Pedro Sánchez, Reyes Maroto and Juan Lobato, during the PSOE rally in the Villaverde district of Madrid this Saturday.FERNANDO VILLAR (EFE)
Amid strong internal tensions in his government over plans to reform the yes-is-yes law, Pedro Sánchez this Saturday avoided any allusion to the matter in order to focus on justifying his economic policy and linking it to that of yes confront PP. The President attended a rally in Madrid to introduce the capital’s minister and candidate for mayor, Reyes Maroto, to socialist militancy. During the event, Sánchez confirmed the management of his executive in the face of a series of disasters that have occurred in recent years – the pandemic, the volcanic eruption on La Palma, the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine – and grappled with the management, what the PP made out of the 2008 crisis: “While others were bailing out bankrupt banks and introducing cuts to the welfare state, we are now exporting to Europe as Iberian exceptions,” he said, alluding to capping the price of gas used to generate electricity will be used to mitigate the price increase. Seven ministers covered Maroto red-handed.
The comparison between these two economic policies – the way Mariano Rajoy’s government dealt with the great recession of 2008 and that of the Sánchez executive in the face of the current crisis – will continue during the municipal and regional election campaigns on May 28, which unofficially started weeks ago. “In 2013 in Spain unemployment was 26%, youth unemployment was over 50%, many had emigrated… Now unemployment is still the highest in the EU [12,6%]but it’s half of what they left us!” the President claimed.
“This government has imposed a tax on large financial companies, while increasing the minimum wage by another 8% and upgrading pensions by 8.5%: this is the difference with the PP,” stressed Sánchez in a week in which Spanish banks participated in the Exchange reported combined profits of nearly €21,000 million in 2022, up 25% year-on-year. In his very economic speech, the PSOE leader stressed that the PP had spent two years proclaiming the economic apocalypse and that Spain had nevertheless grown by 5.5%. “Of course we have problems, but Spain are making progress. What has no cure is this opposition that has changed its facade but remains the same or worse on the inside.
Management in times of crisis is the testimony with which Maroto, who still holds the portfolio of Industry Minister, is running in the Spanish capital. The challenge it faces is enormous: to revive the PSOE, which fell as a fourth force in 2019, in one of the great bastions of the right, where the Socialists have not held the mayoral office since 1989. “You have this mayor here. I can be, we will win! For this I need you: the whole force of socialism must go to the polls on May 28,” Maroto demanded during the event, which was attended by about 1,500 militants and supporters of the PSOE. The candidate was supported by seven ministers: Vice-Presidents Nadia Calviño (Economy) and Teresa Ribera (Ecological Transition), Félix Bolaños (Presidency), Fernando Grande-Marlaska (Interior), José Manuel Albares (External), Margarita Robles (Defense) and Pilar Llop (Justice). The majority of the 60 mayors of the PSOE in the Autonomous Community of Madrid also took part.
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“Reyes Maroto is an example of management and solvency. It’s the future and a strong commitment to Madrid. Should they ask in Palencia where he saved the biscuit factories while the PP and Vox were more concerned with curtailing women’s rights,” said Juan Lobato, general secretary of the Madrid PSOE and regional candidate. Sánchez added: “On behalf of the entire government, I have to tell you that we will miss you very much. You were one of the best Ministers of Industry, Trade and Tourism”.
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