Podemos rejects latest offer from PSOE in search of investiture support

Party leader Pablo Iglesias calls document a “copy paste” of their deal with Ciudadanos

Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias.
Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias.Uly Martín

The leader of left-wing anti-austerity group Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, made it clear on Monday that his party would not be considering the latest offer from the Socialist Party (PSOE) secretary general, Pedro Sánchez, in a bid to win support for his investiture as prime minister.

“The PSOE has sent us a number of documents that are merely copied and pasted from their agreement with Ciudadanos, hiding the most shameful measures,” Iglesias wrote on his Twitter account. “This is not serious.”

The Podemos economy secretary stated that the chances of an agreement between his party and PSOE and Ciudadanos are practically zero

The Podemos chief was referring to a deal reached between the PSOE and Ciudadanos last week, as part of ongoing negotiations to form a government after the December 20 general elections left no clear winner. While the incumbent Popular Party (PP) won the most votes at the polls, it fell short of a majority, and its leader, acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, has failed to find support for this week’s investiture vote in Congress. Instead the PSOE and emerging center-right group Ciudadanos last Wednesday signed a wide-ranging policy agreement aimed at forming a minority government. But in order to be successful, the two parties will need either the support or abstention of other groups.

Sánchez replied to Iglesias’s tweet on the same social networking site, saying: “It is down to you as to whether these measures begin a government of change. It would not be serious for [Mariano] Rajoy to continue.”

The Podemos economy secretary, Nacho Álvarez, also stated that the chances of an agreement between his party and PSOE and Ciudadanos are practically zero, which will make it very difficult for Sánchez to be voted in as prime minister at the investiture sessions in Congress, which will begin tomorrow and conclude with a midnight vote on Friday. “It’s a document with which, as is well known, we fundamentally disagree,” said Álvarez. “It will be very difficult to come up with an advanced social policy, one that will get back the rights that have been lost, based on the agreement with Ciudadanos, which is a kind of austerity-light.

“If the agreement reached with Ciudadanos is not modified, the document will be incoherent and unacceptable,” he concluded.

The PSOE had placed special focus in its offer to Podemos on measures it qualified as addressing “social emergencies”

The Catalan allies of Podemos, Comú Podem, also poked fun at the document sent by the PSOE. “Great work in changing the front cover, but with barely any proposals for Catalonia,” the coalition stated. The Galician partners of Podemos, En Marea, also rejected the offer. “En Marea and local citizens know how to tell the difference between proposals for Galicia and empty words.”

The PSOE had placed special focus in its offer to Podemos on measures it qualified as addressing “social emergencies.” This nod to Iglesias’s party, which presented a proposal for a law to tackle what it views as Spain’s current state of social emergency, includes a battery of measures aimed at dealing with inequality. These include setting a minimum level for social benefits, guaranteed water supplies for those living in poverty and alternative accommodation for those who have lost their homes.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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