The Congress of Deputies has endorsed this Thursday the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO with 290 votes in favor, 11 against and 47 abstentions, although the coalition government has voted divided. While the PSOE has supported it, United We Can and the Minister of Health and leader of the United Left, Alberto Garzón, have abstained.
PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, the PNV, Junts, and the PdeCAt, Canarian Coalition, the PRC, Foro Asturias and the two deputies expelled from UPN have voted yes together with the Socialists. ERC, Bildu, Más País and Compromís have joined the abstention of United We Can. Although these latest political formations are critical of NATO, they have indicated that they cannot vote against the sovereign requests of these two countries.
✅ The #Full of Congress gives its authorization for the signing of the Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Finland. pic.twitter.com/ytsRhCTUSR
– Congress (@Congreso_Es) September 15, 2022
In the case of United We Can, it had already been made clear in recent days that they would not vote in favor of the entry of these two new countries into the Atlantic Alliance, but it was not until today that it was known that the United Left deputies would vote against, while its leader and member of the Executive would abstain.
From the opposition, emphasis has been placed during the debate on this division within the coalition. The PP spokesman, Pablo Hispán, has argued that this shows that Pedro Sánchez "is only president of part of the Government" and that we are facing "one more chapter of the extravagances to which he has accustomed us."
“They are the only government in Europe in which one half is in favor and the other is against it and wants us to get out” of NATO, he made ugly, accusing Podemos and the rest of the parliamentary partners of supporting the PSOE only when It is about "weakening the State" but when it is to strengthen it, as in this case, they can only count on the PP.
No to equidistance
On this occasion, the PSOE has also shown its discomfort. Its spokesman, Sergio Gutiérrez, has defended that one cannot be "equidistant before the suffering of other peoples, between aggressors and attacked, between invaders and invaded, between those threatened and those who threaten."
In this sense, he has reproached Podemos and its partners for having clung to the "mantra" that what should be talked about is peace but they have not proposed "any idea on how to achieve it without provoking the surrender of the Ukrainian people", unless "they don't have an idea to achieve peace but a slogan, they don't have a solution but an excuse".
In very similar terms, the spokesman for Ciudadanos, Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez, has spoken, who has blamed them for wanting to go against the decision of the Swedes and Finns. "Since this is democratically questionable, the worst thing is the equidistance and dirty and vomitive comparison of confusing victims with executioners", he lamented, recalling that they are the same ones who do not condemn the ETA murderers and who ask for their approach to Basque prisons.
"Let Sweden and Finland make the decision they consider appropriate, but it will not be in our name," said the spokesman for United We Can, Gerardo Pisarello, after harshly criticizing the Alliance and also the EU, "which was founded with the declared objective to seek peace and is doing little or nothing to stop the war.
The spokesman for EH Bildu, Jon Iñárritu, has also questioned NATO as an organization and has said that the war in Ukraine cannot be resolved with it or with the sending of more weapons. In this sense, he advanced that although they respect the decision of the Finns and Swedes to enter, since "they are sovereign states", they would not support it.
Now the Senate
After the endorsement of Congress, the accession protocols of the two countries will be transferred to the Senate, for approval by urgent procedure and single reading. Once this procedure has been completed, Spain would have ratified the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, as more than twenty of the 30 countries that make up the alliance have already done.
The Atlantic Alliance already caused the first split in the Parliament of the legislature between the two coalition partners, in February 2020, when Podemos also opted for abstention in the vote for the accession of North Macedonia. On that occasion, IU also abstained and only the BNG deputy, Néstor Rego, voted against.