The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, at the Conference of Presidents last March in La Palma. JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO (EFE)
The legislature changes cycle.
The vertigo of December, with an accumulation of surprise reforms, tense votes, scandals in Congress, appeals for amparo before the Constitutional Court, paralysis of plenary sessions, and a phenomenal political storm, will give way to a completely different new phase that begins this Monday, after the break that almost all of politics has taken these first days of January after the Christmas frenzy.
Moncloa is very clear about it: the time for major reforms is over — "we have already done a lot, 192 laws and with those that remain pending completion we will reach 200," they explain in the Executive — and a decisive electoral year is coming in the that the Government is going to concentrate on explaining its management and developing these great laws.
A year of "fine rain", they explain, with a lot of pedagogy, to count those 192 reforms, which have sometimes gone unnoticed in the maelstrom of changes and controversies that has been experienced in recent months, and above all to try to change the political agenda and reduce tension to return to talking about the economy, an issue in which the PP historically felt more comfortable than the PSOE, but now the Government believes that it is its natural terrain and where the popular have less speech.
The regional elections heat up the start of the course
The executive strategists are convinced that the government is doing much better when the political and media agenda is focused on its reforms and on the consequences they have, above all, on economic data which, despite being typical of a slowing economy Due to inflation, the rise in interest rates and the crisis caused by the war, they are much better than expected a few months ago and those predicted by the opposition, which predicted a hot autumn and a very harsh winter that have not yet arrived.
The Councils of Ministers and in general the government's agenda will change a lot from now on.
It is not that there is not going to be any type of reform.
In fact, this Tuesday two important people led by the Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, are scheduled to go to the council, who in principle should appear later to explain them.
This is a reform to recognize for the first time a special unemployment benefit for artists, which takes into account the intermittent characteristics of their work, and another reform of bonuses for labor contracts so that they promote indefinite hiring in line with the labor reform, a change committed to the European Commission.
Díaz also has to close a significant increase in the minimum wage shortly,
However, although there will still be some reform of this type, the cycle of great laws has ended.
There isn't even time now - the legislature has less than a year left - nor, above all, is there the political will to return to that daily battle that had good practical results - 192 reforms and no big vote lost despite being a minority government - but it has also supposed a considerable wear and tear in the tough negotiations that are almost always public.
In fact, there are two major reforms pending, the housing law and the modification of the citizen security law, known as the
gag law .
, which are at risk of being stranded if they are not unlocked soon.
PSOE and Unidas Podemos made an effort to close the animal protection law before the end of the year, another one that risked being left in a drawer, but in these two regulations the problem is not that of the coalition, which has practically closed the internal agreement , but of the partners, especially ERC and Bildu.
If these groups do not give up something in their positions quickly, it is possible that these norms that were great promises of the coalition will be stranded, because as the municipal elections approach it will be increasingly difficult to reach an agreement and the time of the legislature It has already entered the countdown.
Even so, and above all, from United We Can they are moving to try to find a way out and approve these two very important regulations for the left,
, with a very advanced negotiation led by Enrique Santiago, general secretary of the PCE.
Yolanda Díaz's candidacy
The Government is, therefore, focused on the big economic and management announcements —Sánchez has an intervention this Monday where there could be one— and is beginning to work hard for the electoral campaign that will dominate the entire year, with regional and municipal elections in May and foreseeable generals in December.
Pablo Iglesias, a benchmark for Podemos, has pointed out that there could be an advance of the general elections to April, as in 2019, which nobody seems to take very seriously in La Moncloa.
The movements of Pedro Sánchez and his team do not seem to go that way.
But the entire coalition is very pending, both the socialist sector and that of Unidas Podemos, of Yolanda Díaz's movements to reunify her space and put together his candidacy.
This Thursday the 12th an important act of Sumar is planned that could be the step prior to the confirmation of the candidacy of the second vice president.
That day, the sectoral works of Sumar that have been carried out to conclude in a document with a "country project" will be shared.
But Díaz, who is having quite success in reunifying all the space that was left out of Podemos with multiple splits and ruptures and shows great political strength and enormous expectations in almost all the polls, the agreement with Ione's group is pending. Belarra, Irene Montero and Iglesias himself, who claim a privileged space because they consider themselves the dominant force.
The entire Spanish left is very aware of this possible negotiation.
This Monday the change of the majority in the Constitutional Court is also consummated, which becomes progressive —with a 7-4— after almost 10 years of conservative dominance.
It is a great success for the Government, which has suffered a lot to get to this point.
It remains to be seen who will be the new president, Cándido Conde Pumpido or María Luis Balaguer.
Moncloa clearly prefers the first, but whichever it is, the turn of the court will be consolidated because both are indisputably progressive.
A renewed Constitutional Assembly with a progressive majority will finally be able to face far-reaching decisions such as abortion, euthanasia or even labor reform.
Justice, and above all the Supreme Court, will be one of the great protagonists of this year because it will have to apply the controversial reforms of sedition and especially embezzlement.
In La Moncloa they are absolutely convinced that there is no legal margin for those convicted of the most well-known corruption cases to benefit from the latter, but the litmus test will come when the resources of those affected are processed.
It will also be necessary to see how they are applied to the independentistas of the
Catalonia will never completely go out of focus, but Sánchez, who has closed the Catalan folder with ERC —there will be no more reforms for its prosecuted leaders— is convinced that he can turn the Catalan situation, completely different from that of 2017, into one of their great electoral strengths.
From now on, almost everything will smell like elections in Spanish politics.
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