The second vice president and leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, tries to mark the step as equals with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez. It does so using its public weight and its media power. For example, with the tweet with which he announced the agreement with Bildu a few days ago in an outpost with Arnaldo Otegui or the joint amendment with them and ERC.
The inequality of powers of United We Can (UP) in comparison with PSOE forces them to have to occupy key spaces so as not to be subordinated. They maintain a buried pulse – sometimes it is open – to enter their measurements or leave their mark on others. And they do not hesitate to strongly criticize those who do not believe “progressive.” Although sometimes his steps respond to more effective than effective media coups, the truth is that the vice president has come to transfer an image of a certain autonomy in La Moncloa raising another of a president Sánchez permissive by necessity.
But there is the possibility, and high officials of the PSOE in the Government already warn of this, that once the Budgets are approved, Sánchez strengthens himself and Iglesias loses influence. In this final stretch, the leader of UP has unleashed and multiplied his pulses. A tension that has caused three sparks this week. UP presented on Tuesday an amendment with ERC and Bildu to paralyze evictions and supply cuts until 2022. They had not managed to introduce it in the draft of the coalition and it was the last chance “to force the debate in the PSOE. For this they used those 53 deputies, the “multinational bloc” with which they propose to pressure Sánchez from Congress.
On Wednesday, UP exceeded the diplomatic powers of the PSOE by demanding a referendum in the Sahara in the midst of the migration crisis, which greatly increased the unrest. “This is a disaster,” broke out Socialist ministers, accusing the partners of “disloyalty.” On Friday, the Secretary of State for Agenda 2030, Ione Belarra, reproached Margarita Robles (Defense) for “hurting” the coalition after it warned that Podemos could not “be in the government and in the opposition.”
At the closing of the budget project there was another intense battle. The negotiation dragged on until the evening with the uncertainty of whether it would be presented on the day the president had said. We can press until the last minute to introduce two ideological flags: the commitment of the PSOE to intervene in the “abusive” rental price and “improve” the management of the Minimum Vital Income (IMV). This provision was one of the Executive’s puzzles in the first part of the pandemic. UP fought to promote the “social shield” measures and the IMV as their triumph. They also wanted to apply a “Covid tax” to large fortunes, although it did not materialize.
One of the toughest disputes of the Government was in June, when the PSOE, UP and Bildu agreed in Congress to repeal the Rajoy labor reform. That was a challenge from Iglesias to Ferraz because when the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, exacerbated because she was unaware of the agreement, asked to stop it, Iglesias continued to validate it.
Also from outside the Budget, UP is “pushing” the Government to reform the crimes of sedition and rebellion before the Catalan elections of 14-F. It is a “commitment” of the PSOE in which, according to the departments in charge, “work continues” and in which UP wants to leave its mark, as it would affect the imprisoned leaders of the “procés”.
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