Contrary to what was predictable, the public meetings were much better than the first theoretically discreet meeting – the news was advanced on Tuesday by eldiario.es – in La Moncloa. There were two appointments with photographers, and they were pretty good, according to sources from the two sectors. And there was a first meeting without cameras and everything indicates that it was bad enough, although the negotiation will continue because both are condemned to understand each other.
The problem came when we went from words to their meaning. For Podemos, Cooperation Government is very similar to Coalition Government: a joint Executive in which the formation of Churches has a third of the ministers named by the PSOE, a relationship similar to that between the deputies of one and the other : 123 to 42. But for the PSOE Government of cooperation is a very different thing from the one that has just been agreed in the Valencian Community, where Podemos has a vice-presidency.
Sanchez, according to sources familiar with the meeting, told Iglesias that the meaning of this cooperation government would imply three important elements: on the one hand, Podemos could be the executive's priority partner, which would imply that Sánchez would rest on them the decisions and key negotiations and would not look for variable geometry with other groups that were spoken after 28-A. On the other hand, an agreement of investiture agreed between the two would be signed that would mark the entire political agenda.
And finally, the most delicate issue: the PSOE does not seem willing to have positions in the Council of Ministers for its leader and other leaders, as claimed by Iglesias. Sánchez has offered him another solution, which is what he understands as a cooperation government: intermediate positions in the Administration for Podemos, but without ministers. It is a way to have an entry into the socialist Executive but without participating in the Council of Ministers, something that the incumbent president has rejected so far.
It does not seem therefore, at least for the moment, that the negotiation is slowed down in the entry of Pablo Iglesias into the Government, as feared in some sectors, but in the general entry of Podemos in that maximum level of the ministers. There are no vetoes to Iglesias, as he insisted on Sunday in the EL PAÍS interview, but a substantive discussion on the role of Podemos in the new legislature.
The leader of Unidas Podemos has made it very clear, before Sanchez and in public, that he does not intend to accept anything other than entering the government with his own ministers. Therefore, everything indicates that the negotiation will be extended. Sources of the surroundings of Churches think that the strategy of the socialists happens to leave everything for the last moment, even with the investiture already summoned – at the moment there is no date – to try that the social and mediatic pressure softens its position. The Socialists also press Citizens and the PP to abstain, something that would solve their problems but, for now, it seems impossible. The negotiations will continue and there will be many contacts in the coming days. The agreement does not seem simple, but neither of them considers the elections as a real alternative.
Only the president decides the date of the investiture. At the moment he does not have the support, but he may be encouraged to put a date as a form of pressure. In the PSOE is handled the first or second week of July. In La Moncloa they are between two fires: they do not want an unsuccessful investiture, which has an image cost for all, also for the president, but neither do they want to extend it indefinitely. The decision is coming.