Thursday, May 26

The Government, touched by internal friction, faces a new stage with the departure of Iglesias

Yolanda Díaz and Pablo Iglesias.

The arrival of Yolanda Díaz as the visible head of United We Can in the Government will mark a new stage in the functioning of the coalition, touched after months of friction and pressure that is taken for granted that will continue, although the socialists trust that they will be aired to a lesser extent.

The departure of the leader of Podemos occurs in a delicate moment for the coalition, in full confrontation between Iglesias and the PSOE for the regulation of rent – “red line” for the purple formation – and on the verge of which Díaz frees his great battle: the repeal of the labor reform of the PP.

Sources from the socialist wing of the Government understand that, broadly speaking, United We can positions will be the same regardless of who is the president’s main interlocutor Pedro Sánchez, but they do point out that Díaz and Iglesias, so far, have resolved the conflicts differently.

While the Socialists attribute to the Minister of Labor a profile inclined to the pact, in Iglesias they see a politician who is more interested in activism than in management, which is why in the PSOE they fear what role the current vice president will seek to exercise from outside the Government.

Nor is it defined in what terms, with what forms and objectives Díaz will assume the Vice Presidency, a matter that for the moment she refuses to speak because – according to her environment – she continues to focus on her tasks as Minister of Labor and specifically in the negotiations for the repeal of the labor reform.

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Sources close to the minister note that Díaz has always avoided the “foreground”, which is why he was not inclined to assume the leadership of United We Can.

In fact, although in Labor they do not speak of this extreme, several sources point out that both she and the future Minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, Ione Belarra, knew the same day of the official announcement of the departure of Iglesias, an operation that he designed with a very small group of collaborators.

The one who will be the candidate of Podemos to the Community of Madrid he assumed that Díaz would be second vice president, just as he had been, but the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, raised a nuance: take her to the Third Vice Presidency so as not to leave her above Nadia Calviño.

Iglesias consulted this idea with Díaz, who did not hesitate for a minute and asked Iglesias to accept Sánchez’s proposal, whereupon he respected his decision.

Diaz understood that we must fight for the policies that the Executive carries out, and not by whether it is “number two or three” in the ranking because those attitudes do not correspond to feminist policies, explained sources close to the minister.

The truth is that these surprising changes coincide with a time when Díaz, as Minister of Labor, has opened negotiations with social agents to repeal the labor reform, an objective that Calviño despises. “You have to stop looking at the past and look to the future,” he said.

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In parallel, Iglesias redoubles the pressure for the Socialists to modify their proposal for the housing law that omits the cap on the rental price in the terms in which both partners agreed in the investiture agreement.

This same Sunday the vice president will share an act on this matter with the Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, who has piloted the negotiation with the PSOE, while Díaz is still in profile on this matter.

United We can see an inalienable objective in the regulation of the rental price and he warns the PSOE that his proposal will not go ahead unless the Socialists decide to “change partners” in the Government and ally with the PP.

“It is signed, Pedro Sánchez and I signed it in front of all Spaniards, he cannot lie to citizens in the face. We are going to reach an agreement,” Iglesias said in this regard.

The vice president, who will leave his seat in Congress before the elections, has given a “kick to the board” with which a speaker wins to confront the extreme right but also with the PSOE from outside the Government. It remains to be seen how that voice is matched with that of Díaz, called to be the candidate for the generals.

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