The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, in Bilbao has accused the opposition parties of falsifying reality to wear down the Executive, when the reality is that Spain “is recovering and has a horizon of hope” after the pandemic. Sánchez has criticized the PP and Vox for leaving the Government alone, but especially the Spaniards in the face of the serious crisis that the covid has generated, voting against all the measures approved to alleviate the economic and social consequences, such as the increase in wages minimum, the Minimum Vital Income and the revaluation of pensions. “They draw a Spain in their image and likeness: sad, gray and without ideas”, he said, during the closing of the ninth congress of the Basque Socialists, in which Eneko Andueza was proclaimed Secretary General, replacing Idoia Mendia
For Sánchez, Spain “does not deserve this furious right”. The president has accused the two parties, although without citing them, of using “any misfortune to attack” the coalition when the reality is that any comparison with the situation of a year ago is hopeful. He highlighted that 89% of the target population is vaccinated with the full schedule and more than 94% of the three million employees in ERTE at the beginning of the pandemic, have returned to their jobs. Despite the growth in the accumulated incidence in recent weeks, Sánchez explained that the Spanish have shown that “with responsibility, vaccines and a mask” it is possible to fight the pandemic.
In his speech to the Basque socialists, the socialist leader highlighted the contribution of social democracy: “The public wants a different way out of the crisis. If there is no fair economic recovery, we will not be able to call it a recovery ”, he argued, adding that the PSOE governs to“ raise the SMI, for gender equality, to protect workers and expand rights and freedoms ”.
The president has paid tribute to the socialist Ernest Lluch, assassinated by ETA 21 years ago on this day, for his public commitment and has put on the table that the values of the former Minister of Health are those that drive the socialist family. “Against those who say to everything that we are not moving forward,” he said, giving as an example agreements such as the one reached with social agents to reform the pension system. “In front of the PP that defended a cut of 20%” to guarantee the maintenance of the pensions, “we are going to fill the piggy bank that they emptied”. “We give an equitable and effective response to the crisis,” he stressed, adding that neoliberalism “chronifies inequalities and problems,” as it already happened in the financial crisis of 2008.
Recovery after hitting rock bottom
Andueza inherits a party that has started to recover after hitting rock bottom in the 2016 elections. The 319,000 votes won by the PSE and which included the first and only socialist lehendakari of the democratic stage, Patxi López, in a context of the left nationalist outlawed, fell to 212,000 in 2012, and continued to decline in 2016 with 126,000 votes and a representation of nine seats. In 2020 they achieved 122,000, although with a better distribution of the votes that allowed them to go from nine seats to ten in the Basque Parliament. The organization is also more cohesive, after the fires that took place in several provinces and the internal tension in the socialist formation that the previous general secretary, Idoia Mendia, managed to pacify. The new executive has been supported with 96% of the votes.
The day of the congress on Saturday took place at the same time as the traditional demonstration of the left nationalist in favor of independence. A coincidence that has favored the debate on the possibility that EH Bildu and the PSE-EE come to form, with Elkarrekin Podemos, an alliance that will unseat the PNV from the Basque Government. The coordinator of EH Bildu, Arnaldo Otegi, assured on Saturday that his formation is open to leading a “historical bloc” in which the rest of the forces of the left have a place. “We are aware that this debate is open in the PSE,” the EH Bildu parliamentarian, Unai Urruzuno, ratified this Sunday.
For her part, the outgoing secretary general of the PSE, Idoia Mendia, told Eneko Andueza, his successor and already secretary general of the PSE-EE, this Saturday that “his hands are free to review what needs to be reviewed in the PSE.” A potential alliance with more future than present, but that the PNV also sees as a threat with real possibilities. The president of the organization of the PNV of Bizkaia, Itxaso Atutxa assures in an interview this Sunday that “PSE and EH Bildu will make an effort to explore the tripartite, it will be an option”, although in Euskadi the elections arrive in 2024, a year after the generals. “We are facing a new time,” Andueza said in his first speech as Secretary General, leaving all the doors open to new alliances, but with a clear warning: “The only sum that is worth is that of coexistence and stability ”, In clear allusion to the fact that any alliance to which the PSE joins must be stable and fight for coexistence.
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