The First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, had an intense agenda this Monday in Brussels and talked about many important things, since the rules of the financial game of the European Union are under review, or to put it in other words, of the future of the continental economy. He spoke of fiscal regulations, of the commitment to large investments, of the rates of recovery from the post-pandemic… And he spoke of the Spanish labor reform. And right here is one of the political keys of the coming months.
A literal review of what he said to the media before the Eurogroup session, the forum that brings together those responsible for the EU’s economic ministries, allows one to read expressions such as “balanced reform”, “broad agreement” Y “recommendations of international institutions”. The three outline a plot outline that the Government is going to deploy in the European Union in the coming weeks to exhibit the benefits of its labor model, as point to El Periódico de España sources from the Executive and sources from the Socialist Party.
But the popular ones are not going to sit idly by. Two sources from the national leadership confirm to this outlet that the Spanish delegation of the European People’s Party He is already explaining what has led Pablo Casado to reject the decree despite the fact that he maintains some of the master columns of the 2012 system.
So ‘the battle of the story’ is served, which was to be expected, since there is no legislative milestone that does not have to be well justified before the Brussels hierarchy, where the European Commission and its huge host of officials scrutinize the measures adopted and to be adopted so that European funds arrive at close range.
Precisely that of the “funds” is the mother of all these battles due to the vehemence with which the PP is denouncing the discretion and discretion with which the distribution is being channeled, according to its criteria. The Government, inside and outside, denies such accusations. In this fight of stories and narratives, the labor reform has entered with force.
The European passions of Sánchez and married
To understand the European dimension of government policies and the importance that the president gives to it must go back 25 years.
The political figure of Pedro Sánchez began to grow older when he went to work in the European Parliament as an advisor to Bárbara Dührkop, and later, to Carlos Westendorp. At this stage he met his current chief of staff, Óscar López. The two are joined by generational tune, the socialist militancy and one unusual passion for European politics. There both perfected English and French. The president dominates the first and gets along well with the second.
There is a political consequence of those years. The socialist president pampers the European repercussions of his measures and polishes relations with his continental peers. Apart from dealing with ease with the authorities of the Union, especially with the President of the Commission, the German Ursula Von der Leyen, and with the President of the Council, the Belgian Charles Michel, has established an excellent relationship with Emanuel Macron. Olaf Scholz’s rise to power in Germany also gives him the opportunity to work towards his current obsession: the social democratic way out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus.
There are a few examples of how the president extremes European relations. Perhaps the one that came out the best was the commitment to place Spain at the center of the solution to the Afghan refugee crisis, in August of last year. managed to Von der Leyen and Michel will accompany you at the Torrejón base just a few hours after having built a host city there.
Likewise, and this is a curious resemblance between the two main Spanish political leaders of the moment, married’s european passion began to glimpse two decades ago. What personal assistant of José María Aznar knew the importance of European relations, an area that has fascinated him since he began to stand out, even before being the president of New Generations of Madrid, the youth organization of the PP in the Community. Those who have known him well for years can remember Casado’s thoughtful discussions about Helmut Kohl or the path to European integration and the arrival of the euro.
There are also examples of this fondness for the EU of the leader of the PP. The Valencia Convention which he organized with enormous personal involvement, in Valencia, last October, showed his interest in this fabric of European relations. He sent personalized letters to the leaders of the parties twinned with his and spoke by telephone with some of them. Likewise, before each summit of prime ministers, he attends the conclaves of the European People’s Party, where Antonio López-Istúriz acts as ‘cicerone’ on many occasions.
Ten days ago, in Ferraz, headquarters of the PSOESánchez brought together the party’s leadership, the socialist ministers and the leaders of his highest confidence, including Félix Bolaños and Óscar López. Labor reform was the central issue. For the president, it has been for four months. The star announcement of the federal congress in October, also in Valencia, was precisely the repeal of Mariano Rajoy’s labor reform.
The next day, he met with the new Executive of the PSOE and said that his party was going to actively intervene in the negotiation of the reform with the social agents. Two powerful motivations were underlying: to carry out one of his main political promises and to share the authorship of the pact with Yolanda Díaz. Among senior socialist officials it has been appreciated for a long time that the ascendancy of the Minister of Labor is increasingly consistent and energetic, and that can be electorally dangerous since both Sánchez and she coexist in the same demoscopic space.
At the meeting ten days ago, one of the crucial aspects was the welcome that the European bodies they had given the pact for the reform of the labor reform, sources from the party reveal to this medium. The president commented that it had been received in very positive terms. Government and PSOE then coordinated to display a battery of arguments in defense of the pact, among which one stood out: the presence of entrepreneurs. “It is a government capable of agreeing with sectors that are ideologically and politically different; this, at a time when the political right has hardened, is essential; we have to take advantage of it,” says a deputy aware of the government’s strategy.
The campaign to “sell” the labor reform would fork with similar intensity in two directions: national and European. During the past week, the federal management contacted the provincial structures so that their positions began to move and remove two messages: the importance of the agreement with unions and businessmen and the isolation of the PP for deciding to stand out.
Likewise, the president, leaders and ministers looked the calendar of European organizations. In addition to the plenary session of the European Parliament this week, there was the Eurogroup last Monday. Calviño, therefore, would be the spearhead of the plot strategy. She is the right person, in addition to the president, because until her appointment as minister, the vice president has been ‘raised’ in the corridors of the Union’s organizations, where she is highly known.
The objective is to take advantage of the bilateral and multilateral forums, and in general, any debate or meeting. It is true that the next summit is scheduled for the last days of March, but neither the Government nor the PSOE plan to tiptoe through one of their identity laws through two messages: the “broad agreement” with social agents and the opposition of the P.P.
Calviño started this past Monday, and he did it with intensity, because he not only went to the Eurogroup to defend the Spanish position in all the matters mentioned, but also met with the commissioner Paolo Gentiloni and met the new head of German finances. The success was not long in coming: the economic vice-president of the Commission applauded the agreement on his Twitter profile.
The dangers of Sanchez
At the same time, the PP will defend its position. He’s been doing it for a long time, actually. During the autumn, both Casado and its leaders have stressed on numerous occasions that they would turn to Brussels to defend the previous labor model, partially repealed by the decree law approved before the end of the year. That is to say: before the Government of PSOE and United We Can agree with the social agents, the popular issued warnings.
The most important: an executive with a “communist” stamp wants to put an end to a labor system that has been successful because has created more than 2.5 million jobs. The 2012 reform that Mariano Rajoy undertook met the demands of an EU then engaged in austerity at all costs. Little by little, unemployment was going down and employment, going up.
Partially abrogated the model, the popular have conspired to proclaim a simple argument, both in national and European forums: “If our model worked, how are we going to support a law that modifies it? Everyone is understanding this, both in Madrid and in Brussels,” indicates a charge of the PP to El Periódico de España. As a reinforcement, they are remembering those 2.5 million jobs created and one more in which they put the accent, according to the version of the PP sources: the number of indefinite contracts for women.
From what the sources consulted say, it is not a specific instruction given by the leader of the PP, but the result of coordinated work. The PP spokesperson in the European popular group, Dolors Montserrat, attends the conclaves of the party’s national leadership and is one of the leader’s most trusted people. This does not exclude that in future meetings a clear decision is made and the activation of a specific strategy is advocated. After all, Casado knows, as Sánchez knows, that a very important battle of stories is being waged in Europe.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.