In 2022, the Government will deploy all the texts that still have to be approved in Congress – the labor reform does not yet have the necessary votes – or in the Senate or they need regulatory development. In addition, it intends to promote other far-reaching reforms that serve to connect with the progressive electorate and thus be able to present an important balance at the end of the legislature, which Pedro Sánchez intends to exhaust.
In an interview on Cadena SER, the president was very clear on Monday about the growth of the extreme right, one of the key elements of the EL PAÍS survey. Sánchez, as several members of the Government do in private, blames the PP especially for this rise of Vox for approaching his speech with a “denialist opposition.” But the president also offers a more in-depth explanation, in line with what is happening not only in Spain, but in several European countries, and also tries to propose what the Executive will do to confront that wave of the extreme right that the polls detect.
The survey published this weekend by EL PAÍS and Cadena SER has provoked many reflections within the Government. The evident rise of Vox, and the general growth of the bloc on the right, despite the resistance of the PSOE, worry the Executive, which attributes the situation above all to a demobilization of the left. And the solution, according to the president himself, is to deepen the reforms that have already dominated the first part of the legislature and especially in 2021, when changes have been approved on sensitive issues such as labor or pension reform.
“There are groups that consider that democracy is not an effective instrument to respond to their demands. And what they do is look towards authoritarian leaderships, which is what the extreme right represents. Now political denialism nurtures the extreme right, that is the error of the right. That is why it is so important to continue with the reforms that dignify citizens, ”said the president.
In La Moncloa they explain that this is the line that the Executive will follow in the face of this rise: deepen the reforms, help consolidate economic growth and try to respond to the demands of citizens and demonstrate that the discourse of the extreme right does not lead to nowhere.
The Government will present its regulatory plan to the Council of Ministers this Tuesday, and then Félix Bolaños, Minister of the Presidency, will appear to detail it. In it is the legislative agenda for this year. There are not only new laws, but also many that are pending completion, such as housing, audiovisual, telecommunications, electrical system, access to the public function, administration modernization, mobility. sustainable development, the vocational training law, the modernization of the CAP, the reform of primary care and the health system, the university law, the water law, the waste law, the laws for the modernization of justice, the social services law. , the reinforcement of dependency care … It is a very broad package, but there are two star reforms that in theory should be there this year, although their complexity means that no one takes it for granted: the tax reform and the reform of the new system of regional financing. The first is awaiting the expert report, which should arrive in February, and the second has already started with the first Treasury proposal to which the communities now have to respond.
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In the SER interview, Sánchez opened the way to tax reform as one of the next milestones, although it will not be easy to reach an agreement with United We Can. “It is a necessary reform. We will have to do it as economic growth consolidates. It is necessary because Spain is a very unequal country, with 2.5 million children living in poverty. There are many people who live on the streets, who suffer from poverty. We need a much stronger welfare state, much more redistributive, “said the president. Asked about a possible tax on the rich like those being promoted in other countries, Sánchez this time left the door open. “It is one more piece. If we want social justice, there must be fiscal justice. There will be no individual progress if there is no collective progress ”, he concluded.
Sánchez insisted several times that his idea for the next two years is to continue with that line. Surveys such as that of EL PAÍS indicate that citizens like the reforms carried out even though the image of the Government is worn out. “With 155 seats we have achieved two consecutive Budgets, something that has not happened since 2014. We are carrying out a very important agenda of transformation and dignity of the people. We have not done anything other than work for the dignity of our citizens in pensions, in minimum salary ”, explained the president. In fact, the issue of the minimum wage, which could reach the symbolic figure of 1,000 euros, will be one of the debates in the coming weeks.
The fundamental problem that the Government finds itself on many occasions is that it is unable to focus the public agenda on its reforms, and the opposition manages to talk about other issues, especially the alliances of the PSOE with the independentistas.
Sánchez complained about the “noise” that he encounters every week in Congress, but insisted that the Executive will maintain the course of the reforms. And in fact he asked all groups, including the PP, to facilitate the validation of the labor reform and repeated that it is a “good decree” because it is the result of consensus between employers and unions. The president expressly asked the popular to “put aside the denial opposition.” “They deny even the most obvious that is the legitimacy of the Government,” Sánchez insisted.
Against this, the Government trusts that the reforms and the management of the 19,000 million euros that have already come from the European fund will change the social mood and make the coalition regain ground in the next polls.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.