Geroa Bai, the brand of Socialverdes and PNV led by former president Uxue Barkos, has finally given the go-ahead this Monday night for its entry into the Government that the socialist María Chivite will once again lead in Navarra during the 2023-2027 legislature. The coalition thus accepts the offer that the PSN made last week to unblock a negotiation that was on the verge of failing at various times and will assume four areas of the new Executive, as well as the second vice presidency. The Socialists will manage eight portfolios, while Contigo/Zurekin (Podemos, Izquierda Unida, Batzarre, Alianza Verde and Equo), the other tripartite partner, will have one and is expected to be the third vice-presidency. In this way, Chivite is guaranteed to be invested again as president of Navarra after EH Bildu, whose support, at least in the form of active abstention, is necessary to overcome the bloc of the right, has shown itself predisposed to facilitating a progressive government, even voting in favor in case Geroa Bai’s option was broken.

The white smoke has reached three weeks to the end of the term to avoid having to repeat elections and after a hectic Monday. In the morning, at 10:00 a.m., Geroa Bai held an internal meeting to which the two legs of the formation arrived separately. Later, at 5:00 p.m. and in Parliament, a very large delegation from Geroa Bai headed by Barkos and with leaders of PNV and Socialverdes met with the PSN and Contigo/Zurekin teams. The meeting closed after 10:00 p.m.

With this agreement, the Uxue Barkos coalition will maintain the second vice presidency that it had during the last legislature and four ministries, with the difference that they will change Housing, which is now managed by Contigo/Zurekin, for Health, a department with a large budget and exposure and that it was in socialist hands in the previous Executive. They will also have a portfolio of Agriculture, Livestock and the Environment, another of Citizen Relations (here is Historical Memory, but in the last legislature this sub-area was controlled by the Socialists, and Euskera, although with limitations) and an economic vice-presidency. This is where its functions are limited. Already in the previous mandate the PSN controlled the box, the Treasury area, and now it will also scratch the functions related to Tourism. The philosophy, from the socialist prism, is that Socialverdes and PNV do not monopolize relations with the productive fabric and that part also falls on the majority force. The first vice presidency will remain in the hands of the PSN, as well as the cabinet spokeswoman.

Thus, María Chivite will be re-elected president in the foral community in the coming days after negotiations that have lasted several weeks due to the San Fermín break and the generals campaign, and the differences between PSN and Geroa Bai due to the weight of each executive training. The Basque formation demanded to negotiate face to face with Chivite and without Contigo/Zurekin and to retain four advisers, the presidency of the Parliament of Navarra and to be able to appoint the regional senator, exactly as from 2019 to 2023. The group, which has had the leaders María Solana and Pablo Azcona as visible heads in recent days due to an injury to Barkos, interpreted as a slight that the PSN agreed bilaterally to Contigo/Zurekin assuming the Housing powers, while the coalition of Podemos and IU stressed that it was highly relevant that those policies be directed by a party that believed in the recently passed state law. The PNV has been very belligerent against it and, in fact, has promoted an unconstitutionality appeal from the Basque Government without having the Housing powers, which belong to the Socialists.

The three parties have congratulated themselves on the agreement reached and have shown their “satisfaction” with the formation of the new Executive. The agreement will be signed this Tuesday by the three leaders of the formations, María Chivite (PSN), Uxue Barkos (Geroa Bai) and Begoña Alfaro (Contigo/Navarra) to thus activate the investiture process for Chivite, which is expected for the beginning of next week.

“We are happy because after a tough negotiation, as it cannot be otherwise between different forces, we have reached an agreement, we have joined efforts so that the right and the ultra-right remain in the opposition”, emphasized the organization secretary of the PSN, Ramón Alzórriz, who has confirmed that his training will be done with the management of the Tourism area, which will be integrated into the Culture and Sports portfolio.

On behalf of Geroa Bai, Uxue Barkos, has stressed that the three formations “have given in” to reach an agreement, which, as he has recognized, “at some point in the negotiation has been in danger”. He pointed out that Geroa Bai “had the aspiration” to maintain Housing, which eventually passed to Contigo / Zurekin, and stressed that “it was a decision not shared by Geroa Bai but it was not going to run aground on a progressive government.”

Begoña Alfaro, from Contigo/Zurekin, has indicated that the agreement “is not the one that Contigo-Zurekin would have fully signed, but it is a good agreement that is the result of consensus, negotiation and debate between three political formations that have ideological differences ”.

EH Bildu, necessary again

With this agreement, the Government will have 21 of the 50 seats in Parliament, so the key to the majority in legislative action or in budgets will fall, as in the last legislature, to EH Bildu. The Abertzale coalition expressed its willingness to continue facilitating a progressive government as an external partner but even to take a step and support it with a ‘yes’ if Geroa Bai’s option was finally broken. The PSN now seemed more comfortable in this scenario given that, after all, Pedro Sánchez also needs the direct and express support of the sovereignist deputies in Congress. On the right, the weight that Navarra Suma previously had is now shared between UPN, PP and Vox, which has opened this legislature.

EH Bildu has been the preferred partner of PSN, Geroa Bai, Podemos and Izquierda-Ezkerra in Parliament during the last legislature, with whom they have reached “specific” agreements, as the PSN has made an effort to emphasize, continuous. Among them, the four budget pacts stand out, the Foral Law on climate change, the housing law, the local financing law, the recognition of victims of abuse by religious, the gambling law or the law to combat racism or xenophobia.


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