The favorable vote of the five deputies of EH Bildu to the decree-law establishing the measures to deal with the impact of the war in Ukraine allowed its validation this Thursday in Congress. This was not the only support that the Government received in the face of a very close vote, but it was crucial after the rejection of rights and ERC to the rule that, if it had been repealed, would have meant the end of the extension until June 30 of the tax reductions for electricity, the increase of 15% of the Minimum Vital Income, the bonus of up to 20 cents per liter of gasoline , the extension of social bonds and the limitation of the rent increase to 2%.
The Yes of the abertzale coalition also came at a time when relations with the Government they are not going through their best moment since this party became a regular partner after the abstention in the investiture of Pedro Sánchez in 2020, becoming part of the so-called investiture bloc along with other progressive forces.
The outbreak of pegasus case, as well as the “insufficient” response of the Executive to it, has opened a gap between the PSOE and the sovereignist parties, with leaders and activists affected by the espionage carried out between 2017 and 2020 through the Israeli Pegasus system. Within this extensive list are the general coordinator of EH Bildu, Arnaldo Otegiand the deputy of the formation in Congress Jon Inarritu.
In this sense, the spokesperson for the sovereignist coalition, Mertxe Aizpuruaexplained from the rostrum that his favorable vote was “for the people, not for the Government”, for which he once again acted “responsibly”, an essential support for a decree of special relevance due to the context of the crisis that socialist representatives thanked .
Several were the deputies who praised his “sense of State” above the rights, who once again voted not to the measures of the Government, despite the fact that those of Pedro Sánchez agreed to process the decree-law as a bill to be able to include contributions during its parliamentary career.
In the face of party complaints Alberto Nuñez Feijoowho has once again shouted to the heavens for EH Bildu’s support for the Government, from the abertzale coalition they defend that “we may lack a sense of State, but common sense is plenty”.
Likewise, with its affirmative vote for the plan of social and economic measures to deal with the consequences derived from the Russian invasion in Ukraine, its “reliability” is once again demonstrated when the situation requires it. “We prioritize social and economic advances for workers above other interests. Not everyone can say the same thing,” EH Bildu parliamentary sources stress.
Despite the suspicion that still exists within the PSOE to call this formation “partner” (although “normality” in relations is recognized), the truth is that, in practice, the Government has managed to carry out the majority of its laws and decrees thanks to the progressive majority, among which is EH Bildu. With the exception of the labor reform, which left a very different picture than usual with the rejection reflected by the main allies of the Executive in Congress to the outgoing star measure of the Ministry of Labor.
In the toughest moments of the pandemic, the abstention of the five deputies of the Basque coalition served to save the fifth and penultimate extension of the first state of alarm. This sense of the vote came after an agreement with the Government to completely repeal the labor reform, a pact that was later interpreted differently by the Socialists.
Also, their votes served to give the green light to the Minimum Vital Income, the ERTE, the benefit for the cessation of activity for the self-employed and other measures included in the social shield which was launched in 2020 to deal with the consequences of the pandemic, such as the ban on evictions and the cutting off of basic supplies to vulnerable groups.
Months later, this party took an important leap in its strategy of influencing policies from Madrid that transcend the borders of Euskadi when it supported the 2021 Budgetswhich entailed the reinforcement of the path defended by the then second vice president, Pablo Iglesias, to the detriment of the variable geometry that the socialists intend to carry out throughout the legislature based on the nature of the regulations that are processed in the Parliament.
After long and intense negotiations, this support was repeated in the public accounts of 2022 after agreeing with the Government to convert the housing and basic supplies measures of the social shield into permanent ones by law and include 25 million euros for the compensation fund for the victims of asbestos, among other proposals.
“It has to be hard for the enemies of Spain to improve the lives of citizens, wherever they come from,” Aizpurua defended in the face of the anger of the right-wingers for the support of this force and ERC for the Budgets of the current course. And it is that, beyond these regulations, the votes of the Basque sovereignist deputies have allowed the promotion of important regulations of great social and economic significance with a clear objective: to achieve progress for the citizens in order to stop the rise of the extreme right.
However, in a legislature led by a minority government and in which every vote counts (amid the general rejection of PP, Vox and Cs), the five EH Bildu deputies have been essential for the approval of the euthanasia law , the climate change and energy transition bill, the child protection law, the lomloe, the repeal of article 52 d. of the Workers’ Statute (allowed dismissal for accumulating sick leaves in a certain period of time), the law rider (people dedicated to distribution in the field of digital platforms), or the first leg of the pension reform.