The differential fact of this legislature has been and continues to be the refusal of the Spanish right to accept the “legitimacy” of the Government presided over by Pedro Sánchez. This has not happened in any of the previous legislatures. Not even in 2004 with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The PP repeatedly affirmed that the PSOE reached the presidency of the Government due to the improper use it had made of the 11M Atocha terrorist attack, but it never came to deny the legitimacy of its mandate. In this yes.
For this reason, the three parties of the Spanish right tried, in the first place, to prevent Pedro Sánchez from being sworn in as Prime Minister. The reader will most likely remember the intervention of Inés Arrimadas in Congress urging that there be some “brave” in the socialist parliamentary group to repeat the “tamayazo”. And you will also remember that the deputy from Teruel Exists had to be protected by the police the day before the investiture in the face of the threats directed against him.
Once the president was inaugurated, the Spanish right-wing parties tried to take advantage of the health emergency generated by COVID-19 to bring down the Government and almost succeeded in doing so in May 2020, in the validation of the third extension of the state of alarm.
The validation of the royal decree law on the labor reform has been the third time that, this time only PP and VOX, have tried to put an end to the legislature, by failing the approval of the most decisive measure for the continuity of the Government. Unlike previous occasions, this time it was not the action of the Government that has frustrated the operation of harassment and demolition, but it has been the mistake of a PP deputy that has made it fail.
The result of last Thursday’s vote unequivocally shows that, with the current composition of the Congress of Deputies, there is no alternative majority to the investiture majority. There is no government majority with Citizens. Ciudadanos adds many fewer votes than it remains. And furthermore, he does so with a speech in which he seriously insults the parties that contributed to the investiture of Pedro Sánchez, first with the motion of censure in 2018 and then with the investiture in 2020. Inés Arrimadas’s speech announcing her vote for favor of the validation of the royal decree law on labor reform was a brutal attack on ERC, Bildu and PNV.
On January 10 I described the labor reform as “the decisive moment of the legislature” and on January 20 I explained why “Citizens is not an option.” The session of the Congress of Deputies this past Thursday the 3rd, in which the validation of the royal decree law on the labor reform was voted, has come to confirm what I argued in both articles.
The first half of the legislature has been very tough, but the second is going to be even tougher. In the coming months, it will be necessary to deal with the situation of the king emeritus, with the investigation commission on pederasty in the Catholic Church, with the unjustifiable non-registration of the Church, with what the Court of Justice of the European Union may decide on the preliminary ruling raised by Judge Pablo Llarena, or the General Court of the European Union on the immunity of Carles Puigdemont, or the conflict that may arise on the occasion of the renewal of the Magistrates of the Constitutional Court in the month of June by of the Government and the General Council of the Judiciary “in office” for more than a thousand days…
The Government needs to have a stable parliamentary majority, which allows it to deal with all these problems, plus those generated by the ordinary course of events, in a solvent manner. And that majority is what it is. And there is no other. The conditions are not met for it to be able to operate “variable geometry” of any kind, but quite the opposite.
The cohesion of the parliamentary majority does not depend exclusively on the Prime Minister. The leaders of the various parties that constitute this majority also have to assume their responsibility. But the position of the Prime Minister is not comparable with that of any other. In the process of validation of the royal decree law on labor reform, being, as I am, in agreement that the royal decree law should have been validated without further ado, the President of the Government should have foreseen an exit that would not break the majority investiture parliamentarian. The opposite is suicide, which the error of the PP parliamentarian has avoided. It is not reasonable to expect that this will happen again.
Hopefully the lesson has been learned. For everyone. But, above all, by the Prime Minister.