Pedro Sánchez Confidence Debate: Day 1
1. Right, Spain fans, let's go…! Happy 2020. Pedro Sánchez, again, on the eve of the eve of Three Kings Day, with children all over Spain excited about camels and presents, and here we are. He had better say something interesting this morning. He is five minutes late to start.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:06 am | On Twitter
2. The session starts badly, with a bit of Catalan separatist circus as Mr. Alonso Cuevillas attempts to swear allegiance. PP tries to change the subject of the debate to the document of the PSOE drawn up with Esquerra. Speaker accepts Alonso Cuevillas, rejects PP change.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:13 am | On Twitter
3. Gerardo Pisarello, the Colau ally involved in that physical tussle on the balcony of Barcelona City Hall over the flag of Spain, now promoted to First Secretary of Congress of Deputies at the national level, introduces Pedro Sánchez.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:14 am | On Twitter
4. It is 09:10 a.m., on the eve of the eve of Three King's Day and Mr. Sanchez starts with an ideological retort to the chamber that gets him a standing ovation of the whole socialist bench. It's going be a long morning.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:15 am | On Twitter
5. If you missed it last night because you were doing normal things like buying presents for Three Kings Day or chatting with friends, Catalan separatists lowered the Spanish flag at regional government HQ last night:
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:18 am | On Twitter
6. After the two Electoral Commission decisions yesterday—against Torra and Junqueras—Esquerra will hold an executive committee meeting his morning and there will be an extraordinary urgent session in the Catalan Parliament, at the request of the dismissed First Minister.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:22 am | On Twitter
7. The big question is: will Sánchez succeed in being appointed as Prime Minister, in such a festive scenario? Last night, the Spanish Socialist Party, which means to form the next government of Spain, expressed “serious doubts” about the role of the Electoral Commission.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:24 am | On Twitter
8. "Spain and the Constitution will not be broken, the political blockade will be broken", Mr Sánchez has said. He adds that he believes in a social economy, not a market economy.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:28 am | On Twitter
9. Sánchez describes three groups: Catalans separatists who do not feel Spanish, non-separatist Catalans who feel ignored, and Spaniards in the rest of the country who feel rejection towards Catalan separatists.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:36 am | On Twitter
10. Sánchez, on the Catalan situation: "The law alone is not enough. The law is the condition, the path is dialogue".
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:37 am | On Twitter
11. Mr. Sánchez said that he wishes to achieve “broad majorities to solve the biggest problems”. I suppose that is one way to describe a minority coalition supported by the abstention of a Catalan republican separatist party that wants to dismember Spain.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:44 am | On Twitter
12. Mr. Sánchez says he wants to reduce fear and tension among Spaniards.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:46 am | On Twitter
13. After criticising market economies a few minutes ago, Mr Sánchez outlines the first point of the coalition agreement with Podemos, which sounds quite a lot like a market economy.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:49 am | On Twitter
14. Sánchez starts announcing the list of measures we have already seen in the coalition document: minimum wage at 60% of the average wage, 200,000 jobs training places, adapting Spain's economy to the 21st century, “fiscal justice”, “sensible spending”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:56 am | On Twitter
15. Sánchez wants to lead the fourth industrial revolution.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:58 am | On Twitter
16. The candidate for Prime Minister continues to read out a veritable economic shopping list: the self-employed, farmers, fisherman, the 21st Century, globalisation, internationalisation, industry, transversality, efficiency, “the citizen's folder”, “the climate emergency”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:04 am | On Twitter
17. Sánchez announces a Department against Gender Discrimination.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:13 am | On Twitter
18. Here is the full coalition document, if you prefer to read it instead of listening to Mr. Sánchez read it. https://podemos.info/coalicion-progresista/
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:24 am | On Twitter
19. Stimulate private rent while introducing rent controls at the same time as praising the constitutional right to housing and criticising market economies?
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:31 am | On Twitter
20. Sánchez claims Franco exhumation.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:34 am | On Twitter
21. Sánchez announces a fight against disinformation and fake news.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:39 am | On Twitter
22. "This government will honor our flag", says Sánchez. Last night Catalan separatists lowered the Spanish flag in Barcelona.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:41 am | On Twitter
