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It has taken only a few weeks for the prospects of a profound change in the political, legal and social scenario of the State to begin to take shape. When on the night of July 23 it was proven that the party that won at the polls would have no chance of forming a government, an alternative began to be forged around the second and fourth forces in contention - PSOE and Sumar - dependent one hundred percent on the pro-independence and nationalist minority formations that deny the Constitution and its core principles: the unity of the state and its political form, the parliamentary monarchy.

After the failed investiture of the popular candidate, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the second candidate appointed by the King, Pedro Sánchez, opened a negotiation with the parties that intend to liquidate the regime of '78 in order to get the necessary votes to stay in La Moncloa. Of all of them, the most difficult force has been Junts, led by a fugitive from justice, Carles Puigdemont. After having accepted all his conditions, today Sanchez signs the payment of the last invoice, the one presented by the PNV. With this, the investiture is assured, next Thursday, with 179 votes in favour: PSOE, Sumar, ERC, Junts, Bildu, PNV, BNG and Coalición Canaria. The latter party, with only one seat in Congress, is opposed to amnesty but will vote in favour of Sánchez in exchange for commitments included in the so-called Canary Islands Agenda.

The balance of the long weeks of negotiation can be summed up in two words: complete cession. Socialist weakness is exuded from the agreements signed. The PSOE has been forced to accept all the claims of its interlocutors, including those considered unconstitutional by Sánchez himself, most of the ministers and the main leaders of the party. The first and most important concession has been to approve an amnesty law for all those convicted and prosecuted by the Catalan independence process. But there's more.

Pedro Sánchez and Andoni Ortuzar, during the signing of the agreement between PSOE and PNV. ANTONIO HEREDIA

The demands of the PNV met

The Basque nationalists had up their sleeve the ace of being able to guarantee Sánchez an investiture in the first ballot with an absolute majority. They have negotiated discreetly regardless of the external noise caused by the talks in Brussels with Puigdemont. However, its list of demands, all of which are admitted, is substantial. In his case, the agreement signed between the president of the PNV, Andoni Ortuzar, and the acting president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, is an "investiture" pact that leaves the legislature pending compliance with the agreements. This is specified by Basque nationalist sources and confirmed by Ortuzar himself.

It includes a broad package of transfers from the State to the Basque Country - all those that were pending, including the economic management of the Social Security system within a period of two years - and an extension of the space for self-government in terms of labour relations and the promotion of the Basque language. Negotiations will be held on the "national recognition of the Basque Country" and a "system of guarantees based on bilaterality and forality". "This should give rise to a new political-legal personality for our country," Ortuzar explained. Therefore, historical claims of the PNV are included and with this reference is made to the priority of the labour agreements signed in the Basque Country and that the joint committee of the Agreement has the capacity to set the global maximums of the remuneration mass of public employees. In terms of taxation, the economic agreement is strengthened by including new taxes. The powers of the Ertzaintza are also strengthened and the representation of the Basque Country in the Spanish delegations negotiating in Brussels is strengthened.

As a very symbolic finale, it was also agreed to report 100 million euros to Basque institutions over four years to promote the Basque language. This agreement will serve to guarantee the legislature as long as Sánchez fulfills the commitments reached.

Carles Puigdemont appears in Brussels to explain the agreement. AFP

The key agreement with Junts

Junts was the most difficult dossier for the PSOE. A miscalculation of the timing and the conflicting sensitivities of the two Catalan pro-independence forces placed Sánchez in a position of extreme weakness in the final stretch of their negotiations.

Carles Puigdemont, a fugitive from justice, took his demands to the extreme after seeing how the rest of the parties that have negotiated with the PSOE had achieved practically everything they wanted and, above all, after verifying that his rival in Catalonia, ERC, managed to get hold of such important flags as the amnesty law, the transfer of Rodalies and the cancellation of 20% of the Catalan debt.

Puigdemont wanted an extra slice of the pie and called for tweaking the proposed amnesty law to suit the interests of his party, expanding its scope of application to include as beneficiaries those convicted and prosecuted in cases with little relation to the Catalan independence process. Junts wants all its members and supporters to be cleansed of any accusations. And it has even pushed for commitments to be made in line with the recognition of a future referendum on self-determination.

Puigdemont has achieved symbolic triumphs as well as concrete pacts. He has managed to negotiate face-to-face and on his own territory with Sánchez's personal envoys; the recognition by them of his status as "president" without the qualification of fugitive and has taken up the pro-independence narrative about what they call the "political conflict between Catalonia and the State".

Its list of admitted demands includes, in addition to an expansion of the scope of the future amnesty, with recognition of what the pro-independence movement calls lawfare – judicialisation of politics – that is, those people who, according to Junts, are prosecuted by the courts of justice for the simple fact of being pro-independence supporters, even though their alleged crimes have nothing to do with the independence process but directly with corruption.

