Transfers and economic measures fuel the electoral debate


Congressional candidates Aitor Esteban (EAJ/PNV), Patxi López (PSE-EE), Mertxe Aizpurua (EH Bildu), Lander Martínez (Sumar) and Javier de Andrés (PP) presented their proposals in a television room that lasted about an hour. long.

With their sights set on the elections to the Spanish Parliament next Sunday, July 23, the political parties represented four years ago in the elections in the Autonomous Region of Euskadi explained and discussed their proposals in the “Debate”broadcast on ETB-2, Radio Euskadi, and on ETB-4 with sign language.

Aitor Estebancandidate for the EAJ/PNV Congress of Delegates for Bizkaia; paxi lopezPSE-EE candidate for Bizkaia; Mertxe AizpuruaEH Bildu candidate for Gipuzkoa; Lander MartinezSumar candidate for Bizkaia, and Javier de AndresPP candidate for Álava, were the candidates who defended their ideas in a program led by Xabier Ormazabal.

The debate is structured in three main blocks: The Basque agenda, the economy and post-electoral pacts. At the beginning of each block, each candidate presented their party’s proposal in 30 seconds and immediately afterwards they exchanged views. As usual, they ended with “the golden minute” to ask the citizens for a vote. The big deviations have come around delegated powers to the Basque institutions and the economic measures that the government of Pedro Sánchez has taken this last term of office.

The Basque Calendar

The PNV candidate has been in charge of opening the bloc on the Basque agenda. In his speech, he pledged to “defend self-government, stimulate the economy, protect our industry, and defend all laws related to human rights and freedoms.”

López has defended that Basque citizens have “benefited from the fact that there is a progressive government in Madrid”. He has stated that the Basque agenda is to “increase the pensions of the 380,000 pensioners in the Basque Country”, raise the minimum wage “by more than 46%” or that “indefinite contracts have been increased by 138%”, “thanks to the labor reform”.

The Basque agenda that EH Bildu will defend in Madrid is organized in two ways, according to Aizpurua. On the one hand, there is “the Basque social agenda, which responds to people’s concerns and offers solutions to their problems”; and on the other hand, “the defense of self-government, as a means to a better life”. He has assured that “many and important achievements” have been achieved in both lines in these years.

Sumar’s candidate understands the Basque agenda “as anything that can improve the lives of Basque men and women”, such as “housing, industrial policies based on sustainability or promoting green industry jobs”. He ended his speech by asking, “what chance does the Basque agenda have if Mr. Abascal is vice president?”

For the People’s Party, “we must create a Basque agenda committed to the needs of Euskadi”. According to him, the agreements reached by the rest of the parties in the last legislature have led to “12,400 jobs lost in the Basque industry and 2,400 fewer self-employed people in Euskadi”.

In the debate of this block, the biggest differences arose around the Powers transferred to Basque institutions: López and Esteban, each for their part, have defended that their parties have been the architects of said transfers. The Socialist has stressed that “11 transfers” have been achieved, compared to “none” achieved “during Rajoy’s governments”, while Jeltzale’s representative has criticized the Socialists for not keeping to “the calendar they have set themselves imposed”.

Aizpurua has defended that “skills are not an end in themselves, but a means” and that you “have to work on them well” afterwards. In this sense he has given as an example “the decline” of Osakidetza.

Martínez has reproached the PNV that “when there has been an opportunity to improve” what had already been transferred, using the Housing Act as an example, “they have decided to vote against”.

Economy: which economic model to promote?

López has been in charge of opening the economic bloc. In his words, the Sánchez government has “succeeded in demonstrating” that, in order to face the situations caused by the latest crises, “it is not necessary to abandon anyone”. In contrast, he has accused the PP of “saving the banks and failing the citizens” during the 2008 crisis.

In the words of the EH Bildu candidate, “to talk about the economy is to talk about the well-being of individuals and families.” He defended establishing “taxes for those who have the most and a social shield that protects those who need it most”. In his interventions, he has promised to promote the industrial and economic fabric of the Basque Country by helping SMEs, for which he has requested an industry law and a social economy law.

Martínez has defended Yolanda Díaz’s management at the Department of Labor, highlighting the increase in the minimum wage. However, he causes them to be non-compliant; “We need to increase purchasing power and limit the rise in mortgages and prices,” he said.

According to the popular candidate, the economic model needs to be changed and he defends “returning the focus to investment”.

Finally, Esteban has emphasized that over the years the PNV has been negotiating “the renewal of the economic agreement and the quotas to ensure” sufficient resources to run public services and help companies. requested that they be managed from the autonomys.

Next one, the measures adopted in the last legislature have fueled the debatemainly between López, Martínez and De Andrés.

The popular candidate assured that “the workers have lost 6% in purchasing power in recent years” and accused the government-forming parties of not knowing the situation of the self-employed: “they have imposed more social contributions on them, more taxes and bureaucratic obstacles.

Martínez’s response was that “the Rajoy government has increased the debt by 63%, while the Progressive government has increased it by 18%”. He has asked to compare the 2008 and post-pandemic crises to verify “what the outcome has been for workers and laborers in both cases”.

For his part, López has reiterated that during the Popular Party governments “all benefits were cut, weakening the welfare state”. “They privately subsidize it to destroy the public,” he said. Likewise, he wanted to remind De Andrés that Spain is “the first country to cut inflation below 2%” and that “it cannot be denied” that it is the “economy that is growing the most”.

Agreements and coalitions

The first to speak in this block was EH Bildu’s candidate. She has emphatically stated that “Basque citizens do not want right-wing governments” and promises that, if it depends on them, “Spanish right will not achieve any government”.

Sumar’s candidate believes that these elections are “between two blocs”. According to his view, the possible options are that “PP and VOX form a government” or “a progressive government with Yolanda Díaz in it”. He encourages the undecided to leave the house, to “foster the changes that have taken corruption out of institutions and improve the inter-professional minimum wage”.

Meanwhile, De Andrés also sees two blocking these elections. He assures that PNV, PSOE, EH Bildu and Sumar “form a bloc with only one candidate, Mr. Sánchez. But there is another option, that of Feijoó.” According to him, “what the Basque Country needs is not more government spending, more debt and more commitments from customers.” After listening to the accusations of the rest that the PP has “normalized VOX”, De Andrés replied that “the immoral thing is what the PSOE has done, in line with EH Bildu”.

Esteban wanted to clarify what EAJ/PNV’s two guiding principles are in this matter: he affirms that they will not sign anything with “VOX or those associated with VOX” and that they will not give a “blank check” to anyone” “We are nobody’s crutch, the reference is Euskadi,” he condemned.

According to the socialist candidate, “there will not be an absolute majority in these elections and agreements will be essential.” He believes that two options will emerge from the polls: “a progressive government led by Pedro Sánchez or a far-right alliance between the PP and VOX, who want to take us to at least 39”.

Source: EITB


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