ISSN 2330-717X

Spain: PM Sánchez Says ‘Pandemic Won’t Halt Social Conquests’

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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for unity and consensus between the political forces to channel the economic recovery and definitively overcome the pandemic.

During his speech at the government control session in the Lower House of Parliament on Wednesday and in response to the MP from the Basque Parliamentary Group, Aitor Esteban, the President of the Government expressed his “satisfaction at the evolution and development of the coalition government”, because it is tackling an unprecedented situation.

Pedro Sánchez claimed that his duty is to guarantee the political and institutional stability that the country deserves and needs for the next three years, while preserving the unity of action of the progressive forces.

Sánchez maintained that Spain needs a progressive agenda to address the digital and ecological transitions and the change in the world order. With this aim in mind, he called for the unity our citizens are asking for to “channel the economic recovery and definitively overcome the pandemic”.

Commitment to education, housing and jobs

The President of the Government stated to the MP for the Euskal Herria Bildu Parliamentary Group, who asked after the reality for young people, that the government will make a decisive and unequivocal commitment to education. “Without education, there is no future”.

Pedro Sánchez highlighted that the National Budget will provide unprecedented resources for grant policies to modernise vocational training. He also committed to reducing the school drop-out rate in order to lower the rate of youth unemployment.

The Prime Minister also stated that he trusts a consensus will be reached on housing policy within the coalition government. “We will finally have the first State Housing Act, which will also be a milestone in this term of office”.

On the matter of employment policy, Pedro Sánchez considered it essential to strengthen the consensus with the social stakeholders to reform the job market. One of the main tasks, he said, “is to reform and structure training contracts”, something that will positively affect young people.

Pedro Sánchez added that a proposal has been made to create an Internship Statute to strengthen research careers in the field of teaching and science.

“I believe that there are a great many social conquests ahead of us to achieve and the pandemic must not be allowed to halt them”, he concluded.

170 reforms in six years

The President of the Government explained that the government has presented the European Commission, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, with 160 reforms to be undertaken in six years, which must be addressed through the ecological and digital transition of the economy, the energy system, the education system and vocational training, and at an employment level.

This was the response by Pedro Sánchez to the MP for the People’s Parliamentary Group in the Lower House, Pablo Casado, who had asked him about the reforms the government proposed to undertake. The Prime Minister invited him to reach agreements to be able to tackle challenges “to the benefit of everyone”.

Pedro Sánchez also described guaranteeing the sustainability of the social security accounts and pensions as a “challenge”, along with lowering the structural deficit which is above the European average.

As regards the pandemic and its economic consequences, Sanchez recalled that resources have been allocated equivalent to 20% of GDP to help and support the worst affected sectors, including tourism, hotel and catering, and leisure and culture.

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