The legislature, a toothache for the PSOE

sanchez elections

Fernando González Urbaneja | The legislature will be like a toothache for the Socialist Party, and the first tests of this will become apparent this week with the validation of the first decree-laws approved by the government, which require majority approval. Two of its allies, Podemos and Junts, have set preconditions for their approval, which is necessary for the government’s first decisions to come into force.

Sánchez’s resistance manual, which is presumed to be one of his strengths, leads one to believe that this week he will pass the third parliamentary test of the legislature (the first was control of the Parliamentary table and the second the investiture) without a hitch. Both Podemos and Junts have enough to lose (although not as much to lose as Sánchez) by moving to the opposition and forcing the end of the legislature, so that at the last minute, perhaps with some more or less explicit additional stimulus, the government will obtain the approval of the decrees pending parliamentary approval.

A parliamentary defeat in the first session of the year would not be unbearable for Sánchez, but it would mark an agonising path for the rest of a legislature in which the milestones will be marked by the results of the by-elections (Galician, Basque, European, Catalan…) scheduled for the next twelve months, and by the fate of the legislative projects, including the Budget, that will be required of Parliament.

All the party alliances are like a toothache for their protagonists, but the map that defines the Sánchez legislature is based on at least six agreements with different parties or coalitions that in turn are based on other second-level agreements whose maintenance will be very costly depending on the situation of each “family”. With the aggravating factor that all the agreements are critical for the governorship.

The only thing that is certain at this point in the legislature is that anything can happen during the course of the term; loyalty is not a prized value at this juncture, which is more a virtue of necessity.

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