Spain Coalition Agreement

MADRID (Reuters) – The Unidas Podemos alliance of far-left parties will take up a deputy prime minister and four ministries in Spain`s first coalition government in decades, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez`s Socialists, the government said in a statement on Thursday. Earlier this week, Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias, who lead the far-left Unidas Podemos or United We Can Party, reaffirmed their intention to form the first coalition government in Spain`s recent history. The minimum wage could increase by up to 60% in the case of the coalition government, which means that the monthly sum paid to workers with this rate could reach €1,200. As far as pensions are concerned, the PSOE and Unidas Podemos are considering abolishing the formula that links pensions to life expectancy, as well as the revaluation index in which pension increases depend on the evolution of the Spanish economy. According to the document, this “will ensure the sustainability of the system in the medium and long term.” “An agreement has been reached for a coalition government between Unidas Podemos and the Socialists,” Podemos MP Alberto Garzon said in a tweet. “It`s a day of celebration. We have shown that this is possible. The coalition government is also reportedly introducing a new law to replace the Civil Security Law – called a “gag law” by critics, who say it limits the right to peaceful protest by introducing fines for anyone who organizes or participates in an “unauthorized protest” or if the protest takes place near institutions such as the Spanish parliament. Despite the ambitious social agenda of the new coalition, it is likely to focus more on the Catalan issue and face aggressive opposition from right-wing parties in a dramatically fragmented political landscape. In recent months, Brussels has insisted that the withdrawal of reforms decided after the rescue of Spain with the help of Europe in 2012 is a mistake, especially with regard to pensions and the labour market. The plans of the eventual coalition government would not kill an about-face in all these reforms, but they would certainly shake them up. Sánchez has been fighting to form a government since November`s general elections severely fragmented Spain`s political landscape. His Socialist Party agreed on a provisional coalition pact with Podemos, but with both not having enough seats to form a majority, he had hoped to convince the pro-independence Catalan Republican Left (ERC) to abstain in the parliamentary vote on his coalition. But the deal has also exacerbated Spain`s biggest political division in decades.

This Parliament will undoubtedly be the most tense and divided since the return to democracy after decades of Francisco Franco`s rule. Since the return of democracy in 1977, never has a Spanish government had such a complex birth or such a narrow majority. Today, there are 16 parties in Congress. To win Sánchez`s nomination and avoid a new election, the Socialist Workers` Party (PSOE) had to negotiate the first coalition government in Spain in 80 years. .

Fotos: Kathrin Leisch
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