October 28, 2020

“There are no men or women of the Troika, nor will there be any”


The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has responded this Tuesday to those voices that point out that the European recovery fund agreement approved in Brussels hinders or may prevent the coalition government from fulfilling its commitment to dismantle the PP labor reform. Díaz has affirmed that in the pact reached between the EU countries “there are no conditionalities that have to do with the sovereign legislative agendas of the countries”, as is the labor reform although he has not mentioned it expressly, “however much sometimes there is a lot of effort in trying to derive towards a uniqueness regarding the policies that must be applied, “he added this afternoon in a presentation at the San Lorenzo de El Escorial Summer Courses, organized by the Complutense University of Madrid.

The EU agrees on the recovery fund after overcoming the blockade of the Netherlands and its allies

The EU agrees on the recovery fund after overcoming the blockade of the Netherlands and its allies

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“We can affirm that there are no men or women from the Troika, there will not be any,” said the Government’s head of Labor, who celebrated the agreement signed last night by President Sánchez and his European counterparts after the tough negotiations of the last days. “Being modest, it allows us to walk in a different direction” regarding the response to the 2010 crisis, stressed the minister.

The defense of the repeal or dismantling of the 2012 PP labor reform has gone from being a proclamation by the coalition government in public interventions by several of its members to a commitment that is maintained – they assure the Executive and the Ministry Working – but which is hardly explicitly named or referred to indirectly.

Yolanda Díaz has expressly criticized the labor legislation of the Rajoy Government today, for cutting social protection and increasing precariousness in the labor market, and has opted for this more indirect route for the Executive’s commitment to dismantle it. The minister has focused much of her speech on the day Full employment and decent work: one of the goals of the 2030 Agenda on the need to “recover rights” and “remove norms that abound in precariousness” and he has insisted that the Government and the Ministry of Labor that he leads will “correct” these issues.

“We have already begun to do so,” claimed Yolanda Díaz, who recalled that the first law approved by the government of the coalition of the PSOE and United Podemos was the repeal of the dismissal for medical casualties, that the Executive highlighted as the beginning of the dismantling of the labor reform.

The minister has included in these “corrections” of the PP labor legislation the regulation on remote work, which her ministry is currently negotiating with employers and unions, to legislate the working conditions of telework in the face of such limited wording that the Government of Rajoy carried out during his mandate. Job has already modified its first draft of the draft remote working law, taking into account some allegations from the social partners, and it is still pending to send a new version of the legal text in the coming days with some issues discussed at the last social dialogue meeting.

“We must return to the rule of law,” said the minister, who has maintained that labor reforms since 84 have contributed to deregulating labor relations, making them precarious and without having managed to avoid two “anomalies” in the Spanish labor market : high temporality and high unemployment. Díaz has argued that both issues are not inevitable “curses” and has claimed the possibility of regulating to combat these problems. “There are alternatives and we are demonstrating it”, defended Yolanda Díaz, who has summarized the policies that her Ministry has approved in this crisis due to the coronavirus as a “very complicated marasmus of regulations that would prevent the PP labor reform.”

The majority unions, CCOO and UGT, have warned this Tuesday that the European agreement approved last night cannot be an “excuse” or be used as “blackmail” to not comply with the dismantling of the 2012 labor reform. For his part, the leader of the employers’ association CEOE has stressed that “both the EU, the IMF, and the OECD, precisely always speak of the positive aspects that this labor reform has had”, not the negative ones, and he has called to avoid “maximalist” positions that “may not generate confidence” to investors.

The spokesperson for the Executive and the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, responded in a subsequent round to the Council of Ministers that the labor reform is not “at all” one of the conditions of the agreement signed yesterday by the EU to receive the fund for the Recovery. “Those elements have not been talked about at all,” Montero replied to questions from journalists. Montero has acknowledged that the limitations in the reform of labor legislation were among “the claims of some countries”, but has stated that they have not been reflected in the conditionalities signed by the member countries of the EU, specifically focused on other elements such as the advance in digitization and the ecological transition of the economy.

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