October 19, 2020

“I do not contemplate a confinement in the country”

“I do not contemplate a confinement of the country.” This is how Pedro Sánchez has pronounced himself in one of his first interviews in the middle of the second wave of COVID-19. Although he has not wanted to close any “door” to a virus that has recalled that it is also unknown to scientists, he has assured that Spain has “perfectly defined tools” between the Government and the autonomous communities to “cut and bend the curve” . “We are only going to be able to do it with unity between the Government and the autonomous governments,” said the president, who referred precisely to the meeting that Isabel Díaz Ayuso will hold on Monday, whose region is right now the epicenter of the pandemic in Spain, and which has denounced abandonment by the central Executive, which he asked to end the state of alarm claiming that the powers are held by the autonomies.

The Community of Madrid faces its greatest challenge: controlling the mobility of a million people with a divided government and credibility on the ground

The Community of Madrid faces its greatest challenge: controlling the mobility of a million people with a divided government and credibility on the ground

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Sánchez recalled that the competences in sanitary and public health matters are in the hands of the autonomous communities and has avoided arguing with the president of Madrid. Despite the fact that the Government privately admits that the measures taken by the regional government they are insufficient if they are not accompanied by the increase in media such as trackers or the strengthening of primary care -in the line in which the socialist spokesman in the Madrid Assembly, Ángel Gabilondo- has spoken. Moncloa’s directive is not to enter the confrontation. And that is what Sánchez did this Saturday two weeks after having warned that the region’s strategic capabilities were failing: “I’m not going to replace anyone, judge anyone, I’m not going to evaluate, what I want is to bend the curve in the Community of Madrid “.

Regarding the specific measures, the president has said that he hopes they “take effect” and has referred to the “extraordinary” health workers and epidemiologists who have “supported this type of measures.” “The message that I would like to convey is that the Government of Spain is going to help on Monday, we are not going to judge, we are not going to evaluate,” insisted Sánchez, who recalled that the Community of Madrid doubles the infections compared to the Spanish average and triples those hospitalized. Some hospitals in the region are on the brink of collapse.

“We are going to make all the resources available,” the president said about the concern about the second wave, which he recognized as “worrying” and listed those that he has already put in the hands of the communities, such as the 16,000 million in depth. lost or military trackers. He has also reiterated that communities can request the perimeter state of alarm if necessary and has taken the opportunity to remember that there were communities and parties that avoided the prolongation of this exceptional measure once the first peak of the pandemic was overcome.

Asked if he would be in favor of an audit of the pandemic, he replied that “without a doubt”, and recalled that the Socialists promoted a reconstruction commission in Congress and that they are now betting on a mixed commission between Congress and the Senate to, among other things, assess how co-governance between the Government and the autonomous communities can be improved.

Sánchez has also assured that the coalition is in good health despite the difficult situation that the country is going through and the discrepancies that periodically jump to public opinion. “It is working well and underscores the loyalty of United We Can,” he said. “They are fully complying,” he said in reference to the lack of previous experience of those of Pablo Iglesias.

Renewal of the Judiciary and political espionage

The president has downplayed the different position that the PSOE and Unidas Podemos have maintained regarding the abandonment of Spain by King Juan Carlos I. The president has been sympathetic to the republican “tradition” of Unidas Podemos. “The PSOE has a republican tradition, but it was committed to the constitutional pact.” “The Constitution is not broken up,” asserted the president, who took the opportunity to hit Pablo Casado again for the blockade in the renewal of institutions such as the General Council of the Judiciary, which has been in office for two years.

Although he has not revealed whether he will pick up the phone again to try to reach an agreement after the opposition chief slammed the door, Sánchez has said that he would like it to be so and has said that it is “harmful” for the institution that can give the impression that the PP benefits from the current composition of the governing body of judges, where the conservatives have a large majority since it was configured when Mariano Rajoy won the elections by an absolute majority, for cases of corruption that affect the party. One of them is Operation Kitchen in which Former Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz has been charged which is, in the president’s opinion, “bad news.” “There is no room for impunity but the events are extremely serious,” he said before assuring that his government “put an end to this type of conduct” in reference to the political police that spied on rivals of the PP Executive.

“We must investigate this aberrant practice that was banished when the censure motion was completed,” said Sánchez, who has avoided giving his opinion on whether Rajoy was aware of the espionage of political rivals. “That question I leave in the hands of justice”, has asserted.

On Iglesias’ revelation of his discussion by the king: “You have to be discreet”

Sánchez has assured that he has no information about what the emeritus king will do and if the United Emirates is his last destination and has affirmed that what “worries and occupies him” is that Juan Carlos I assured that he would make himself available to the Spanish justice in case of being cited. The president has once again praised the performance of Felipe VI in the gestures of dissent from the former head of State. “People are judged and investigated, not institutions,” he concluded.

Questioned about Iglesias’ revelation that discussed the departure of the former head of State of Spain, which felt very bad in the socialist ranks, the president has demanded discretion from the vice president, paraphrasing a few words from Cervantes: “The grace is in the discretion.” “Well, that, you have to be discreet,” he has settled.

Despite these disagreements, PSOE and United We Can are conspired in the survival of the coalition government. Sánchez has stressed that the 2021 budgets are fundamental and does not contemplate that they will not go ahead. Despite the pressure from Iglesias so that the public accounts are agreed with the allies of the investiture, the president has reiterated his intention to negotiate with several gangs so that they are approved with the greatest possible support. “If the situation is unprecedented, why not have unpublished agreements? The situation is so historical that why not have a historical agreement”, has settled the president, who has avoided revealing his preferences while balancing between winks to ERC and Ciudadanos .

What Sánchez has repeated is that the tax reform they wanted to carry out will have to wait and he has defended the implementation of counter-cyclical measures. The president, who has been sure that there will be an agreement between the Government, unions and employers for the prolongation of the ERTE, has been optimistic about the recovery based precisely on the data of these temporary losses, which have exceeded more than three million to 745,000 – of which 120,000 are part-time workers: “The economic reactivation capacity that the labor market is showing is extraordinary.”


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