Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba on Sunday defended his decision once more to sign on to a pact with the government, which is aimed at strengthening Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s position at the June 27 European Union summit.
Speaking to a Madrid Socialist Party (PSM) convention, Rubalcaba compared the pact to soccer rivalries. “This is the same as Real Madrid and Barça. Every Sunday they fight tooth and nail for the number-one spot but when it comes down to defending Spain, Iniesta and Sergio Ramos wear the same shirt,” he said. “Well this is the same thing. We are defending Spain, with social democratic policies.”
Rajoy and Rubalcaba agreed on Wednesday to come together to push European leaders to introduce measures to fight youth unemployment and promote growth in the troubled nations, such as Spain, Greece and Italy. The Catalan nationalist CiU bloc, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), and the Union, Progress and Democracy Party (UPyD) announced they will hold off from signing on to the deal until further negotiations with the PP government and the Socialists are held.
“It is an agreement that we are very comfortable with because we will be defending policies that we have always defended. We don’t want more austerity because it is finishing us off as a country as well as the entire European Union,” Rubalcaba said.
The United Left (IU) coalition has severely criticized the Socialists for agreeing on the deal with the PP.