The investiture block has carried out this Thursday in Congress with a large majority the pension reform, which has been under negotiation for almost this entire term and which the Minister of Inclusion and Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, has presented as "the pillar most important part of the welfare state.
The reform, which aims to "modernize and give sustainability" to pensions for the future, according to Escrivá, has been contested by the right, which has questioned the data and the minister's predictions in the medium and long term.
The left, for its part, has boasted of the social and left-wing turn observed in Spain in contrast to the cuts made by those who support Emmanuel Macron's model, answered with protests in France.
The vote has been the real reflection of what has happened during this legislature in most of the 200 parliamentary initiatives that the Executive has carried out.
The scoreboard revealed 179 votes in favor at the end: PSOE, Unidas Podemos, ERC, PNV, PDeCAT, Canary Islands Coalition, Regionalist Party of Cantabria and Teruel Exists.
104 deputies voted against, those of the PP and Ciudadanos, plus Foro Asturias, BNG and the CUP.
The 52 Vox deputies abstained, in a gesture to somehow differentiate themselves from the PP, as the four from JuntsxCAT and the five from EH Bildu did for other reasons.
The argument of defending the welfare state is the one endorsed by the majority of the regular partner parties of the Executive to give value and meaning to progressive and left-wing policies in this final, and electoral, phase of the legislature with the reform of pensions as its best exponent.
The decree that proposes this symbolic reform affects almost 11 million pensioners from the outset.
Now it will be processed as a bill for the parties to propose some modifications.
José Luis Escrivá, an expert in this type of matter, already collected in November 2020 as minister the mandate, then unanimous and agreed within the commission of the Toledo Pact, to apply up to 22 recommendations to ensure the future of pensions and of the system as a whole.
This Thursday, in his presentation before the plenary session of Congress, the minister summarized that the objectives of the changes applied now seek to give "sustainability" to what almost 11 million pensioners earn, but also to underpin some improvements to give more "equity" and benefits for women, young people and the self-employed.
And he concluded: "It is the reform for the social majority of the country, the most important pillar of the welfare state."
The criteria of the minister and the coalition Executive were endorsed by almost all their usual partners in Parliament, with nuances in some cases that moved their vote to abstain or even not because certain parties considered that the project had not been sufficiently " brave and ambitious.
Those who flatly rejected the change and its claims were the right and the extreme right.
Jaime de Olano, from the PP, reminded Escrivá of his past as head of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (Airef), when he sowed doubts about the feasibility of some pension increases and from the parties now in government they branded him " Butler".
He also specified that the PP is not against the revaluation of pensions, on the eve of various electoral campaigns, but rather how this reform has been carried out "without dialogue or transparency."
The PP approved in its day, like the other parties, this update in the Toledo Pact, but now it has felt marginalized and denounces that the Government has hardly provided them with reliable documents.
Vox distanced itself somewhat from the PP and CS in the vote and went to abstention after a harsh intervention by its deputy Pablo Sáez.
The party justified this different vote from the right in that, despite all the negative elements denounced, some positive aspect had also been appreciated in the text of the project, such as "the increase in minimum pensions -contributory and non-contributory- and an improvement in the contribution gaps and measures aimed at filling the periods in which women have not contributed due to having dedicated themselves to caring for their children”.
EH Bildu also abstained in the end, but for other reasons, and had already warned that he would not allow the decree to lapse.
His spokesperson, Mertxe Aizpurua, valued many measures, their progressive aspect, the agreed 15% increase in non-contributory pensions, the improvements for widowhood, but demanded more ambition.
The BNG voted against it because it does not seem enough.
The representative of Junts, Josep Pagès i Massó, justified his no in that the norm affected the centralism of the State.
From the flank of the parties that usually support the Executive, the spokesperson for Unidas Podemos, Aina Vidal, that of Compromís, Joan Baldoví, and that of ERC, Jordi Salvador, coincided in extolling that the modifications bring "more rights and freedoms against privileges and cuts" and pointed out in this sense the alignment of the right and the ultra-right with the interests of the CEOE employers and its president, Antonio Garamendi, whom they quoted to summon the parties to define themselves: "We are at mushrooms or at rolex”.
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