The 65 members of the Permanent Deputation of Congress made a break in their campaign tours to attend the session in which they had to vote the last six decrees of the Government of Pedro Sanchez. Between accusations of electoralism for having waited for the "extension" to approve certain social measures, including the recovery of the subsidy for unemployed people over 52 years or the extension of paternity leave, Government and PSOE saved 'in extremis' their last examination in Parliament.
The accounts of the Permanent Deputation - the body that carries out the parliamentary activity in non-working periods - were very tight for Sánchez: his partners in the motion of censorship add 33 votes and PP and Citizens, 32. Taking advantage of that situation, the PNV played his letters to the end and kept the suspense about the meaning of his vote in two decrees: the stowage, which disturbed the Government less because it had the abstention of those of Albert Rivera, and the rent, which was already repealed from Congress a few weeks ago.
Basque nationalists put on the table of Moncloa some claims of the provincial government to which Sanchez has not complied. "The climate between the Spanish Government, the Basque Government and this group is distrust, that things seem to be marching but that they got stuck, "PNV spokesman Aitor Esteban admitted at the end of the session. Even though it seemed that he was talking about things, he always ended up getting stuck. " Esteban, who spoke with several members of the Executive, including the vice president, Carmen Calvo, explained that he ended up perceiving good "disposition" on the part of the Socialists and that this led the Basque nationalists to support the six decrees.
The Basque Group supports the 6 decrees-laws because they are generally positive, because of responsibility and because we have seen signs of activation and commitment in the Spanish Government that we trust will soon be translated into concrete actions. #NosMueveEuskadi
- EAJ-PNV Congreso (@EAJPNV_Congreso) April 3, 2019
"They are all accustomed to arrive at the Congress and to be pending until the last moment," said parliamentary spokeswoman Adriana Lastra, as she left the room in which the Permanent Deputation was held. The conversations took place throughout the day and several bands: the Secretary of State for Relations with the Cortes, José Montilla, also spoke with Esteban and Lucía Martín, from Unidos Podemos.
Finally, the Government breathes a sigh of relief because it has not suffered a defeat in the middle of the pre-campaign and will not have to struggle to negotiate possible changes in the regulations, since Congress finally rejected the decrees as bills. The Lower House validated the contingency measures for the Brexit, the labor equality standard that extends paternity leave, the subsidy for unemployed people over 52 years, the permission to the municipalities so that they can invest the surplus of 2018, the new regulations in terms of housing, which extends the rental contracts from three to five years and the decree of working conditions for the stowage sector. The support of the 33 deputies of the groups that supported the motion of censorship was added Citizens in specific cases, such as the labor equality or the Brexit and with its abstention in the stevedoring, while the 25 deputies of the PP voted against of the six decrees to denounce Sanchez's electoralism: "Do not count on our acquiescence."
The PSOE and the ministers who paraded through Congress to defend their laws had to listen to harsh criticisms not only from PP and Citizens but also from their parliamentary allies especially for the date chosen to take those measures forward. "We do not agree that once the House is dissolved decrees are approved," Esteban said at the beginning. "We would have liked it to be debated in Plenary," said PDeCAT deputy Jordi Xuclà.
Unidos Podemos, the main socialist government partner in the legislature that now ends, voted in favor of all the royal decrees, although without sparing any criticism of its content. Especially, the one destined to fight against the precariousness of work during the working day and the one that reforms the rental market.
In the first, the Galician deputy and candidate of In Common-United We can on April 28, Yolanda Díaz, lamented that the PSOE "repeals laws in the campaign, but when they are in the government the economic powers tell them what to do ", In reference to the labor reform. Regarding the decree, Díaz criticized that "the labor regulations that have destroyed the market and are harmful to workers are left intact." The deputy echoed this the complaints launched by CCOO and UGT on Tuesday against the labor policy of the Government of Pedro Sánchez.