It was also agreed to undertake a negotiation to cede 100% of the taxes to Catalonia and a table with an international verifier was created to supervise compliance with the agreements.

Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz sign the PSOE-Sumar agreement on 24 October. ALBERTO DI LOLLI

Government Pact with Sumar

It has been the easiest of all because its achievement was vital for the formation led by Yolanda Díaz. The only possibility for the current acting second vice-president to remain in power is to sponsor the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. Even so, Díaz has pushed until the Socialists sign a government pact by virtue of which not only will Sumar have seats in the new Council of Ministers but will also involve activating a radical program, essentially on the economic and social level, which the PSOE in other circumstances would have resisted, aware that it will lead to problems with the businessmen. the banks and other parties that it also needs, as is the case of the PNV and Junts.

This agreement includes measures such as the reduction of the working day to 37.5 hours without a salary reduction, the increase in the minimum wage, the extension of parental leave, the definitive consolidation of the extraordinary tax on financial institutions and large energy companies and the effective application of a corporate tax of 15% on the accounting result or the reduction of domestic flights for which there is a railway alternative with a Duration less than two and a half hours.

Félix Bolaños and Oriol Junqueras shake hands after signing the PSOE-ERC pact. PSC

The alliance with ERC

Pedro Sánchez has given in to everything that the Catalan Republicans demanded of him. The amnesty is the most important concession, a measure that will erase the crimes committed by those who encouraged, promoted and executed the attempt against the state, the disconnection laws, the illegal referendum and the unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia. The PSOE admits the existence of a "political conflict" and agrees to "de-judicialise it" while recognising the need for agreements on the future of Catalonia "to be endorsed by the citizens".

At the same time, it will promote the work of the dialogue table between the central government and the Generalitat and will constitute a second parallel table between the two parties that will include a "verification mechanism" of compliance with the agreements reached.

In addition, it has accepted the full transfer of the Rodalies service - the Catalan commuter trains - to the Generalitat with the corresponding infrastructures and financing and has forgiven Catalonia 15,000 million of the debt it has contracted with the Regional Liquidity Fund, thus opening a gap of inequality with the rest of the territories. This concession implies that the State assumes approximately 20% of the outstanding debt of Catalonia and will mean savings of close to 1,300 million euros in interest for the Generalitat. The PSOE also admits the creation of a bilateral commission with Catalonia to provide this autonomy with adequate funding.

Added to this are extra annual transfers for the financing of the Mossos, new judicial bodies, prison services, research and scholarships and study grants.

María Jesús Montero, Minister of Finance, and Ana Pontón, national spokesperson for the BNG. EFE

Commitments to the BNG

The BNG has only one deputy in Congress, but this seat is also essential for Pedro Sánchez. Consequently, the Galician nationalists have obtained a commitment to have "compensatory measures analogous" to the debt forgiveness granted to Catalonia, even though Galicia has not made use of the Autonomous Liquidity Fund.

In addition, they have been granted the discount on tolls on motorways for super-recurring users and for the transport sector.

They have also achieved the creation of the suburban railways in Galicia before the end of the legislature and, before the end of this year, the activation of the transfer of all the competences included in their Statute.

María Jesús Montero and David Toledo, Secretary of Organization of Coalición Canaria.PSOE

CC's Ornamental Vow

A pact has been signed with the Canary Islands Coalition that, although it was not essential to carry out the investiture, serves Sánchez to expand the margin of his absolute majority and even boast of having stolen from the PP one of the few supports it has in Congress.

However, the pact with the Canary Islands has a nuance. This formation does not support the amnesty law with which the PSOE has bought the votes of Junts and ERC and has already warned that it will vote against it when it is submitted to Congress for approval.

In exchange for betting on the investiture, Sánchez finally commits to execute before the end of the year the 100 million euros he promised for the recovery plan of the island of La Palma as well as to promote a regulatory change in immigration to the effect that the competences of unaccompanied foreign minors are not the exclusive responsibility of the communities to which they arrive.

It has also been agreed to extend the 60% rebate on personal income tax to residents of La Palma in the next two years, as well as to establish in the next two years a new regional financing model that guarantees the financial sufficiency of basic public services.

  • PSOE
  • PNV
  • Pedro Sanchez
  • BNG
  • Carles Puigdemont
  • Yolanda Diaz
  • Nadia Calviño
  • Council of Ministers
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  • Alberto Núñez Feijóo
  • Mossos d'Esquadra
  • Andoni Ortuzar
  • Social security
  • Ertzaintza
  • Canarian Coalition
  • Bildu
  • Amnesty
  • Articles Marisa Cruz