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Desolation in the Government and in the PSOE. At all levels. In the hard core of Moncloa and in the last adviser of the Ministries before what is considered an "unnecessary error": the signing of an agreement with United We and EH Bildu for the repeal of the labor reform of the PP in full . A "slip," a "slip," the consequences of which, admit sources from the Executive, were not "properly calibrated." The result is that Pedro Sánchez, overturned since the beginning of March in the health, economic and social crisis that the coronavirus has caused in Spain, yesterday fell off a long ramp, colliding with everything he found in his path.

The Prime Minister has pledged his credit by authorizing negotiations with EH Bildu to secure his abstention and secure in Congress authorization for the fifth extension of the state of alarm but has also created fissures in the Executive, acting outside of his own ministers (including the entire economic area), has generated enormous distrust in Citizens and the PNV, has disoriented his party, has given arguments to Pablo Iglesias to accentuate his own speech and, above all, has dynamited social dialogue with the employers and unions.

A heritage so difficult for any government to treasure that it was squandered in a matter of hours. Only 10 days after managing to gather in La Moncloa UGT, CEOE, CEPYME and CCOO to sign a social agreement in defense of employment, which extends the ERTE until after the state of alarm, the confusion generated by the pact with Bildu and its announcement of the complete repeal of the labor reform put to rest with growing confidence, locked after many hours of conversation, with the primary participation of the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, and the full collaboration of the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, of Unidas Podemos .

The extent of the crisis forced Sánchez to "roll up his sleeves" yesterday morning and explain himself to employers and unions. The chief executive called the UGT and CCOO general secretaries, José Álvarez and Unai Sordo, and the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi. That was not enough. The employers considered broken the social dialogue with the Government.

The clarifications of Sánchez, who in reality has not changed his position despite the literal nature of the Bildu statement, were completed yesterday by Nadia Calviño. The vice president, along with other ministers, urged the president for a rectification, immediately after that agreement was released on Wednesday. Not even the Minister of Transport and Secretary of Organization of the PSOE, José Luis Ábalos, knew the details.

Shortly afterwards, the PSOE published a clarification detailing the specific aspects of the reform that it was going to tackle and which are well known.

In an intervention yesterday afternoon, Calviño assured that Spain is facing the greatest recession in its history as a result of this pandemic and that "with this reality on the table, it would be absurd and counterproductive to open a debate on labor reform and generate slightest legal uncertainty at this time. " The taxpayers, he added, "pay us to solve problems, not to generate them", in clear reference to the PSOE -Calviño does not have a party card and is in the government as an independent-.

The vice president did not hesitate to thank the businessmen for their "commitment" and their "effort" at the moment, to highlight the role of companies in "recovery" and to declare that they have the "support" of the Government. "Of course, changes can be made in the workplace," he said, "but always with a clear objective, to boost employment and activity while protecting workers." "Any modification will be made in dialogue with the social partners."

The scope of his words give the dimension of the extent to which the Government has smashed social dialogue. Although in Moncloa they trust that it will pass, they are preparing for a period of criticism in which it is necessary to "fit in" and "endure".

But along with this front many others have been opened. For many people in the PSOE, the approach to Bildu has been incomprehensible, when their votes were also not fundamental. Not only the President of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, is "hurt and perplexed." This feeling runs through the PSOE and is shared by members of the Government.

And it is even less understood that it is done "behind the PNV", one of the most solid partners of the Executive, with elections in the Basque Country on July 12, with Bildu loading the reins against the Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu and the abertzale left refusing to condemn a paint attack on the home of the socialist leader, Idoia Mendia. And just when understanding with Ciudadanos allowed Sánchez to offer an image of moderation.

Of all these consequences, the least relevant was Pablo Iglesias' attempt to distance himself. The second vice president remarked yesterday that "the agreement that is signed is the agreement" but government sources pointed out that although he knew about the negotiations with Bildu, he agrees that the result is negative for the Executive. Iglesias opted for a "sustain it and not amend it," they explain, but the coalition suffers no wear. "Where will United Nations be better than in the Government?", A minister pointed out yesterday. In addition to Calviño, the other major victim of the breakdown in social dialogue is the Minister of Labor.

In Moncloa they know that it is time to repair the damage of this mess but while some parties take note. ERC sets out to follow in Bildu's footsteps and re-explore profitable alliances with Socialists. "We cannot give up negotiating the self-determination of Catalonia after having managed to force Sánchez to sit at the table," Republican sources point out to this newspaper.


The talks between the PSOE and Bildu ended on Wednesday but started earlier. In parallel, Moncloa closed the pact with Cs and Carmen Calvo kept the PNV informed about the content of the decree of the fifth extension of the state of alarm. Work was done to get ERC to abstain but it was not possible. The attempt to secure the vote promoted the agreement with Bildu, assuming that it only meant fulfilling an electoral commitment. It is now assumed that a major failure has resulted.

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Know more

  • Bildu
  • PSOE
  • United We Can
  • Citizens
  • Pedro Sánchez
  • Yolanda Diaz
  • PNV
  • Pablo Iglesias
  • Spain
  • Nadia Calviño
  • UGT
  • ERC
  • Carmen Calvo
  • CEOE
  • CCOO
  • Basque Country
  • PP
  • José Luis Ábalos
  • Inigo Urkullu
  • Emiliano García-Page
  • Catalonia
  • Castilla la Mancha
  • Basque Country Elections
  • Labour reform
  • State of alarm
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid 19

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