No one in Spanish politics expected a 180. Turnaround according to the scenario created a few months ago when a pandemic was socially overcome after a wave generated by Omicron at Christmas. The government has been waiting for two years of good news to bring Pedro Sanchez to the polls in late 2023 or even early 2024. The second vice president, Yolanda Diaz, was taking the first steps towards the platform she intends to use. Union of the Left. And the PP, who took part in the polls, continued to fight the coalition in the belief that it would win every election, even if the government depended on Vox, which is also growing. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought a new twist, and the parties are now preparing for the end of the legislature marked by the economic crisis, with consequences that are still unimaginable.
The outcome of the election largely depends on how the economy develops and what the government’s response will be. They know it in every game. The PSOE and United We Can breathe a sigh of relief due to poor economic data – especially against the backdrop of unusual growth in inflation – and prepare the ground without hot cans for the gravity of the future, though they believe the problems are temporary. The PP knows that its options for reaching out to the government will largely depend on how the coalition handles the crisis, in addition to fighting with the far right for the same electorate.
“If the citizens express this dissatisfaction, they are right and the Spanish government will do everything in its power to reverse the dramatic consequences of war and pandemic on our society,” Sanchez said in a recent statement. Congress, which came after one of the worst weeks in the executive branch, with historic price increases and even supply problems in some supermarkets, due to carrier protests.
The phrase also reflects Moncloa’s strategy to show compassionate Sanchez trying to reconcile with the public. The president’s team knows that he will not be able to reach a good portion of the electorate. The shock response plan for war includes general measures such as fuel discounts that are added to bonuses such as cultural youth or housing. However, Moncloe trusts everything above the price of gas, which Spain and Portugal managed to seize from the EU. The government is confident that this way it will be able to reduce its electricity bill by 50%. However, the measure has not yet yielded results as it requires the approval of the European Commission and is not expected until the end of the month. Meanwhile, electricity bills continue to rise despite tax cuts, meaning a reduction in state revenue from 10,000 to 12,000 million euros.
The coalition calms down and approves
Is it the worst moment for the legislature? A recurring question for Monkloa employers: “It’s very difficult. War and pandemic. “Everything was there and the government has shown its ability to manage at other times.” Sanchez does not tire of repeating that during his tenure he faced many troubles – from pandemics to war, Hurricane Philomena or the eruption of La Palma volcano – and he is proud of his management. “This government is the same one that protected European funds, approved ICO loans, approved emergency benefits for the self-employed, approved emergency ERTEs at the worst moment of the pandemic,” he recalled several times.
And that is that in the face of competition for the friction created by the coalition and part of the left-wing electorate, in the PSOE they are convinced that they need a strong partner to stay in power. That is why the president periodically justifies the coalition, as he did last Wednesday in front of UGT: The majority will also be in Spain during the 2023 elections. ”
While the clashes were constant and were highlighted at some point during the war management, for example when sending weapons to Ukraine, united we can also believe that the approval of the clash plan would eliminate any doubts that might have arisen. On the strength and continuity of the coalition before the end of the legislature. Authorized sources in the Confederate group believe that the inclusion of measures such as a ban on dismissal or a restriction on rent increases, which is practically an intervention in the housing market, which until now refused to United We Can, has been cured. Open wounds.
The first shock plan – the government does not rule out that more measures should be taken depending on how the war develops and with it, the economy – allowed the minority partner to feel comfortable and useful in the coalition, after which he. Considers the “constant pressure” of the socialist part of the executive branch for months to try to distance itself from the investment bloc and “look for other ways” to implement the executive branch’s initiatives against right-wing forces such as Ciudadanos. Or PDeCAT, and even open up to PP agreeing to “try to look modest.”
For United We Can, this is “the first gesture in months that Sanchez is a left-wing president,” according to consulting sources who believe the legislature “can now return to the initial course” because they believe the PSOE has realized. That it is “impossible” to reach “real” agreements with the right-wingers and, at the same time, that the measures agreed upon in the coalition clearly make the theses of the government “impossible” by the right-wingers. Rather, consolidate an investment block that shows signs of wear and tear over a period of time.
However, Sanchez made it clear from the outset that he intended to reach out to PP and support them for the economic package. In Monclo they are expecting Alberto Nunez Feijo, who is holding the reins of Genoa. “We want to know whether you intend to support or continue to intervene in the far right over the next few months, as you have done for the legislature over the past two years,” he told a spokesman, Kuka Gamara, during a recent inspection. Session.
PP without many changes despite being the new leader
It seems that despite the sudden departure of Pablo Casado, there will not be a big truce. The strategy put forward by the Galician president, followed by his brand new leadership, points to the executive’s “poor” management of the problems caused by the Ukraine war, but, as they insist in Genoa, it comes sooner.
“Spain deserves more than a government strained by reality,” he said when announcing his appointment as PP president on April 2. “Spain deserves more than a triumphant government that if something goes wrong, it’s the fault of others,” he said, noting that the executive was justifying Russia’s invasion, now a pandemic, with worse economic data than planned. .
Feio favored the usual neoliberal recipes of the PP when it was in opposition: general cuts in taxes, cuts in government spending, and cuts in labor protection. But still without specifying clear and concise measures. Its general tax cut proposals could mean a reduction of up to $ 20,000 million in hydrocarbon revenue alone. Feijo wants more: Income tax, VAT on electricity bill (Rahoi set 21% and now 10%) … That is why, in Genoa, they say, it does not appear that PP is going to support the royal decree on anti-crisis measures, which must be approved by Congress. . This will be the first test stone to learn the intentions of the “new” PP.
This whole approach was evident on Thursday, after the first meeting between the already elected president of Sanchez and PP. Feio went on a date with one idea: low taxes. He did not comply with any of the president’s demands, according to a very long press conference he gave in the large room of the presidential complex, located on the edge of the Coruna Highway.
During the long hours that Feio appeared before the media, he could hardly speak of anything other than economics. He circulated the data one after another, although the Prime Minister did not send any specific proposals as he himself admitted. Summary of his quote: “Unsuccessful.” But above all for “families and workers”. The Target The messages that the Galician leader will try to send are obvious.
Three hours after the meeting, they barely agreed to resume talks on renewing the CGPJ. Pedro Sanchez has no intention of agreeing to generalized and linear tax cuts like what Feio is proposing, as it is not “the way the government or the rest of Europe has gone,” Moncloe sources said. . He left the meeting with the leader of the main opposition party “with more confidence than doubt.” And is well aware that the economy will be a battleground for the remainder of the legislature. Something that PSOE already knows how it ends, just like it did in 1996 and 2011. It remains to be seen what will happen.
Source: El Diario