Thursday, December 2

Escrivá tests Ciudadanos to approve the critical package of the pension reform

Minister José Luis Escrivá, in the gallery of Congress.

Minister José Luis Escrivá, in the gallery of Congress.

The reform of pensions go your way pending the second package of measures in which the “intergenerational equity mechanism that the Government partners do not like. On September 30, the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, overcame the first major obstacle in the parliamentary process, managing to overturn the amendment to the entire PP. In essence, the key point of the law links pensions to inflation (they will increase each year according to the average CPI of the previous one). In addition, Escrivá repealed the sustainability factor promoted by the PP of Mariano Rajoy. The Executive obtained 194 votes to circumvent the veto of the popular, outraged by the new reform, which only got the support of Vox. Citizens abstained.

But the hot spot of the new law is in this new equity mechanism, which raises many suspicions among the usual supporters of the Government, especially in ERC. Escrivá has always defended the need to quickly approve the pension reform as it is committed to European Comission within the recovery plan, but he also chose to divide it into two phases because of the risks contained in the second, and risking that the problems come now. European funds are subject to reforms that member countries have committed to making. Therefore, as you have learned THE NEWSPAPER OF SPAIN, the minister polled Ciudadanos in a meeting a few weeks ago to see if he could count on their votes for the second reform package.

Precisely in November, the Government has to approve the controversial intergenerational equity mechanism that, in the eyes of some parliamentary groups, is “a new sustainability factor” that existed with the PP. The Catalan Republicans already valued “the progress in the revaluation of pensions based on the CPI”, but they harshly criticized what they considered “others regressive aspects“.

Minister Escrivá has to tie the support for next month. It’s not just ERC. To overturn the amendment to the entire PP, the Government had many supporters that could disappear in the second package of measures and, once again, all votes are important, especially those of the usual partners. As these are in doubt, the Government often look at Ciudadanos, appealing to their seriousness and sense of state, especially when the demand comes from Brussels.

It was what Escrivá transmitted to the group led by Inés Arrimadas in the last meeting on the reform. The orange party confirmed then that it would not present an amendment to the whole, but abstained in the one of the PP, avoiding supporting the Government. And now, according to sources from the group to this newspaper, they are still waiting to see how the mechanism is articulated. The process has been underway since the first debate in Congress. Passed the first test it’s time for partial amendments.

One of the options that is on the table is to do it, precisely, via an amendment linked to the first phase of the reform. ERC, in fact, asked that this mechanism be processed in full instead of in commission in order to show its disagreement.

In the orange group they do not see this solution with good eyes, because they understand that an amendment will avoid the mandatory reports of the usual bodies. “Instead of undertaking a serious reform with all that it must contain and debate it, it has chopping to save the furniture “, criticize deputies of the orange party. In any case, the Arrimadas formation will study the voting position in due course. “It is difficult to support him in those terms,” ​​they settle.

The truth is that the equity mechanism has not yet been agreed, nor does it still have the support of social agents. This last element is another key aspect that some groups hope to know in the near future. The rush of the Ministry to approve the second part of the reform is not accidental: on the calendar, looking at the European Union, the deadline is clear and is November 15.

Ciudadanos was key in many of the votes last year and the year before, especially those that were strictly linked to the pandemic. Not only the states of alarm (in which it was a stable support for the Government), but in many of the economic and social decrees. Especially when ERC and other groups failed Sánchez. They also sat down to talk about the Budgets last year and did not do so with the current ones, understanding that the Government had given absolute preference to the independentistas. The orange party seeks to distance itself from the PP with a centrist position, capable of understanding left and right, which has recently become complicated in the Lower House.

Training sources do not hide that for months “agreeing something with the Government” is becoming “very complicated”, especially due to the constant support of the Basque nationalists and Catalan independence supporters. This week, in the debate of the amendments to the totality of two key laws of the Executive they had a mixed position. They voted against the Vox veto to the one known as the law of yes is yes, and they abstained in that of the PP. As for the joint amendment of the two formations on the right to return the draft of Democratic memory law, the Arrimadas group voted in favor after the Government refused to support their proposal to end the tributes of ETA. Deputy Guillermo Díaz defended his position with an intervention that was applauded by rival parties.

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