The declaration of war came by mail. When all the expectation was put in knowing the names agreed by PSOE and PP to renew the institutions, on Thursday night, an email set fire to the routine in the Ministry of Labor. The economic vice presidency reported in that message that the labor reform negotiations will be coordinated by Nadia Calvin hereinafter. Yolanda Diaz, which in the last five months has led this dialogue, is therefore relieved of that function and from now on it will participate like any other affected ministry. The replacement is not a minor issue: the labor reform is the star project of the purple ones, the jewel in the crown that they shielded in writing in the coalition agreement, the issue in which Díaz has turned in the last five months and one of the pillars of the legislature.
The email caused surprise and discomfort. Work responded to the economic vice presidency with another email in which he expressed his amazement. There was no answer. Late at night, a call from Díaz to Moncloa got few more explanations. It seemed that Calviño had acted on his own, without directives. Early on Friday morning the Ministry of Economy receives a second work email. Those of Díaz demand a meeting of the monitoring commission of the Government agreement. But they do not receive any answer either. It is then that the Secretary General of the United We Can, Ione Grass, write a tweet in which he demands an urgent meeting to verify if the terms of the coalition pact are being violated. The confrontation between Díaz and Calviño comes to light. It is the last shock of many and it is the most serious.
“There is no meddling”
The confrontation monopolizes the press conference of Pedro Sanchez in Brussels. The president denies that there is any confrontation and argues that a project of the magnitude of the labor reform involves at least five ministries, so it is logical in this approach that it is the economic vice presidency that leads the negotiation. “There is no interference, what there is is coordination”, explains, and defends that all affected departments should be in dialogue. It is not about “meddling or intervening,” he says, but about “collaborating.” Sources from the socialist wing of the Government try to reduce the drama of the clash, insist on the idea of interdepartmental collaboration and assure that there is no strategy to corner Díaz and prevent him from taking the laurels of the labor reform.
After following the appearance of the president, however, among the purple ones there is no longer any doubt that the socialist part of the Executive has planned an operation to remove Diaz and that Calviño has not acted on his own. “It is a very serious matter,” they maintain. “What will happen on wednesday, at the social dialogue meeting? Will five ministers sit down to defend the government’s position? “They ask. United We can sources recall that, under this rigorous prism, Díaz should attend the negotiation of pensions, or all those related to the energy transition, and that the same would happen. with the Ministry of Equality The question is whether it would be operative for all the ministers to sit at the table of all the negotiations that, in one way or another, end up affecting their departments.
Sticks on wheels
Sources close to Díaz deny that there has been a lack of coordination in these five months of negotiation. They insist that Labor has informed the Government of all the conversations regarding the labor reform at this time and they assure that it is easy to prove documentary because that information has been shared by mail. Therefore, they rule out that Díaz could be removed due to lack of coordination and see other reasons for the socialist wing of the Government to try to relieve her.
They have doubts that Sánchez is firm in his commitment to overthrow the labor reform and recall that they had to push to include that project in the coalition pact because it was one of the most friction elements: the PSOE proposed to withdraw the most harmful aspects of the legislation approved by the PP, while United We can demand the repeal. In that origin and the corsets that Calviño has been putting on this issue in almost two years of the legislature, they base their fears on a slowdown in the negotiation.
The context does not particularly favor this explanation, however. The president promised in his closing speech of the 40th Federal Congress of the PSOE, last Sunday, to put “final point” to the labor reform of the PP. And this same Friday he promised again that it will be ready before the end of the year, as Brussels demands, so that it seems implausible that he wants to stop it while he publicly agrees to approve it in a matter of a month and a half.
The reasons for the replacement of Díaz at the head of the negotiation are open to reflection. Nobody is aware that the Minister of Labor is the member of the Government best valued by public opinion, according to the latest barometer of the Center for Sociological Research (CIS), which is trying to weave a project to the left of the PSOE, and that labor reform is a great flag to fly in the next elections.
In the immediate term, Díaz closes the CCOO congress this Saturday, a comfortable space to leave a message to the socialist wing of the Government. Meanwhile, the United We Can leadership and the PSOE Organization secretariat are trying to close a date for the meeting of the committee to monitor the coalition agreement. In any case, despite the fact that the clash causes enormous discomfort among the purple ones, the two partners have become used to living together in permanent tension and no one fears for the continuity of the alliance.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.