Spanish sadness



The election campaign in the Pyrenees is turning into a farce.

With a stone face and a heavy heart, the Spanish Prime Minister announced the holding of early parliamentary elections and scheduled them for July 23. It happened at the end of May, the day after the crushing defeat of the Socialists, whose leader he is, in municipal elections. The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party lost six of the 10 districts that the Socialist Workers' Party had governed, either directly or in coalition, and lost Valencia and Seville, the country's third and fourth cities.

The future elections and premiership of the country are interesting not only for Spaniards. From July 1, the country will preside over the EU for six months, and then, in the first half of 2024, elections will be held in the European Union and it is still unknown what and how it will be there. And in the second half of the year Hungary will take over the presidency, followed by Poland. These are not the most cooperative EU countries.

On this occasion, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Spain and left Prime Minister Sánchez with a list of good deeds for the next six months. It also includes the important Migration Pact, which could not be adopted under the Swedish presidency in the previous period, and Spain is very interested in it.

Pedro Sánchez's premiership was in danger immediately after he lost the municipal elections, and if not for the broadest left-wing coalition, it would have remained so to this day. At the same time, leftists of all stripes shuffled slogans like "stop the reactionaries," "break the ultra-conservative wave against the breakwater," "build a wall in the way of the extreme right," and generally competed in PR eloquence, although no extreme right, at least at the level of France or Italy, had ever been heard of here.

It's just that the People's Party, the Socialists' main rival, is the heir to the Francoist system, and many of its leaders are usually the children or grandchildren of the former top brass. True, it is about the reformist wing, which wanted to put Spain on a democratic path after Franco's death in 1975, but why bother with such details. The far-right. It's clear and that's it.

And then Yolanda Diaz, deputy prime minister, minister of labor and simply a communist, comes to the forefront of the leftist alliance. She heads the Sumar party, which, according to polls, could become the third party in the country. Diaz is creating the broadest in the country's history platform of 15 leftist parties.

But to start with, she proposed giving every Spaniard who reaches adulthood 20,000 euros.

"This will help the young get educated, leave their parents' home, and generally get back on their feet," Diaz wrote on her Twitter. – "We'll fund it with an unprecedented new tax on large fortunes. It will also allow us to reduce inequality between the poor and the rich."

All this will cost 10 billion euros a year. And it would have been all right if everyone had laughed, but they reduced it to the level of an anecdote and forgot about it. But Spanish politicians began to discuss the matter seriously.

Another deputy prime minister, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino of the Socialist Party, says that "the proposal is irresponsible because no allowance, aid or subsidy can be given in unlimited quantities."

Sumar's allies, the extreme-left bloc from Valencia are in favor of handouts in principle, but only to the needy. The conservative People's Party ironically asks: "Wouldn't it be better to pay scholarships to those who deserve them than to hand them out according to age?"

Diaz's adventures don't end there. She appoints a transgender senora as her public relations representative on gender equality issues.

"For the LGBT community, this choice might be understandable, but most women do not associate themselves with these kinds of characters," says television commentator Rafael Narbona.

While Diaz was building the coalition, the next problem arose. The Podemos party had to be included at all costs, otherwise the right-wing party would get an unqualified majority. But Irene Montero, the friend of the party's historic leader and Minister of Equality, is the author of the law on sexual violence, which has made a lot of noise in the Pyrenees. It was necessary to abstract from her at all costs and exclude her from the unity process.

This law, passed last year, was called "Only Yes Means Yes." Before it, the victim had to prove that there was coercion or aggression. Now it's changed. The accused has to prove that there was consent. Moreover, there were definitions of sexual abusive with lenient sentences and aggression with harsher ones. Now they have merged everything into one, i.e. only cases of aggression are recognized by the court.

Further, in the Spanish Criminal Code, all the penalties that existed for different types of sexual offenses had to be revised, and the minimum sentencing bar was lowered even further. As a result, hundreds of convicts demanded review of their cases retroactively (this is possible), and about a thousand people were released.

In the end, Podemos decided not to take any chances and, having evaluated their electoral prospects, to dissolve into Sumar's leftist platform. This gives such an unprecedented leftist coalition a chance to win and thus continue Sánchez's premiership.