ISSN 2330-717X

Spain: PM Sánchez Says Economic Data Shows ‘Validity And Effectiveness’ Of Government’s Response To War

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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez highlighted in the Lower House of Parliament the growth of GDP and employment and the better evolution of prices compared to the rest of Europe. He also pointed out that Spain is the only country that has already received the second disbursement of recovery funds.

In the parliamentary Executive control session, Pedro Sánchez maintained that the Government of Spain is applying a National Plan of response to the consequences of the war in Ukraine that is “clear” and is based on two pillars: “the protection of the social majority” and “a reform agenda to enable our economy to become much more competitive in the near future”.

In his reply to Concepción Gamarra, a member of the People’s Parliamentary Group, the Prime Minister pointed out that Spain has 20.5 million national insurance contributors, figures that have not been reached since before the financial crisis, and that the economy will grow this year by over 4%, “well above the European average”. The latest data on inflation, he added, also “certify the validity and effectiveness” of the measures being implemented by the Executive: it is the lowest rate in Europe, with the exception of France, and Spain has a favourable inflation differential with respect to the European Union average of three and a half points, the highest since this harmonised reference index has come into effect.

Pedro Sánchez maintained that the evolution of events and the stance of international organisations also demonstrate that the government has been right in its tax policy, the establishment of a tax on large energy companies, the “Iberian solution” to limiting the price of gas and free public transport.

“Despite the difficulties and its denialist opposition, this government is moving forward and protecting the social majority of the country,” said Sánchez, who called on the opposition to fulfil its constitutional obligation to renew the General Council of the Judiciary.

Leadership in European funds

Sánchez said that the Government “is meeting and executing the milestones and objectives set out in the Recovery Plan”, an issue raised by Aitor Esteban, a member of the Basque Parliamentary Group.

These European funds, Sánchez explained, are a new instrument that was designed in the context of the pandemic and is based on completely different rules to those governing the cohesion funds, and has therefore been “a great challenge” for all public administrations. “Nonetheless, there are the facts: we are the most advanced country of the 27 member states and the only one that has already received the second disbursement of the second disbursement. We are talking about more than 30,000 million euros, which represents 45% of the transfers that correspond to Spain between now and 2026”, he pointed out.

Sánchez underlined the contribution of the funds to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – almost two points of this year’s growth are related to the implementation of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan- and recalled that the most important instrument for its deployment in 2023 is the General State Budgets that are being processed in the Spanish Parliament.

He also detailed that the eleven strategic projects approved total 31,000 million euros – 2,500 million corresponding to calls that have already been resolved – and that, in the years 2021 and 2022, 19,000 million euros of the plan were distributed through 116 sectoral conferences, through agreements and direct concessions.

Advances in rights and freedoms

Regarding rights legislation, Sánchez reaffirmed the Government of Spain’s willingness to further develop its agenda for progress in this area.

In his reply to Mertxe Aizpurua, a member of the Euskal Herria Bildu parliamentary group, Sánchez pointed out that the Law on the Right to Housing, the Law for the Equality of Transgender People and the Guarantee of LGTBI rights and the modification of the Law on Citizen Security are already in the Lower House of Parliament. The Government of Spain has complied and it is now up to the parliamentary groups to process these regulations, seeking a point of balance between the majority of the legislative chamber, argued the Chief Executive.

Sánchez also reviewed other initiatives adopted by the Executive to extend rights and freedoms, such as the euthanasia regulation, the reversal of the cuts in the national dependency system and the Mental Health Action Plan. “We are going to fulfil our commitment, and fulfilling our commitment means making laws that benefit the social majority of the country,” he said.

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