included in the trans law.

In addition to getting rid of ministers who accused the attrition, Sánchez looked for profiles that could serve as a link with the PSOE in future electoral processes and also to rejuvenate the cabinet at a time when Díaz was beginning to emerge. The socialists look askance at the second vice president and, although they bet on a union to their left that allows them to retain power, they are suspicious of some of her movements. “Let’s see how it gets there,” says a prominent socialist, who believes that the Galician leader can burn out if she continues to step on the accelerator.

And it is that rejuvenation and the incorporation of women that stand out in the socialist ranks. The one who most applauded in the socialist leadership is Isabel Rodríguez, who has become the face of the Council of Ministers as spokesperson, the position that consumes the most time, despite also holding the portfolio of Territorial Policy. “It has given a lot of freshness,” said the Number Three of the PSOE, Santos Cerdán, in an interview in elDiario.es. Rodríguez does not leave the script marked by Moncloa, which is learned by heart and repeats with a smile. He also gets rid of criticism with the same tactic, which his colleagues in the Government value. “” I could not, “acknowledges a Socialist minister.” He is not mistaken because he does not get wet, “admit socialist sources.

Along with her, Pilar Alegría has already appeared on several occasions, who came to a Ministry that had the major projects of the coalition agreement already on track, but that may burn. For the moment, he has avoided the controversy over the harassment of the Canet girl whose parents have claimed 25% of the classes in Spanish and which threatens to become a problem for the Department of Education and Vocational Training since, if the Generalitat does not comply with the court ruling, the Government will have to initiate a procedure to enforce the sentence. But since her arrival, Alegría has come out in front of the media to give good news, such as 660 million euros for 65,000 new places from 0 to 3 years, and to defend the Vocational Training law that Isabel Celaá left list.

Alegría is pointed out by the PSOE as a substitute for the Aragonese president, Javier Lambán, when the time comes. And with that idea for Madrid, Pilar Llop has also been promoted, who jumped from the presidency of the Senate to the Ministry of Justice. Some sources consider that it is the one that has had the worst entry into the Government with a difficult fit in a complicated and conservative sector. “Juan Carlos Campo had it under control,” says one of the sources consulted. But it is not a general feeling. “The important thing about a Minister of Justice is that it is not news,” says another senior government official. In the retina of the Socialists is the former minister Dolores Delgado, who came to be disapproved after the publication of a conversation with Commissioner Villarejo when he was a prosecutor.

Llop, who as happened before to Juan Carlos Campo is on the sidelines of the conversations with the PP for the renewal of institutions such as the Judiciary, for now has slowed down the star project of his predecessor: the modification of the criminal prosecution law that He wants the prosecutors to investigate criminal cases. The reform of the Penal Code is also in a drawer, although in this case due to Moncloa’s strategy, while other projects such as bankruptcy law, procedural efficiency, organizational efficiency and digital efficiency are advancing.

An even lower profile has the Minister of Science, Diana Morant, who in Moncloa emphasizes that the PERTE has been carried out for cutting-edge healthcare. Another of the radical changes was that of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda from which José Luis Ábalos came out, whom Sánchez also removed from the Organization Secretariat of the PSOE. Raquel Sánchez, who until then was mayor of Gavá, has had to do this mammoth department, which with a budget of 16,200 million concentrates 40% of public investment. By having a limited political profile, he is going to “burn less,” his people predict. However, shortly after arriving at the Government, the housing law broke down, which had been stuck for months due to the regulation of rental prices, and a notice to the Generalitat was also launched from his department when the airport expansion project was paralyzed. of El Prat that the Minister of Territorial Policy had closed with the Minister of Junts and against whom ERC was positioned.

“The new ministers have given impetus,” says a senior government official. “The image of the ministers is positive, they have experience, they come from the municipal community, they come from below, from the politics closest to the citizens and that is good,” the PSOE Secretary of Organization expressed in an interview in elDiario.es. Santos Cerdán.

And the ministers?

They always highlight female incorporations, but what about ministers? The head of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, is Sánchez’s new strong man in the Executive – and with a presence in the party -, but he was already there as Secretary General of the Presidency since 2018. “He was already working. almost like a minister “, admits a socialist leader. Bolaños was the “tuner” of the Moncloa, who was in charge of putting the “music” in the BOE, and he was on all the complicated matters like the exhumation of Franco, which was his first appearance before the general public. The difference now is that it has a greater projection. Heir to Calvo’s powers but without vice-presidency, to Bolaños the star law of his department is choking him due to ERC’s lack of support for the democratic memory project. The person in charge of relations with religious confessions also faces the challenge of forcing the Church to pay the IBI and of promoting a law on freedom of conscience.

“[José Manuel] Albares is the best minister we have, “says a collaborator of Sánchez who worked with the current head of Spanish diplomacy in his time as the president’s Sherpa. After the 2019 elections, he awaited the Foreign Ministry that fell to Arancha González Laya and He swelled his diplomatic career with one of the most juicy positions: ambassador in Paris. In the reshuffle of the Government, Sánchez made use of the PSOE and counted on it. At the moment he has not stepped on any puddle and adds two successes: the evacuation of Afghanistan and the recomposition of diplomatic relations with Morocco.

To the great remodeling of the month of July, which did not affect the ministries in the hands of United We Can, the change in the Department of Universities has been added by surprise due to the resignation for health reasons of Manuel Castells, who has been one of the members of the coalition with less public visibility. It will be his substitute, Joan Subirats, who defends the final approval of the university law that Castells has left on track.