politics

Labor and education will not be part of national pact, says Rubalcaba

"Our position is different from that of the PP," says opposition leader

Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba speaking in Jaén on Saturday.
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba speaking in Jaén on Saturday. Jose Manuel Pedrosa / EFE

Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba explained on Sunday that his proposed pact with the government is aimed at helping Spain emerge from the crisis, but insisted that the opposition would draw fine lines with the Popular Party (PP) when it comes to domestic policies such as labor and education reform.

“Our Socialist Party is concerned about Spain — we have been this way since we were in government and we continue now that we are in the opposition. Our position is different from that of the PP,” Rubalcaba said during the Basque Socialist’s annual Rose Party event, which was held in Durango.

Last week, Rubalcaba announced that he spoke with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to offer his party’s cooperation later this month when the Spanish leader will meet his counterparts in Brussels to discuss a package of recommendations on stability, growth and jobs designed for 23 nations in the bloc.

The opposition leader said that he wants Rajoy to go to Brussels with the backing of the Socialists.

While his offer was welcomed by Rajoy, Popular Party secretary general María Dolores de Cospedal again on Sunday expressed doubts that the Socialists are serious. “It would be a great idea if the Socialists and the rest of the opposition go to work for Spain, but they need to be more upfront. They can’t say one day that they want a pact, and then the next they vote against us,” she said in Seville.

Rubalcaba said that his party would not approve Rajoy’s education and labor reforms without negotiations because both measures do not provide equality for all those involved.