Spain’s new socialist prime minister has been outlining his plans for the immediate future. The address by PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez in Congress last month came 45 days after he took office following an historic motion of no confidence in the Partido Popular government of Mariano Rajoy.
Sánchez’ speech focussed on democratic renewal, social policies and Spain’s position in the world. He announced a ban on future tax amnesties but reneged on his promise to publish the names of those who benefitted from the Partido Popular’s amnesty in 2012. Controversially, the PM confirmed that the remains of Francisco Franco would soon be moved from their current site at the Valley of the Fallen outside Madrid.
On the subject of Cataluña’s demands for independence, Sr Sanchez talked of “political alternatives which are worth exploring.” Earlier in July, he met the new Catalan leader, Quin Torra, and described their discussion as, “frank and direct dialogue with the guarantees of the Catalan Statute and the Constitution.” Dialogue, he added, “is not the same as yielding.”
“we want to create 20,000 subsidised housing units to be used indefinitely as rental properties.”
He also emphasised the importance of the welfare state and the sustainability of the pensions system. “Vocational training must play an important role,” he said, “and we want to create 20,000 subsidised housing units to be used indefinitely as rental properties.”
Sánchez, who had to do deals with smaller parties to enable him to win a majority in the no confidence vote, has made it clear that does not plan to hold a general election until the present term expires in 2020. He says he needs time to “normalise” the country’s political life.