ERC spokesperson Gabriel Rufián speaks to the Socialist parliamentary spokesperson, Adriana Lastra, and Rafael Simancas, (right) this Wednesday, in Congress. (Photo: .)
The recently remodeled Government of Pedro Sánchez has made full this Wednesday. Congress has validated the four decrees that have been voted in the Lower House, even the one that was most complicated is still alive, that of reducing the temporary nature of public employment.
The Executive has achieved the support to lower the VAT on electricity (193 ‘yeses’), relax the use of the mask (180 ‘yes’), stop the temporary status of officials (170 ‘yes’ and 169 ‘no’) and renting almost half a thousand works from the Thyssen collection for 15 years (269 ‘yeses’). Of course, only the decree of the interim, very tight, will be processed as a bill by the emergency procedure.
And all thanks to last minute concessions. Already in the rostrum, the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has offered to the parties to process the decree of the interim, whose vote has been repeated by a tie, as a bill so that the groups can introduce amendments in a clear directed wink to avoid a defeat of the new Executive.
Montero, however, has gone further to change ERC’s vote to ‘yes’ and has agreed that officials who have been occupying a position that has never been convened for more than ten years can award it without passing an opposition exam. In this way, an assessment of merits will suffice.
The Government has thrown suspense and pact ‘in extremis’
The truth is that the Government has thrown suspense and pact ‘in extremis’ in the last plenary session of the course to save its attempt to stop the temporary status of officials. Montero has announced that the changes he has agreed to will be introduced during the process as a bill that he has promised to have approved before the end of October.
“Notice to navigators”
ERC deputy in Congress Pilar Vallugera, who has justified the change of vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes’, has been blunt and has warned the socialists that they must commit to the agreement reached. ERC’s affirmative vote is a “warning to sailors”, he assured. A Republican source in Congress warns that they will take advantage of the processing of the decree to introduce “a thousand amendments.”
The Executive, even so, can smile because also his plans to temporarily lower the VAT on electricity from 21% to 10% in full price escalation, to relax the use of the mask outdoors in full swing of the fifth wave of the pandemic and to rent for 6.5 million per year for 15 years 427 works in the Thyssen collection have received the approval of a majority of deputies.
The first decree on which the parties in Congress have expressed their opinions to justify their vote was 12/2021, of June 24, which temporarily lowers the VAT on electricity, as well as the temporary suspension of the electricity tax. the generation that electricity pays.
The VAT decree has been the decree that has given the Government the least ‘buts’
The truth is that it has been the decree that has received the least ‘buts’. Moreover, even the PP has left the ‘no’ and has abstained despite the fact that for Pablo Casado it is a “patch”.
However, part of the opposition has charged against the Executive for the lack of more measures with which to contain the price of electricity, which this Wednesday, with 106 euros per megawatt on average (MWh), pulverizes the 103.76 of the record historical 2002.
ERC has asked the Government to make the VAT reduction permanent. Also Bildu, who has pointed out the electricity generating and trading companies, which he calls “electricity oligopoly” due to “price alteration”
The vice president for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has been in charge of defending the Executive’s plan and has reiterated that the rise in prices is due to circumstances that she cannot control: the price of natural gas and the emission rights of the carbon dioxide.
The minister, however, has announced that she has already transferred to the European Union (EU) the need to address changes in the design of the marginalist electricity market.
Masks, key to the debate in the fifth wave
Almost a month ago the Government decided to relax the mandatory use of the mask outdoors. The problem is that in that period, the fifth wave of the pandemic has triggered the accumulated incidence and new cases, and is forcing communities to reverse the de-escalation. Despite this, the Executive has obtained the support of Congress so that the mask is not mandatory outdoors as long as the safety distance can be guaranteed.
Formations such as Bildu, Ciudadanos, PDeCAT, Junts have come to the rescue of the Government parties. Although neither the PNV – which considers it an exercise of irresponsibility – nor ERC, who abstain, have been able to support the decree due to the situation in their communities.
Moreover, in the Basque Country the Lehendakari asked the Government to impose a curfew and the mandatory use of a mask at all times to stop the pandemic. And in Catalonia, where the fifth wave is being especially harsh, Republicans cannot sing that they support a decree that would not be viewed favorably due to the difficult epidemiological situation. “The situation in Catalonia depends on the position on this decree”, the Republican deputy Xavier Eritja riveted.
PNV and ERC have not voted in favor of the masks decree due to the situation in their communities
The PP that has voted against, has criticized that the “decree of smiles” has been an irresponsibility that has led Spain to be “the country of families in quarantine, infections and hospitalizations.” The popular deputy Elvira Velasco has charged against the Executive which she holds responsible for endangering the tourist campaign this summer: “The Spain that a French Secretary of State has referred to as a country that has opened quickly and recklessly. The Spain of the delta variant ”.
Bildu’s spokesperson, Mertxe Aizpurua, explained the vote in favor of her own: “There may be arguments to validate yes, no or abstention. When we talk about a pandemic that escapes all the schemes, categorical answers do not work. It is clearly recognized that the risk of transmitting the virus outdoors is nil if the safety distance is maintained. At this time the obligation to wear a mask in open spaces can be arbitrary and discourage being outdoors and worsen social isolation ”.
The last decree that has been voted has been the one that formalizes the rental contract between the Government of Spain and Baroness Thyssen to rent works from the collection for 15 years. In addition, he has been the one that has uncovered the most unity: 269 votes in favor, none against and 77 abstentions.
Once the term has elapsed, the State will decide whether or not to buy the collection for the rest of the money. You can also sign a new rental. The contract also stipulates the return of the Mata Mua, Gauguin’s iconic work that left the museum during the coronavirus state of alarm.
The Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, the person in charge of defending the decree, has said that the “urgency” to grant the State guarantee to the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection “is given by the need to provide legal security to the assurance of the plays”. Quite a penny to four.
The “rider” law passes the process in Congress without any change
The law that establishes the status of salaried employees for the distributors of digital platforms, the so-called “riders”, passed through the Congress of Deputies on Wednesday without any changes and will now enter the Senate.
The Labor Commission of the Lower House has approved with full legislative competence, with 21 votes in favor and 15 against, the bill that establishes the status of employees of these workers without having incorporated any amendment of those presented by PP, Vox , Grupo Prural and Ciudadanos, according to Efe.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.