Monday, September 20

The Government parks the reform of the Penal Code and prioritizes the social agenda in the final stretch of 2021

143 regulatory initiatives are the duties that Pedro Sánchez has assigned to the Council of Ministers for this year. The Government approves the 2021 Annual Regulatory Plan this Tuesday, as it is obliged to publish the legislative commitments that it intends to carry out throughout the year, regardless of whether they are later executed or not. The pandemic forced the coalition to reformulate its plans last year and government sources point out that this “exceptional situation” led to the approval of measures that were not included and that, even so, many of the objectives were met. However, some of the commitments were never implemented and reappear in the legislative promises of 2021, such as the state housing law, and others do not even appear on this occasion, such as changes in the Penal Code.

The comprehensive reform of criminal law is a promise of the PSOE and includes changes in the rates of rebellion and sedition to adapt them to the legislation of other European countries after the problems that Spain had to extradite Carles Puigdemont and other pro-independence leaders. The previous Justice Ministers of Sánchez assured that the reform was advanced and that it was a priority of the Government at a time when the dialogue with the Generalitat was beginning. Moncloa even considered separating that part from the rest of the reform. However, everything related to the Penal Code has been left out of the Executive’s plans for this year before the bilateral table is reactivated the third week of September and after the granting of pardons in June .

Government sources explain that the focus has been placed on “the social and just transformation of the country”, which is why the approval of other matters before December 31st has been prioritized. These same sources explain that the 2021 Annual Regulatory Plan, which will be presented on Tuesday by the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, together with the 2020 evaluation report, “includes a planning work consistent with the commitments of the Recovery, Transformation Plan and Resilience, with initiatives that respond to the different componentsThe measures include some of an economic nature, such as the laws to promote the ecosystem of emerging companies and the creation and growth of companies, or the Sustainable Fishing and Fisheries Research Law. The Government is committed to the Cooperation Law international for sustainable development

After the approval of the plan, the president will publicly expose the axes of the Government’s action in a ceremony at Casa de América on Wednesday and which will have one of its main milestones in the negotiation of the General State Budgets.

Labor reform and housing

One of the main measures for the Executive in the last quarter is the repeal of the labor reform. The objective, as expressed by the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, is to undertake before the end of the year the dismantling of the legislation imposed by Mariano Rajoy. The proposal, which is already being discussed with social agents, appears in the hundred regulatory initiatives that the Government has included in the 2021 plan.

The government’s promise is also that the state housing law will see the light before the end of the year. The regulations are well advanced but have been stuck for months due to the main obstacle: the regulation of rental prices. José Luis Ábalos was choked on the agreement with the minority partner of the coalition, which demands that a cap be placed in stressed areas. The Socialists have opposed this measure and have opted for others such as tax credits as a way to lower prices. The Minister of Transport, Urban Agenda and Mobility, Raquel Sánchez, will have to roll up her sleeves in the coming weeks to try to reach an understanding with United We Can to reach the new deadline after months of non-compliance. In addition, the ministry will also have to raise the State Housing Plan 2022-2025 to the Council of Ministers.

One of the main fronts of the coalition in the coming months is the historic increase in the price of electricity, which is a complex issue but one that is especially worrying to the parties that make it up because it directly affects the pockets of citizens. The Vice President and Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has admitted that the bill will increase by 25% this year, but has refused to intervene in the framework of the reform she has announced to control the emptying of reservoirs. The disagreement on this matter between PSOE and Unidas Podemos is clear, despite the fact that Ribera opened this summer for the first time to the proposal of a public energy company.



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