Another week without a date for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. And there are three. The anxiety caused by the lack of information about the negotiations with the parliamentary groups to invest the socialist leader has reached the ranks of the PSOE while the Moncloa tries to stop the anxiety while finalizing the details with Sumar to announce this week – probably at the beginning of it – the coalition agreement with the formation led by Yolanda Díaz, who will surely demand a staging of the pact with the acting president.
“The first thing is to get the agreement. It was never said that it would be easy or fast,” they explain. The truth is that it did not seem simple, but that Sánchez was looking for an early pact was expressed publicly and privately among the negotiators appointed by the acting president. First, because he urged that Spain have a fully empowered government. And, later, because it was necessary to highlight the extensive time that Feijóo dedicated throughout September to negotiations that were known to have failed in advance before his ‘fake’ investiture.
The fact is that it was convenient for Spain, according to the words of different socialists, for Sánchez’s investiture to take place before October 31, both for the stability of the country and so as not to tarnish the solemn act that the Congress of Deputies will celebrate on the occasion of the of age and the oath of the Constitution of the Princess of Asturias. This last argument, however, now serves to justify the opposite. And everything indicates that it will be in the second half of November, about to expire the constitutional deadline, when Sánchez submits to Parliament’s approval. “If the investiture were before the 31st, half of Spain and the entire country’s press would be awaiting the formation of the government and Leonor’s coming of age would be blurred in the institutional framework,” the socialists now maintain.
Between October 31 and the first days of November the parties will face different internal consultations so that their militancy endorses the agreement that results from the negotiations that the socialists and independentists are still holding and in which the amnesty chapter seems to have already been overcome. Both are now trying to build their respective stories so that the pact is digestible to its social and organic bases, in addition to finding a formula with which to unblock Junts’ demand to appoint a rapporteur/verifier of the agreements reached. “There is a lot of work behind it because this is about getting those who were outside of politics and constitutional channels back into it,” they explain from the PSOE.
A political document with all groups
While waiting for this no small detail and after having ruled out the drafting of a political agreement with all the groups that will support Sánchez’s investiture “due to the complexity it entailed”, in the PSOE there are territorial leaders who perceive “an atmosphere of greater concern” among the cadres “to the extent that it seems that there is no progress” and that Feijóo’s right “has decreed a permanent rally based on the same argument,” which is the one deployed by all its territorial leaders last Thursday in the Senate in the General Commission of Autonomous Communities.
However, the socialists, beyond the already known voices of the old PSOE, have no doubt that the investiture will go ahead, according to what the acting president of the Government and his negotiators convey to them, which is practically nothing in terms of regarding the content, but everything regarding the security and optimism that they still breathe. And despite this, there are many who regret that, “while waiting to know the details, the infantry can only defend ourselves with the great principles that any agreement will be within the framework of the Constitution, but also in line with the policies of reunion and coexistence with Catalonia deployed by the Government in the last five years.”
Nobody thinks about a repeat election
The Israeli bombings on Gaza after the brutal attack by Hamas on October 7 have served to elevate Sánchez again to the international framework these days and dedicate himself almost exclusively to the Middle East agenda in such a way that the negotiations with the independentistas will take a backseat this past week. But there is nothing to suggest that the Government is already working on the possibility of an electoral repetition, despite information that has pointed out the opposite and that no one hides that the dialogue with Puigdemont is a minefield that can explode at the most moment. unexpected.
Even so, at the level of the Government they interpret that the debate promoted by the PP this week in the General Commission of Autonomous Communities of the Senate has served, in addition to verifying “the political instrumentalization that the right makes of the institutions, as an incentive for the independence movement, which has been able to verify what would be the alternative in Spain to a Government of progress and coexistence.”
The interventions of the regional presidents of the PP, who closely followed the arguments that were distributed to them from the Genoa headquarters a few hours before the session, were a demonstration, says a socialist leader, “of how far Feijóo is willing to go in his offensive, not only against Sánchez, but in his desire to pit some territories against others and in his frustration at not having reached the Presidency of the Government.”
In parallel to the PP’s offensive against the amnesty, the Middle East crisis has introduced an excess of noise among the partners of the acting government coalition due to the insistence of the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, in distancing herself from the temperate official position of the Government not to open a diplomatic crisis with Israel, despite the flagrant breach of International Humanitarian Law with its indiscriminate bombings on the Gaza Strip.
In the PSOE they understand that the leaders of Podemos have found on the agenda an issue that “allows them to thread their own discourse outside of Sumar and recover the prominence lost in recent times”, but that nothing will derail the negotiations to reissue the coalition . What’s more, sources familiar with the negotiation assure that throughout the weekend they will try to finalize the details with the training of Yolanda Díaz to make the agreement public at the beginning of this week.
At least that is the intention of the socialists, who are seeking a shared position on the alternative left’s proposal of reducing the working day by one hour a day, which already works in some areas of public administration and is intended to be extended to all workers in private companies.
Reduction of working hours vs. competitiveness
The initial objective of the second vice president’s negotiating team was to promote by law a maximum working day of 37.5 hours in 2024, with the aim of dropping to 32 hours a week throughout the legislature, although they now rule out giving figures until A negotiation that Sumar assured these days was “aground” is not closed. Diaz’s entourage reports that the talks are advanced on a series of points, but they consider this matter a priority in order to be able to sign the final agreement. On Friday night, both parties exchanged mutual documents and the PSOE continued to defend that the reduction in working hours should be linked to productivity. “It is not about reducing thousands of hours of work in a year, but about ensuring that the business sector does not lose competitiveness,” they argue from the negotiating side of socialism.
It will be more complicated to bring positions closer to the demand of those of Díaz to convert into indefinite the temporary tax on banking that the Sánchez Government approved for the years 2022 and 2023 with the purpose of raising 15,000 million euros from a sector to which citizens they rescued with 60,000 million of their taxes during the economic crisis of the first decade of the century. The PSOE’s dilemma is not so much to make the banking tax indefinite, but to justify why a tax is imposed on the exorbitant profits of the sector and not on those of energy or technology.
Sumar also demands that an increase in the minimum wage be included in the agreement up to 60% of the real average wage, updated based on inflation, as well as a reform of the Workers’ Statute that makes, for example, dismissal in sectors in which it is more difficult. groups with difficulties reintegrating into the labor market. On the negotiating table has been the possibility of creating a territorialized SMI in the hypothesis that a global increase could affect employment in autonomous communities such as Extremadura or Andalusia, where the underground economy could explode. The formula, however, has been discarded because it is not to the liking of the unions either.
What is a fact is that Yolanda Díaz intends to continue raising the flag of social policies and fiscal redistribution during the next four years and, in the PSOE, where they understand that “it is easy to do demagoguery with these issues”, they are for the work that it better occupy that space before it interferes in other matters of State, where the competence will continue to be exclusively that of the socialist part of the government.
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