Important warning to the government of one of your parliamentary allies. The PNV parliamentary spokesman, Aitor Esteban, has harshly criticized the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, José Luis Escrivá, who has been warned that "he will receive darts from all corners" if he does not already order the transfer of management of the minimum vital income to the Basque Government, as agreed during the negotiation to approve the royal decree that launched the aid. "We are not going to walk around with hot cloths with Escrivá if it continues like this," Esteban assured in an interview on Radio Euskadi.
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The central government negotiated with the PNV in the spring of 2020, within the framework of the renewal of the state of alarm, the transfer of the minimum income to the Basque Country and Navarra. In the Basque Country there has been the so-called income guarantee income (RGI) since 2008. State and regional aid are compatible in certain cases and the agreement passed because the State would put its share and the Basque Government, its own. Escrivá defended then that the situation of these two communities was different from the rest because both have their own tax system.
But, for now, the Pedro Sánchez Government has not complied, despite the fact that in March of this the matter was considered unblocked. The PNV already warned in April that the situation was not being addressed and accused Escrivá of "not lifting a finger" to carry out the transfer. Two months later, the situation remains the same from the point of view of the PNV. "It is what we had agreed to," said the leader jeltzale in the interview this Monday, after remembering that the transfer is part of the law itself.
"I hope you are very clear that you have to comply," said Esteban, who has assured that "the Ministry of Public Administrations [que dirige Miquel Iceta] he is uncomfortable with the closure of Minister Escrivá. "The Basque deputy said that the unity in the Government of Ajuria Enea on this matter is total and recalled that it is the leader of the Socialist Party of Euskadi (PSE), Idoia Mendia, who would receive these powers and would have to manage the provision.
Esteban has not been around the bush and has made different threats to the head of Social Security throughout the interview. "If Minister Escrivá wants to have a friendly relationship with the PNV on this and other issues, he can already put the batteries, because if he is not going to fall darts from all corners," he assured.
Asked if the government's stability would be in doubt, Esteban replied: "For now, Escrivá's stability I assure you that it is. We are not going to allow agreements to be breached." The PNV spokesman has not questioned, however, the support of his six deputies to the Executive of Pedro Sánchez: "There is a desire for the Government to work. Let's see how things develop."
Of course, Esteban has attacked the coordination of the Government. Or against his absence in reality: "Sometimes things get stuck without explanations due to poor coordination. In some ministries there is greater political will than in others when it comes to completing the issues," he has settled
In any case, the PNV leader has defended his party's actions during the legislature, recalling that "the Government has gone to plenary sessions without knowing if it had a majority" on some occasions "and it was not because he thought that the PNV did not I was going to give it to him, "he explained. "We have behaved with the Government correctly. At the time of supporting in voting we have been the most faithful," he concluded.
Managing the minimum income is one of the main holes in the Coalition Government. Its start-up involved a confrontation between its components and while United We could push for it to be approved at the return of the summer of 2020 in the face of the social crisis caused by the pandemic, the PSOE slowed down the work. These were not unblocked until the budget negotiation of the autumn of 2020 did not arrive, in which the space then directed by Pablo Iglesias approved the minimum income.
Since then, implementation and management problems have haunted one of the main benefits of the so-called "social shield". Already in December the groups warned of the problems that were occurring: "He's being very exclusive". In February the Council of Ministers approved a relaxation of the bureaucracy needed to access help, but it didn't do much good.
The improvements to the minimum income will now come through parliament, after the PSOE has agreed to actually begin its processing as a law in Congress after almost a year of processing amendments. Among them, United We Can has raised a battery of what they consider necessary to increase the incidence of the benefit, like the rest of the groups. The PSOE has also presented its proposals, including an increase in the amount of aid for families with young children.