The second vice president, Minister of Labor and coordinator of United We Can in the Government, Yolanda Díaz, announced this Tuesday that her group has requested “the urgent call of the coalition monitoring commission” to address the recent clashes with the PSOE over the increase in military spending committed by the president, Pedro Sánchez, or about the measures that must be approved to deal with rising inflation. Díaz believes that both issues should be addressed “serenely” and that is why she has taken advantage of a UGT act on the occasion of LGTBI Pride to request an urgent meeting of the coalition’s coordinating body, which she has not met since October. So the reason for the meeting was the discrepancies around the labor reform.
Yolanda Díaz, against the oligarchy that “undermines democracy”
The vice president, very upset with Sánchez for not having been informed of her intention to increase military spending or the credit of 1,000 million euros approved this Tuesday by the Council of Defense Ministers, has recalled that increasing defense spending to 2% , as the President of the Government has promised, “means increasing to 22,000 million euros” is an item dedicated to weapons. She has compared it with her ministry, Labor, which has a budget of 30,000 million euros.
However, Díaz believes that the debate should be addressed “calmly.” In addition, because in the face of “runaway inflation” in his opinion “more measures must be taken.” “People are having a bad time”, he has recalled. He has also said that the debates on new initiatives should take place “within the coalition and with the rest of the political forces.”
“I do nothing more than sew this coalition. But for the coalition to continue transforming the country, it deserves that we stop along the way and have the debate that as a country we deserve”, he stated. Díaz has assured that he has “all the affection for the coalition” but he has warned his partner, the PSOE, that “as in law, forms are important.” “Neither the second vice president nor United We Can nor Parliament should find out from you,” he told journalists, alluding to the lack of communication by the socialist wing of the 1,000 million credit for Defense.
Confrontation with Oaks
About to launch the listening project after which she will decide whether to lead a candidacy to the left of the PSOE to reach Moncloa –the first act of ‘Sumar’ is held this Friday in Madrid–, the second vice president entered yesterday Monday fully in the battle with the PSOE for the increase in military spending and communication problems within the coalition.
Early yesterday, the Minister of Social Rights and leader of Podemos, Ione Belarra, had used an internal meeting of the party to attack the alleged increase in military spending to which Sánchez promised during the NATO summit last week . The country, she said, does not need to “double military spending”, which in her opinion is already at “record” levels, because “Spain is not at war”. Citizens, he added, “do not need” to buy “bombs or combat aircraft” due to “the demand of a foreign power”, he pointed out, referring to the US, with whom the Government has agreed to increase its presence in Rota with two new destroyers , something that United We Can also flatly rejects.
“I will tell Mrs. Belarra to ask Vice President Yolanda Díaz to see if she says in Ferrol to stop building the F-110 frigates there, which are creating many jobs.” Minutes later, the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, reacted with these words in response to Belarra but making a direct allusion to the second vice president. And the latter, who throughout the legislature had avoided entering into a melee with any other member of the Executive, this time did decide to respond, making direct mention of the credit of 1,000 million euros for Defense approved by the Government. “The agreement that is being proposed (…) has nothing to do, and I am sorry, with the workload of my region, of Ferrol, or of Cádiz,” Díaz assured late on Monday, when he was asked by the press, reports Victor Honorato.
The second vice-president explained that the agreement by which military spending is increased to 1,000 million euros is aimed at two chapters: “Chapter 2, with an amount of 377 million, which is ordinary spending, completely unrelated to Navantia, and chapter 6, with an amount of 650 million that also has nothing to do with the workload of Navantia Ferrol or Navantia Cádiz”, Díaz insisted before the journalists. The agreement, she has specified, has to do with the “armament of the troops” and will result in more resources for weapons, suits and ordinary spending.
Díaz also criticized that this credit supplement for Defense has been carried out without agreeing with United We Can, especially because “it touches on a sensitive matter such as the defense of the country,” he specified. In his opinion, these types of decisions “must be taken properly, with respect for the allies and with democratic respect for the Cortes Generales, because the opposition forces also have the right to know what is being done.”
The “Sánchez commitment” to military spending
Already at night, Moncloa sources wanted to give explanations “in relation to the approval by the Council of Ministers of a credit of 1,000 million euros in Defense”, reports Irene Castro. “As announced by the President of the Government, the Executive is going to fulfill its responsibility and solidarity to strengthen European security and deterrence capacity in the face of the real threat that Putin represents”, they assured from the Presidency of the Government, who added that Sánchez “has been clear and diaphanous in relation to the European commitment to reach the military spending target of 2% of GDP in 2029.”
Faced with Díaz’s complaints, the Prime Minister’s team wanted to make it clear that “all the ministerial departments were informed of the proposal” to request that 1,000 million credit “at the meeting of the General Commission of Secretaries of State and Undersecretaries that It was held last week.” “The proposal was studied and validated without any type of intervention against it,” they settled.
This Tuesday, the president of the United We Can parliamentary group, Jaume Asens, considered that the 1,000 million credit “is disloyalty to the coalition partner but also to the majority of citizens.” Asens has considered that any increase in military spending is a “subordination of Spain to a foreign power like the US.” And he has assured that the decision by Pedro Sánchez to increase defense spending has been adopted “through the back door, at the last moment and resorting to contingency funds.”