After the storm comes the calm, or that is what they are trying to bring PSOE and United We Can to the coalition government. After several days of harsh clashes in terms of defense spending, the PSOE’s shortcut to increase it and avoid a conflict with its partners in Congress, and the discomfort in the purple formation, which has called for an urgent meeting to follow up on the coalition pact and has accused the PSOE of “disloyal”, the waters have calmed down. And it is that this Wednesday, both the president, Pedro Sánchez, and the ministers of both parties have tried stage your tune and have made it clear that Coalition remains for the rest of the legislature.
There still being obvious discrepanciesNone have denied it. Sánchez and the PSOE ministers remain committed to increase spending on Defense progressively until it reaches 2% of GDP in 2029, something that the ministers of United We Can reject outright.
The Second Vice President, Yolanda Diazwho called for an “urgent” meeting of the coalition pact monitoring commission on Tuesday and criticized the PSOE for the “ways” in which defense spending had risen (an extra credit of 1,000 million euros), has made it clear one day later: “Our progressive coalition is more essential than ever. To give a message of calm to my country, the President (of the Government, Pedro Sáchez) and I are going to look for all the imaginative formulas on the Defense budget and what matters most to me is that the Spaniards do not suffer”.
He has said it in an act in Rome after another in which they have coincided the chief executive and the Minister of Social Rights and leader of Podemos, Ione Belarraon child poverty. In it, they have thrown mutual thanks and references in a friendly and close tone.
Precisely, Belarra He has also assured in an interview on TVE that the stability of the Government is “guaranteed”, although he has recognized that the coalition “is facing a very complex moment in the legislature.” The intention of United We Can, he has said, is to exhaust the legislature within the coalition: “Our role is to work so that this Government is as similar as possible to the needs of the citizenry and that is what we will do until the last minute.”
And it is that the coalition between PSOE and United We Canhas added, “it is a success of the left”, although he has made it clear that “the one who has fought and worked the most” to achieve it “has been Podemos”. But he has also sent the message that military spending is already at “record levels” and “is not exactly low”, and has urged the socialist party to “redirect course” in the next Budgets with progressive and social policies.
Rodríguez: the increase in defense spending is not “negotiable”
The spokesperson for the Executive and Minister for Territorial Policy responded, Elizabeth Rodriguezin an interview on RNE, in which he warned that increased defense spending is non-negotiable, since it is “a country commitment” acquired as a result of the decision to “be on the side of the attacked State”, that is, Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion. For this reason, he has asked United We Can to rethink their position in view of what countries like Finland or Sweden, historically neutral, have done.
Regarding the meeting of the coalition pact commission, Rodríguez has indicated that “it is part of the coalition agreements” and understands that “it must meet normally.” “It is good that we talk to each other, but we must not forget of speaking to the Spaniards (…) Time is complicated, complex, we have to talk a lot, but who needs to listen is society Spanish”, he insisted.
The Minister of the Presidency, Relations with Parliament and Democratic Memory, Felix Bolanos (PSOE), has played down the discrepancies of recent days with United We Can and has stressed that both formations always end up agreeing “on the fundamentals” despite the fact that they sometimes have “different visions”: “Nothing happens, because We solve everything by talking, sitting at the table and we always agree, because our objective is to work for the social majority”.
Also the head of Finance and Public Function, Maria Jesus Montero (PSOE) has highlighted that the Government is facing “complicated situations” such as inflation or the pandemic with a “great capacity for dialogue and understanding” both “inside” the Executive and with the social agents.
For his part, the Minister of Universities, Joan Subirats (United We Can) has highlighted the commitment of its formation to complete the legislature and has called for addressing the “tensions” typical of a coalition government in a constructive way, since “nobody” within the Government wants the Executive to break up.
The meeting of the coalition pact is still pending
In the meantime, United We Can is still waiting for the meeting to be called of the monitoring commission of the coalition pact. His parliamentary spokesperson, Pablo Echenique, believes that “It would be a good idea” let it be celebrated before the State of the Union Debate next week (from July 12 to 14), in which Sánchez will also give explanations about the Executive’s position on Defense matters: “The sooner, the better.”
In line with Belarra’s statements, he believes that the Government should “redirect course” and focus on economic and social measures to protect families, something that he also believes will be reflected in society, which will see what’s wrong with it an Executive who “defends their interests”.
But the socialists don’t seem to be in such a hurry for holding the coalition pact meeting. His parliamentary spokesperson, Héctor Gómez, has said that his party has “a predisposition to always speak”, but he has warned that it is necessary to “fit” the meeting with the “availability”hinting that this could come after next week’s debate. “We have a frenetic activity” in Congress, he has continued, and has also highlighted that “interlocution is permanent” between PSOE and United We Can both in the Government and in Congress.
On the other hand, he has stated that the Socialist Party “has always hoped to consolidate the coalition government”but in terms of Defense, and in the face of an “extraordinary situation, decisions must be made” such as the contingency fund of 1,000 million euros in Defense: “We do not want a fissure to be made in this complicated legislature,” he has settled.