23. Sánchez: "Spain as it is. That is going to be our political project".
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:43 am | On Twitter
24. Sánchez announces the bilateral dialogue group with the Catalan government, “within the constitutional framework”. He also announces more power transfers to the Basque Country.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:45 am | On Twitter
25. “Male and female Prime Ministers", says Sánchez. There haven't been any female Prime Ministers in Spain.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:47 am | On Twitter
26. Mr. Sanchez finishes his speech. Standing ovation from the PSOE benches. He says it will be “an honor” to listen to the proposals of the spokesmen from the other parties.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:54 am | On Twitter
27. Speaker adjourns the session until 12:30 p.m., when opposition parties will reply.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 10:55 am | On Twitter
28. Extraordinary urgent session of the Catalan Parliament officially called for today at 5 p.m., “regarding the attack on the Statute of Catalonia and Catalan institutions”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 11:01 am | On Twitter
29. Casado (PP) opens with “Do you sleep well, Mr. Sánchez?”, in reference to what the candidate for Prime Minister said about the possibility of governing in coalition with Podemos.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 12:37 pm | On Twitter
30. What will Sánchez do in the face of Torra's “flagrant” new “contempt” in Catalonia, Casado asks the chamber. If Torra does not leave “in the next few hours”, Sánchez must now apply Article 155 to suspend home rule in the region again.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 12:40 pm | On Twitter
31. With a bit of deft rhetoric, Casado reminds Sanchez that he said he would not do a deal with Catalan separatists, Podemos or Bildu, and that here he is doing a deal with Catalan separatists, Podemos and Bildu.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 12:45 pm | On Twitter
32. Casado chucks everything at Sanchez: Podemos, Bildu, Catalan separatists, socialist corruption, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, drugs, the nation of nations, a Civil War rhetoric against the Church. “The independence process was over thanks to the law and you have resurrected it”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 12:58 pm | On Twitter
33. Casado: "You can damage our nation, Mr. Sánchez, but you will not be able to finish it off".
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:05 pm | On Twitter
34. Casado ends: Sánchez is heir to Zapatero, bringing enemies of Spain to the government of the nation they want to destroy. He will increase unemployment, will not be able to carry out his social policies and will condemn a new generation of young people to no future.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:13 pm | On Twitter
35. “Thank you very much for the moderation in your speech”, Sánchez replies to Casado: “It's time for you to shave your beard off again”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:15 pm | On Twitter
36. "If the outlook is so terrifying", Mr. Sánchez asks, "why don't you abstain?"
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:25 pm | On Twitter
37. Esquerra sticks with its abstention for Sánchez. It does not switch to “no” in protest at the Electoral Commission's ruling on Junqueras last night.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:31 pm | On Twitter
38. "If a Spaniard doesn't vote for the Popular Party, is he a bad Spaniard?", Mr. Sanchez asks.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:34 pm | On Twitter
39. Sánchez: “Spain is not the PP, the Constitution is not the PP”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:42 pm | On Twitter
40. Casado brings up the economic legacy of Zapatero and the PSOE again, as if this were 2013 and Casado, Rajoy.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:54 pm | On Twitter
41. Casado announces that the PP will challenge any new regional statute that violates the Spanish Constitution in court.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 1:59 pm | On Twitter
42. "Spain will not end tomorrow and nor will the world”, says Sánchez. Esquerra seats in parliament are just as legitimate as those of the PP.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:11 pm | On Twitter
43. Casado says Spain is a horse. Sanchez is the rider rushing the animal to the edge of the cliff.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:13 pm | On Twitter
44. Abascal (Vox) begins with Torra, who is in “total and absolute rebellion”, a “rebel” and “seditious”, he has lowered the Spanish flag, refuses to leave and has called for a session of the Catalan Parliament in an illegitimate manner: “Mr. Quim Torra must be arrested”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:22 pm | On Twitter
45. Sánchez “is a fraud, he is a liar, he is a con man”, says Mr. Abascal, “capable of anything to remain in Moncloa”, “a comic villain”, “an unworthy politician”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:26 pm | On Twitter
46. “More money for political commissioners,” says Abascal about Sánchez's anti-fake news initiative.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:30 pm | On Twitter
47. Abascal suggests that the new government will be able to take advantage of its new remembrance day for the victims of Francoism to apologise for “the crimes of the PSOE” in October 1934, “I have no doubt that you will do a lot of damage”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:35 pm | On Twitter
48. “The distribution of separatist loot”, says Abascal referring to the Basque nationalists. Esquerra is in charge from a prison cell, Sánchez accepts and obeys.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:40 pm | On Twitter
49. Abascal attacks the only MP from Teruel Existe: nothing is worth betraying Spain.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:42 pm | On Twitter
