The profound remodeling of the Government undertaken by Pedro Sánchez this Saturday will not affect the five ministries of United We Can, as confirmed by elDiario.es from various sources. On Friday afternoon, the chief executive communicated his intentions to the so far third vice president, Yolanda Díaz, who leads the space of the government’s junior partner. When the appointment ended, Díaz warned Ione Belarra and Irene Montero, on the part of Podemos, and Alberto Garzón, on the part of IU, that the crisis would not mean changes in the Executive or a reduction in the quota of United Podemos.
Yolanda Díaz, in her first speech to the United We Can group: “Let’s go for all”
The reform of the Government was something that everyone was clear about was going to happen. It could happen before the summer break or upon return, to coincide with the preparations for the PSOE congress. In Unidos Podemos they thought that Sánchez had opted in the end for this second option, but on Friday everything precipitated. Sources from the confederal group assure elDiario.es that the president and the second vice president (since the vice presidencies are reduced) and the Minister of Labor had already discussed the matter in recent weeks. From United We Can, the president was told that the changes in their sector should be decided by them, and that they chose to remain as they were.
The Prime Minister accepted. In fact, the coalition operating protocol negotiated at the end of 2019 between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, which was represented by the current secretary general of Podemos, Ione Belarra, establishes in its point number 19 that “in case of restructuring (…) the number of managed areas will be maintained (…) and its relative weight in the government as a whole in the terms agreed upon at the beginning of the coalition. ” And it adds: “In the event that the restructuring involves a substantial alteration of what was previously agreed, the parties will return to address the essential issues that arise in relation to said restructuring.”
In the last weeks from United We Can, it was transferred to both the PSOE and the media that in the event that the change in the Government affected their ministers, they would apply that clause. In the confederal space they maintain that their representation in the Executive is undervalued, whether the electoral weight is taken into account as well as the number of deputies that each contributes to the coalition. In addition, they point out from Podemos, the excuse that they had no previous management experience, wielded in 2019 to leave them out of certain ministries of State, to disengage the Social Security of Work or to prevent them from accessing a Government Delegation, could no longer apply after a year and a half in the Council of Ministers.
In Unidos Podemos they believe that Pedro Sánchez’s communication slip when responding to the words of the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, about the need to reduce the consumption of red meat, has precipitated the president’s decision. There are even those who maintain that the phrase with which he tried to disallow his minister (“a steak to the point is unbeatable”) has been the trigger for some of the movements announced today. In fact, in recent weeks, Garzón’s name had been considered as one of those likely to be affected by the remodeling. His name had even sounded as a possible candidate of United We Can in case the elections were brought forward, although he himself has categorically denied that he wants to head that list, which should also face not only the PSOE, but other hypothetical candidates to his left.
In Unidos Podemos they have chosen not to take a public position on the reshaping of the Government, as it only affects the socialist side. But it is evident that the departure of Carmen Calvo from the First Vice Presidency contrasts with the growth that the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, has given in recent weeks. His fight for equality laws, especially the trans law and that of the only yes is yes, has been one of those that has starred in the first part of the legislature. José Luis Ábalos’ is added to that output. The secretary of the Socialist Organization and Minister of Transportation was in charge of drawing the first law on state housing in democracy, negotiated with the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra. But the talks are blocked due to Ábalos’ reluctance to expressly introduce the lower rental prices that are included in the budget agreement signed by both parties at the end of 2020.