Prime Minister Sánchez says Spain is growing and employment levels are at pre-pandemic levels – Eurasia Review
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told the Lower House of Parliament that the executive is fulfilling its social commitments in areas such as minimum wages, pensions and scholarships. In addition, he defended the need to fight against rising energy prices at national and European level.
During the government’s scrutiny session in the lower house of parliament, Pedro Sánchez assured that the executive was aiming to achieve 42.6% compliance with the investiture agreement by the end of this year.
Among the commitments he is implementing, he highlighted the increase in the minimum wage (SMI), the revaluation of pensions according to price increases, the strengthening of scholarships – which affect 850,000 students – and the creation of income. basic minimum, which already benefits 800,000 Spaniards.
In his response to Pablo Casado, member of the Popular Parliamentary Group, Sánchez said political leaders must weigh their interventions and avoid statements that run counter to the interests of Spain and the Spanish people. “Spain is growing and creating jobs, we are at pre-pandemic employment levels and Spain has a low risk premium,” he said.
In addition, in his response, the Chief Executive advocated coexistence, respect for constitutional order and respect for democratic legality in all its aspects, including that relating to the renewal of constitutional bodies.
Double front on the cost of energy
Regarding the impact of energy costs, a question raised by Aitor Esteban of the Basque Parliamentary Group (EAJ-PNV), Sánchez said he shared the concern about rising prices in wholesale markets and its effects on the viability of the industry. “In fact, he stressed, if European funds are intended for anything, it is precisely to create jobs and reindustrialize our country in this energy transition which must be fair”.
Among the initiatives taken by the government in this area, Sánchez mentioned the approval last December of the statute for intensive electricity consumers, the compensatory aid for the indirect costs of CO2 emissions and the fiscal measures taken by the general state administration, such as the reduction of VAT and the special tax on electricity and the suspension of the tax on the value of electricity production.
Besides, Sánchez reiterated that it is “social justice” for energy companies that charge significantly more than their costs “to engage and lend a hand so that this increase does not affect electricity bills”.
In the current circumstances ”, Sánchez said: “it is essential to secure the electricity prices agreed with the industry before the gas price hikes and to facilitate the signing of new bilateral contracts for the supply of electricity at affordable prices”, and c This is what the Spanish government is working on with electricity. companies and with industry ”. To underpin this goal, Sánchez has been in favor of clarifying and specifying what is needed in the urgent measures approved on September 14 to mitigate the impact of rising natural gas prices.
Sánchez argued that it is “key” to act also at the level of the European Union, because it is necessary to reform the European electricity market, to improve the negotiating capacity of Europe to l ‘regard to those who produce and export natural gas and stop speculation in the markets for CO2 emissions. .
Strong and full democracy
In his response to Mertxe Aizpurua, member of the Euskal Herria Bildu parliamentary group, Pedro Sánchez argued that the best way to decide on the political, economic and social future of the country is through the general courts, where “the popular will expressed in urn is expressed in all clarity ”. To say the opposite, he added, is to feed the discourse of those who deny the legitimacy of democratic institutions.
Sánchez also stressed that Spain is a “solid” democracy, according to international benchmarks. Like any democratic system, he argued, it can improve its functioning, its transparency and its exemplarity, but the will of the Spanish people is already articulated in the parliamentary procedures, the amendments and the initiatives presented by each group and in the votes in plenary session of the Upper House of Parliament.
“At the end of the day, it’s a full-fledged democracy. And what we will not accept is dividing Spanish society or, in this case, Basque society on the basis of selfish and binary referendums ”, Sanchez said. This type of initiative, he explained, not only has no place in the Spanish Constitution, but represents “the worst thing we can do” at a time when European integration is accelerating and it is essential to work for unity and agreement, as has been the case. demonstrated, for example, by the social partners.