Sat. Feb 22nd, 2020

The Senate stretches

Since September 10 there was no full control in the Senate, when the ministers were still in office, so today’s session smelled like a great premiere, a new stage after the long lethargy forced by the two dissolutions of the Cortes from last year, but it hasn’t been that bad.

The leading role has been taken by a minister and top socialist leader, that of Transport, José Luis Ábalos, not for what he has said to the opposition in the hemicycle, but for what he has not told the senators who met for the first time in the legislature to exercise its control function to the Government.

A Government that has the power to choose who answers the questions and interpellations of the senators, and that has saved Ábalos from having to give explanations for his controversial meeting with the Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, at the Barajas airport.

Since the morning the popular group tried to warm up the session by denouncing through the mouth of its spokesman, Javier Maroto, that President Pedro Sánchez “concealed” Ábalos by adjudicating the response to his interpellation to the only minister currently absent from the session, the head of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González.

So neither one nor the other have treated the night episode of Barajas and the debate has moved to the halls, where the PSOE and the Government have defended that it is Gonzalez who speaks of Venezuela in attention to the way in which the PP wrote its interpellation.

Ábalos himself, who has attended the plenary session but to answer another ERC question about roads, has said outside the hemicycle that it would have been “strange” for him to deal with international politics, and in any case he has challenged the PP to ask, if it is what he wants, for what he does concretely.

Meanwhile, within the plenary hall 11 ministers of the new Coalition Government have appeared under the supervision of President Pilar Llop, very strict with the times allocated to each speaker, who has not hesitated to take the floor to those who exceeded too much , were senator or minister.

Almost a full white glove, without great stridences, where three vice presidents, Carmen Calvo, Nadia Calviño and Teresa Ribera have faced “friends” questions of what was previously called autobombo and other tougher ones, mainly in charge of senators of the PP.

Calvo has opened fire by confirming to a socialist senator that the Government assumes the recovery of historical memory policy, which in its new terminology is now called “democratic memory”, as a true “state policy”, and has ended citing Azana and her “peace, forgiveness and justice.”

High economic bias in the plenary, with the Minister of Finance and spokeswoman María Jesús Montero, from the press conference of the morning Council of Ministers, ready to negotiate with the municipalities a new spending rule and very combative when defending the PP a tax increase for higher incomes and large companies.

And Calviño, whom the PP sees unmarked of macroeconomic orthodoxy and already handed over to the populists: “I thought you were going to endure the pull and would be the representative of a certain economic orthodoxy,” Senator José Manuel Barreiro has lamented.

The head of Economy has not been intimidated to reply that continuing to pursue “unreal” deficit “is not orthodoxy, is irresponsibility.”

Three ministers have debuted, the head of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, the Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, and the Labor Minister, Yolanda Díaz, today the only governmental representative of United We can, rather of his Galician faction.

Díaz has been used to attack without contemplation the labor reform of the PP that caused “poverty, inequality and lower wages.”

And since the ministers of Podemos are also deputies, Díaz, always very attentive to the press, has excused himself before the journalists to not stop to talk because he had to go quickly to Congress, where today there was also full and had to vote, that the Majorities are not to take risks.

Antonio del Rey


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