Seven years since the last debate of the nation: the prelude to the measures that the left would take to the Government

The last debate on the State of the Nation seems like prehistory. In February 2015 Mariano Rajoy's PP governed with an absolute majority and Pedro Sánchez was a rookie candidate who had not yet faced the de facto powers of his party. United We Can had emerged strongly in the European elections but was not yet in Congress and the PP still had room to apply its roller. That explains that the only approved motions for resolutions they were those presented by the popular or those agreed by the majority party with other groups. Those presented by the left were disrupted in the hemicycle and had to wait years, until PSOE and United We Can signed the coalition pact. The rise in the minimum wage, the guarantee of electricity supply to the most vulnerable families or the reduction in VAT on electricity were just some of the measures that progressive forces defended seven years ago. Some of them have become reality in recent months.

Since then a world has passed. In the X Legislature –the current one is the XIV– the bipartisan scheme of PP and PSOE remained strong, since between the two formations they added more than 70% of the seats in Congress. The third force in Parliament was the IU, with only 11 seats, which is now integrated into United We Can –which in the current Congress has 33 representatives– and the fourth was the UPyD, with 5 representatives, a party that has practically disappeared. The Catalan nationalist right was still grouped in CiU and what is now EH Bildu was then called Amaiur. Podemos was born in the penultimate year of that legislature, in 2014, the state irruption of Ciudadanos did not arrive until a year later and Vox, the current third force in Congress, did not yet exist.

The majority of Rajoy's PP, with 186 of the 350 parliamentarians, imposed the legislative agenda since 2011 and consecrated the era of austerity and the cuts imposed by the troika. He was also decisive in the last debate on the state of the nation held to date, which took place on February 24 and 25, 2015. After a triumphalist speech marked by the economy of the then President of the Government, who boasted that Spain was going to grow by 2.4% that year –last year it did more than double, specifically, 5.1%–, and a bitter debate with Pedro Sánchezwho was already the head of the opposition after his victory in the 2014 primaries, more than 120 resolution proposals were presented, of which only 19 were approved, which had the endorsement of the PP.

In addition to praising the Executive's policy and urging it to continue along the path it had followed until then, the approved resolutions also included demands that are striking today, such as the claim by the PP of the autonomy of Western Sahara and its right to "self-determination" or the pacifist position of the popular before the war that the east of Ukraine was already experiencing. In one of its resolutions, the PP called for "continuing to promote the path of firmness and openness to dialogue" between Russia and Ukraine, something unthinkable today by some popular who, in the face of Putin's attempted invasion, support sending weapons to the Ukrainian army.

For different reasons, the proposals for resolutions proposed by the left, which then went to the wastebasket but years later appear embodied in laws and decrees, draw special attention. The PSOE raised, for example, the increase in the minimum interprofessional salary, that since the progressive coalition governs has increased by 52%, going from 655 euros at the time of Rajoy to 1,000 euros today. But the socialists also proposed "extending unemployment protection" or "repealing the labor reform and drawing up a new Workers' Statute that puts an end to job insecurity, excess temporary work and unwanted part-time work and cheap dismissal" . All this materialized in the approved labor reform last February, although the compensation of 20 days per year in dismissal has remained as it was.

In its proposed resolutions, the PSOE also demanded "ownership of the domain or other real rights registered in favor of the Catholic Church", a measure that was adopted this year by the progressive government or "approve a law on equal treatment and against discrimination" whose processing concluded last week in the Congress of Deputies. Other initiatives proposed by the socialists seven years ago and that are now a reality are the elimination of "the exclusion of lesbians and single women from assisted reproduction techniques in the public health system", the expansion of "paternity leave", " recover the universal nature of the right to health protection and health care for all citizens, including immigrants in an irregular situation" or reestablish "universal justice" and guarantee the "right of women to their sexual health and reproductive.

The group that then bore the name Izquierda Plural and that included IU, ICV and the Chunta, proposed, for example, "guaranteeing the supply of all those essential services" for the most vulnerable families, a measure that was launched when start of the pandemic as part of the social shield and which has been extended since then and also within the anti-crisis decrees to deal with the economic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That same group also proposed "preventing the supply companies from interrupting the service", something that has also been included by the progressive government in the aforementioned anti-crisis decrees.

Last month, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced in Congress a new reduction in VAT on electricity, which, since the start of the pandemic, has gone from 21% to 5%. Precisely, the Plural Left already proposed in 2015 "to modify Law 37/1992, of December 28, on Value Added Tax with the aim of applying a generalized reduction in the tax rate to those goods that have a clear socioeconomic interest", in clear allusion to energy. Initiatives proposed more than five years ago by IU and that are a reality thanks to the progressive government are also the repeal of the labor reform, "lowering university fees and increasing scholarships and aid for students" or "extension of the duration of the paternity leave in cases of birth, adoption or foster care.

Seven years later, the debate on the state of the nation that begins on Tuesday takes place in a very different circumstance from that of then because the current Executive does not have a clear majority in Parliament and will need agreements with its usual partners to approve the proposals of resolution that in 2015 the PP managed to pass easily by its parliamentary roller. The debate will begin on Tuesday 12 with the intervention of the President of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez, which will take place at 12:00. At 4:00 p.m. it will be the turn of the PP and, then, the rest of the parliamentary groups will intervene from highest to lowest that same afternoon and on Wednesday. Between these interventions, Sánchez will be able to take the floor whenever he wants to respond to the rest of the spokespersons, although the usual thing is that he does so after each one of them. The groups will have 30 minutes for the initial intervention and 10 minutes for the reply.

On Wednesday, June 13, the session will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the intervention of the remaining groups. Once the debate is over, there will be a period of 30 minutes for the groups to present their resolution proposals. Each group may present a maximum of 15 resolution proposals, which may not be voted on by points. It will be in a Spain completely different from that of 2015.

Source link