50. Abascal says Morocco spends the money for controlling immigration in tanks and on claiming Spanish territorial waters in the Canary Islands because of the Spanish government's weakness.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:48 pm | On Twitter
51. Sánchez says Abascal seemed to him “more moderate than Mr. Casado”. Replies with gender equality, gender violence, immigration and LGTBI. “You are strong with the weak, and submit to the powerful”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 2:56 pm | On Twitter
52. Sánchez replies to Abascal on gender violence and immigrants with data and statistics, as if his chief advisor Iván Redondo had himself read Bennett's Twitter threads on the subject.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 3:02 pm | On Twitter
53. Abascal: “Mr. Sánchez does not believe in anything at all”, his project is to liquidate Spain in exchange for power.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 3:09 pm | On Twitter
54. Abascal, to Sánchez: “You are a kind man, you can tell when you clamp your jaw like that”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 3:12 pm | On Twitter
55. The Spanish Civil War and other events of a century ago are being mentioned again, this time from Abascal, who is giving the PSOE a lesson on its own history.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 3:16 pm | On Twitter
56. “Spain looks big on you, Mr. Abascal, very big”, says Sánchez, after quoting an Abascal of years past speaking in flattering terms about Spain's regional system.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 3:25 pm | On Twitter
57. Speaker adjourns until…4 p.m. Just 30 minutes for lunch and the siesta.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 3:29 pm | On Twitter
58. Listening to Pablo Iglesias, he now offers friendship to the PSOE, “Mr. Pedro Sánchez”, “Pedro”, “go for it, Prime Minister”, and directs his rhetorical fury against the “far right” and the “far far right”. The “best vaccine” against the “extreme right” is “social justice”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:24 pm | On Twitter
59. Pablo Iglesias ends by “humbly” thanking, from the tribune in parliament, the efforts made by the imprisoned Catalan separatists—from prison—to make this government possible.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:24 pm | On Twitter
60. The tone on the Spanish left has changed since the summer. Now they're all friends.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:26 pm | On Twitter
61. Instead of directing his fury against Pedro Sánchez, as had been the case until now, Pablo Iglesias (Podemos) frames a fight against the “ultra right” and applies his angry tone against Abascal (Vox) and Casado (PP). They are now Team Left.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:29 pm | On Twitter
62. Mr. Asens (En Comú Podem) says the right is not interested in “the Europe of human rights”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:32 pm | On Twitter
63. Asens says the Historic Block is going to govern.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:34 pm | On Twitter
64. Alberto Garzón (United Left) says the right had ignored the measures announced by Pedro Sánchez in the debate this morning.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:35 pm | On Twitter
65. The leader of the communist party says that this confidence vote must be supported so that the economy does not get worse.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:41 pm | On Twitter
66. “For the first time in decades, the lefts in Spain understand each other”, says Mr. Sánchez.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:48 pm | On Twitter
67. Sánchez: “return to politics what is a political conflict”, “return a political crisis to politics and leaving the judicial path behind”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:51 pm | On Twitter
68. Mr. Sánchez says he hopes that in four years time they will all be able to say “We are a Left that was able to govern and did know how to govern Spain”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:56 pm | On Twitter
69. Laura Borrás (Junts) thanks Pablo Iglesias (Podemos) for his recognition from the tribune of the “political prisoners” in jail.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 4:58 pm | On Twitter
70. Borrás (Junts) says Casado yesterday announced “the definitive requiem for Montesquieu in Spain” after publishing the scoop with the decision of the Electoral Commission on Twitter.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:01 pm | On Twitter
71. Borrás (Junts): “You here in Spain have the coexistence problem”, Electoral Commission acts “in a very sovereign and Spanish way”, “we'll go back to our parliament”. I find it hard to understand what she is doing in a foreign parliament she has so much hate and contempt for.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:11 pm | On Twitter
72. Is Torra still First Minister of Catalonia right now? There he is, in the Catalan Parliament.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:17 pm | On Twitter
73. Ana Oramas (Canary Coalition): “We will not allow you to blackmail Canary Islanders”, “your ambition for power is immense”, “there are lines that cannot be crossed. I'm not going to be an accomplice to it”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:21 pm | On Twitter
74. Echenique (Podemos) takes only a few seconds to attack Oramas (Canary Coalition) after she announces she is changing from abstention to a “no” to Sánchez.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:24 pm | On Twitter
75. Baldoví (Compromís) “the judicial infantry”, “the smell of napalm in the morning”, “the Apocalypse”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:28 pm | On Twitter
76. Néstor Rego (BNG, Galician nationalists) defends the historic nation, the national rights and the sovereignty of “our country” Galicia.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:32 pm | On Twitter
77. After Ana Oramas (Coalition Canaria) switches to "no", it seems that the count is at 167-165. If there were another change to “no” by Tuesday, for whatever reason, Mr. Sánchez would have a problem.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:38 pm | On Twitter