The group of Podemos Podemos was raised throughout the day to add their votes to the PP and Citizens and support the processing of this royal decree as a bill. Finally, they voted against the possibility that in such a process, instead of improving the text, it could get worse.
The PDeCAT, which in recent days had left the sense of its vote in the air, also seconded it. His spokesman, Carles Campuzano, also regretted that "the most damaging aspects of the labor reform have not been reversed.
In terms of rent, the position was similar. Deputy Rafael Mayoral recalled in his speech at the Permanent Deputation that the Government has not fulfilled the commitment to undertake measures to limit the rise in rents in certain areas of Spain. The confederal group, which rejected the previous housing decree, has supported it this time because it introduces some of its demands, such as to end the evictions without a date or the limitation to the CPI of the year-on-year price increase within the same contract.
No decree will be processed as a bill
The decree of the rent will not be processed as a law proposal either. In fact, none of the six approved by the Permanent Deputation on Wednesday, which ends the legislature almost 100%.
The Board of Congress, chaired by Ana Pastor, requested a report from lawyers to endorse something that, until now, had never been done in Congress: open a period of express amendments with the Courts already dissolved and, therefore, with the commissions closed.
The play of PP and Citizens rejected unsuccessful. All the decrees have been validated and the majority of the Permanent Delegation discarded its processing as a law proposal, so its validity is full.
The minority allies of the Government also criticized the content of some of the decrees and considered them, in many cases, insufficient. In fact, in some cases they were in favor of introducing changes in the amendment process, but by not getting ahead, that proposal will be impossible. In the case of the decree on labor equality, for example, ERC or Compromís advocated that permits be extended in the case of single-parent families so that they are not "disadvantaged". It remains pending for the next term. In the debate of the cost of the town halls, the spokesman of ERC, Joan Tardà, assured that the consistories are "suffocated".
The Congress once again became the stage for the electoral campaign, this time less than a month after the celebration of the general elections. The deputy of the PP Beatriz Escudero showed a poster that simulated a heel to the bearer at the time that assured that the measures of Sanchez "are checks without bottoms". "That's a crime," he came to denounce.
"Why have they left so many things urgent for today or is it that they were not so urgent?" Asked deputy Carlos Floriano, who accused the Socialists of "humiliating" Congress: "What consideration will Parliament have who use it? like a banner? " The PSOE's campaign motto 'Make it happen' gave play to the opposition deputies, who brought it up on several occasions. "Make the royal decree pass, it is what they have dedicated themselves to," said Citizen's deputy Francisco de la Torre, who accused the government of making a "spurious use" of that legislative figure: "Otegi continues to boast of the calls he has received from his government, "he said.
The deputy Patricia Reyes took advantage of the debate on labor equality to accuse the Government of putting a "red carpet" to Quim Torra and having independence in its "road map". He also boasted that Ciudadanos started another week of parental leave: "Ask Mr. Iglesias that he knows first hand the benefits of this paternity leave," he repeated twice during his speech. "To avoid wanting to use the institutions for partisan purposes tremendous rally has been released", snapped the deputy of Unidos Podemos Noelia Vera who recalled that the children of Iglesias and Irene Montero -who was present- were born on June 3 and [la medida] entered into force on 5 so it could not benefit. "
"We get the feeling that the right of this House is having a bad day, it shows in their faces; but they do not have to. The good news for the Spaniards should not be bad news for PP and Ciudadanos, "Rafael Simancas said almost at the end of the debate. The number two of the PSOE took advantage of the microphones to accuse the PP of having stopped being a "state party" for voting against the decree of contingency against Brexit.
So it was the farewell of their lordships in the last parliamentary debate of the legislature in which Sanchez recovered most of the motion of censure that had lost in the vote of the General State Budgets precipitating the electoral advance. The Congress closes its doors in principle until May 20, date chosen by the current Government for the composition of the new Cortes, which will have for the first time in decades the far right again sitting on their seats. Until then, the electoral competition continues.