The meeting between the Prime Minister, Pedro Snchez, and the head of the opposition, Pablo Casado, held on Monday morning by videoconference has paid off.
Snchez has accepted the PP’s proposal to convert its reconstruction table into a newly created parliamentary committee to achieve that thepopularagree to participate. Moncloa assures that the chief executive “what matters is the contents” and that he considers the idea of a commission to rebuild Spain economically and socially “positive”.
The draft on its operation that the Executive has put on the table foresees that it will meet already tomorrow, but now, with this change in format, everything must be negotiated. A government spokeswoman and Finance Minister, Mara Jess Montero, has assured in an appearance this afternoon that it will be Congress who determines it, both the operating formula and the work schedule. Montero has asked that the first meeting be held “as soon as possible”.
Although the proceedings of the meeting between Snchez and Casado did not invite thinking about a rapprochement, both due to the null dialogue between the two and the PP’s doubts about the proposal, finally there has been a rapprochement to negotiate the necessary measures to raise the country after the coronavirus crisis.
The PP affirms that if it accepts to participate it is because its request that it be a parliamentary committee has been heard. Gnova sources indicate that “we ask for commission, neither a table nor a Pact of La Moncloa”. “The PP put his shoulder to the Parliament, which is where it should be”, they add.
In a press conference after the meeting, Casado said that creating a commission is the most appropriate, since “the commissions vote initiative by initiative.”
Married: “Some alleged pacts without a paper”
“The parliamentary system regulates all that. There will be agreements and there will be disagreements, and we will have to go measure by measure, and not mutualise errors and negotiate a government program deferred,” which is, in his opinion, what Snchez wanted.
“If he has already decided on his Government partners, and that Government is so united … he cannot pretend that we sit at an extra-parliamentary table in which the majority of the members are from that Government and try to reach an agreement leading to approve the Budgets “, has been the exgesis of the head of the opposition, who has added one more criticism to the format proposed by Snchez:” We have been talking about two or three alleged pacts without a paper.
The PP wants that this commission “can also be opened to the social agents and the experts”. “And that the proposals can be approved or raised to the plenary, and that there be parliamentary effectiveness, not just proposals,” added Casado.
In his opinion, in that commission it will be “essential” to propose a general lowering of taxes – “either there is flexibility or we will not get out of the crisis” – and “shock plans for commerce, tourism, industry and the export sector”.
“We have already made our state pact”, has defended the PP president. “Because we have supported the state of alarm with the most drastic measures of our democracy,” he explained. And it is something “that not all the oppositions of the countries around us have maintained,” he stressed.
But it has made three “demands to approve the extension” of the state of alarm. The first, “guarantee urgent medical supplies, and massive tests.” The second, a package of extraordinary measures to support the self-employed, SMEs and workers affected by ERTEs. The third, “that the transparency portal be restored” and that the “neutrality” of TVE and the State Security Corps be guaranteed.
The Moncloa documentation
The documentation prepared by Moncloa indicates that Snchez will preside over the first meeting and those that he later deems appropriate, and the same will happen with the four executive vice presidents, whose participation is left open.
Being the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, who will coordinate the work and direct the meetings in Snchez’s absence. All political formations will be represented at the table, but in a proportion according to their parliamentary representation: the PSOE may have up to seven deputies; the PP, six; Vox, five; We can, four; ERC, three; JxCat and PNV, two; and the rest of the forces, one.
Although initially Vox, together with the CUP, had been excluded, with this new commission format those of Santiago Abascal are willing to join.
Four working groups
The Government proposes that there be four different working groups. One on economic reactivation, recovery of the activity and situation of the most affected sectors, but it can also include education, science or research or “any other subject agreed”.
A second on the welfare state, social policies and care systems. A third on sanitation, public health and preparing for future pandemics. And a room on Europe, solidarity and unity of action.
The initial idea is for each group to have a minister acting as coordinator and an assistant coordinator chosen from among its members by agreement. Each group will agree on a work plan compatible with the general planning and there will be some final conclusions.
The calendar proposed by Moncloa is that these meetings take place throughout the month of May and that theJune 1is the deadline to submit an opinion to the general table. During June all the measures will be debated and the first fortnight of July is the date scheduled to sign the “inter-institutional” agreement, since in parallel it will also be negotiated with the autonomous communities and the municipalities.
In fact, Snchez continue to convene theregional presidents conferenceto receive their contributions and to arbitrate the agreements that are adopted. In parallel, meetings with employers and unions will also be held. Everything that derives from the social dialogue can be added to the table for economic and social reconstruction.
With the agreement between the Prime Minister and Casado, to turn the table into a parliamentary committee, this whole scheme is now up in the air. Everything is open to the considerations of the parliamentary groups.
Vox leaves its assistance in the air
The change in the format of the forum and its transfer to Congress somehow opens the door to Vox’s participation, however, the party’s official position is right now to completely leave its attendance at said commission completely on the air, reportslvaro Carvajal.
It is true that Vox participates “in principle” in all the parliamentary committees that are created in the Chamber, but this time you want to wait before speaking, because you want to study first what type of commission you want to form and with what specific objectives. On whether or not their participation depends, stress official sources.
“The commissions are not created by Moncloa, they are created by Parliament, there will have to be a debate on the creation of the commission. We will see what the meaning of our vote is, depending on what it intends,” they say. And if it is created, “we’ll see if we participate”.
That is, of doing so, the position to be defended is the demand for the resignation of Pedro Snchez and Pablo Iglesias, and the configuration of a government of “national emergency”.
Abascal: “Dialogue in Congress”
In a previous press conference, Santiago Abascal had delimited any possibility of dialogue with Snchez for it to take place in Parliament. “We are going to continue to refuse a dialogue with this government outside of democratic institutions or outside of Congress,” he said.
“It must take place not through telephone conversations, conferences or bilateral meetings with all kinds of interlocutors, but must take place in the Congress of Deputies, which is where the politicians speak so that a political dialogue can be established.” Only there Vox maintains the dialogue with the Executive, “from the commissions and from the speakers’ gallery.”
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