78. Guitarte (Teruel Exists) responds to Vox: “Our future will be decided by us”, “Teruel Exists is a citizen movement”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 5:43 pm | On Twitter
79. Sánchez, to Oramas (Canary Coalition): “I regret you are joining those other votes on the far right”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 6:06 pm | On Twitter
80. Borrás (Junts) says that the decisions of the Electoral Commission yesterday were unilateral.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 6:27 pm | On Twitter
81. Baldoví (Compromís, Valencia) tells Guitarte (Teruel Exist) not to pay any attention at all to “dirty old nationalists”, in reference to Vox.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 6:42 pm | On Twitter
82. Sánchez, to Borrás (Junts), before the Junts MPs leave for Catalonia: “we have to abandon the judicial option definitively”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 6:48 pm | On Twitter
83. Rufián (ERC) goes over Sánchez's constant changes towards Catalan separatists over the past two years, with quotes from Sánchez. What's the reason for today's twist? “We have a feral right”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:07 pm | On Twitter
84. Rufián (ERC): “Almost 100 years in jail for nine democrats because of a referendum”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:09 pm | On Twitter
85. Rufián is trolling the right (and how many PSOE MPs…?) by reading out the details of the bilateral agreement that Esquerra has signed with Sánchez on Catalonia.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:16 pm | On Twitter
86. Rufián (ERC): “If there is no dialogue group, there will be no parliament”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:18 pm | On Twitter
87. After that beating from Rufián, Sánchez thanks Josep María Jové from the tribune, the same Jové of Jové's Moleskine Diary from the Supreme Court trial last year, still charged and still to be tried for the events of 2017 in Catalonia.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:27 pm | On Twitter
88. Rufián (ERC): “What is identity? […] I do not renounce Machado, I do not renounce Cervantes, I do not renounce Rosalia”. To Sánchez: “Welcome back to the path of dialogue”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:45 pm | On Twitter
89. Arrimadas (Ciudadanos): a “historic” day given Sánchez's opener assuring that “Spain and the Constitution will not be broken”. This agreement is “infamous”, says the new leader of Ciudadanos.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:47 pm | On Twitter
90. Arrimadas (Ciudadanos): today a constitutionalist agreement could have been arrived at, “the most reasonable thing”, “a great constitutionalist deal”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:49 pm | On Twitter
91. Arrimadas says that Sánchez “thinks so much in the short term that he is thinking about Tuesday” and “doesn't know” how he will then pass new laws.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 7:56 pm | On Twitter
92. Arrimadas: does Sánchez really think Basque nationalists "are progressive because they suck up to him and tell him they will vote yes”? They have negotiated on behalf of Navarra, which “is a precedent” for a future negotiation by Esquerra on behalf of Catalan Countries.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:09 pm | On Twitter
93. Intelligent speech from Arrimadas. Will she be able to reverse Ciudadanos' collapse to 10 seats?
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:12 pm | On Twitter
94. There is a risk that the PSOE will today turn into the PS, says Arrimadas: “the Sánchez Party”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:17 pm | On Twitter
95. “New Year, old rhetoric”, Sánchez replies to Arrimadas, “you are still blocking”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:25 pm | On Twitter
96. “Why don't you try something in the centre, see if it works?” , Sánchez asks Arrimadas.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:29 pm | On Twitter
97. Arrimadas, to Sánchez: “Why do you show such contempt towards constitutionalist voters and treat nationalist voters so well? Why?”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:39 pm | On Twitter
98. Arrimadas, to Sánchez: “You are instability”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:41 pm | On Twitter
99. “Months wasted”, says Aitor Esteban (PNV) and now all of a sudden “Fast and Furious”, but “we must all congratulate ourselves”, even those who are going to vote against Sánchez. The alternative is institutional paralysis, which is undesirable in the life of a country.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:58 pm | On Twitter
100. The Basque nationalist MP has been watching Moneyball.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 8:59 pm | On Twitter
101. Mr. Esteban (PNV) moves on from Brad Pitt and Moneyball to Matt Damon and the Good Shepherd. Focus, honourable gentleman, the chamber has now been debating for 12 hours…
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:03 pm | On Twitter
102. Esteban (PNV): “the country is not a rock”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:04 pm | On Twitter
103. Watch out, Basque nationalists (PNV) want Sánchez to “go through doors that have not yet been explored”. He sees it as “an opportunity”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:08 pm | On Twitter
104. Sánchez: “We have many challenges ahead indeed”.
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:31 pm | On Twitter
105. Speaker adjourns until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. 12.5 hours of debate today. Thank you for reading and for guaranteeing this independent journalism. Everybody go and get dinner! https://www.patreon.com/join/matthewbennett
Published: Jan 04, 2020, 9:36 pm | On Twitter
Get original, detailed, independent reporting and analysis of the stories changing Spain. Full-text articles delivered right to your inbox, in English. You can also choose to get them in Spanish. No ads, no spam. Just readers.