“All ministers have my confidence”
“I’m telling you no. It is not contemplated, on the contrary, the coalition government continues ”. Pedro Sánchez rules out a break in the coalition due to the ‘only yes is yes’ crisis after the confrontation between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, personified by the ministers Irene Montero and Pilar Llop, and which has led the socialists to present alone a change with which they intend to avoid the reductions in sentences for sexual abusers that have been taking place since the regulation came into force. “All my ministers have my confidence, of course also that of Equality”, the president has settled on the open wound within the coalition, where tension has skyrocketed in recent days after a tough confrontation in the negotiation.
Beyond the support for Montero, whose position angers the socialists while Unidas Podemos accuses them of wanting to return “to the Penal Code of the Pack”, what Sánchez has defended is the proposal that they have brought to Congress as the only way to solve the “undesired effects” that the ‘only yes is yes’ law has ended up having with a trickle of releases and reduced sentences.
“We are in a debate in which we have to preserve a very important advance that has been demanded by the feminist movements and we have to preserve that technical issue that is the one that has generated social alarm and which is the reduction of sentences. This proposal responds to these two questions”, has defended the socialist leader. The PSOE proposal contemplates a higher gradation (similar to that of the previous legislation) for cases in which there is violence, intimidation or annulment of the will to try to circumvent the reductions in sentences in the low bracket. However, the Ministry of Equality considers that it modifies the heart of the law because it affects, in its opinion, the basis of consent.
Sánchez has avoided, however, on several occasions ruling on a hypothetical support of the PP for the reform in the face of rejection by his partners. The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, has shown himself willing to speak with the main opposition party to bring about this change, which is important for the PSOE given the electoral setback that the situation may entail. For the moment, PSOE and Unidas Podemos are trying to save the reform by avoiding the clash between the ministers of Justice and Equality. In any case, Sánchez has avoided saying if he will intercede, as he has done in other conflicts with the minority partner, or if he will speak personally with Montero.
“It is the groups that have to provide a solution to this social alarm generated and propose a technical retouching. The most important thing, beyond the political debate, is not to forget the victims and convey solidarity to them, not only with words but also with deeds”, he said before assuring that the Government could not be accused of instability due to this situation. -in which there is no clear majority to remodel one of the flag laws of the legislature-. “after almost 200 laws and three General Budgets in such an adverse and complex context”.
“I’m sorry about this situation. I regret it and the victims, not only must we convey that solidarity with words, we regret it, but we have to do it with deeds and that is what we have done with this proposal of the PSOE law: retouch from the technical point of view with all the guarantees juridical an important matter that is generating a social alarm as it is the reduction of the sentences”, has responded the president in a press conference at dawn in Brussels at the end of the meeting of the European Council.
Precisely in the hours, Sánchez has shielded himself in a humorous tone to avoid pronouncing on a hypothetical remodeling of the Government that goes beyond the Industry and Health portfolios, whose incumbents, Reyes Maroto and Carolina Darias, will leave to run in the municipal elections in May .