Sánchez suffers first parliamentary defeat in surreal session of Congress: “The government is making a fool of itself”, says opposition leader

SanchezPedro Sánchez

Yesterday, Congress voted on three Decree Laws, to which the only thing to say was yes or no. The government saved two of them after agonising negotiations in which Junts, the party of the fugitive Puigdemont, obtained new and important concessions. These were: giving the Generalitat control of immigration; “shielding” the amnesty by annulling an article of a European directive that obliges the suspension of new laws that are questioned by judges before the European Court of Justice; fomenting the return of the 8,000 companies that left Catalonia since the beginning of the independence process; and paying for free transport in Catalonia.

But they did not manage to validate the third, which reformed unemployment benefits, due to the opposing vote of their own Podemos partners. “The parties have to show whether they want to help the country or hit the government” claimed the vice-president Yolanda Díaz, who is responsible for the Decree Law that her own Podemos partners have overturned.

For the pro-Sanchista daily El País, the first plenary session of the legislature is evidence of the parliamentary precariousness of the government, in the hands of Junts and Podemos.

For the daily El Mundo, the vote on the decrees plunges the PSOE into confusion… “Puigdemont drags Sánchez into a martyrdom of state concessions” and Spain settles into the chaos of an extorted executive that is permanently at risk of being extorted again.

For El Español, “Sánchez saves face at the cost of continuing to give away ever more things… Junts played hard to get and only let themselves be talked into it after a long day of negotiations and in exchange for a price that any reasonable government would have considered unacceptable”.

The daily El Economista sums up the situation as “a legislature in the hands of Junts”, going on to say “The vote on the omnibus decrees shows the dependence of the Executive on pro-independence dictates and interests.”

“An unviable government, an unbearable legislature”, headlines the digital newspaper Vozpopuli: “Government and Junts take the first step towards Catalonia having a quota like the Basques have. Junts demands from Sánchez the immediate publication of the fiscal balances, which the Treasury has not updated since 2014 because they show the privilege of the Basque Country.”

“A puppet government in the hands of a fugitive”, summarises La Razó

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