August 20, 2019
Latest News

Spain's Sánchez launches bid for progressive government

By Jake Threadgould

Madrid, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- Spain's acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday appealed to progressive parties in the country's parliament to keep in him office with a speech that set out the Socialist Party's proposed government agenda and drew a line between his colleagues and those on the conservative benches.

Kicking off a process that could last several days, Sánchez requested that lawmakers act responsibly and with "generosity" to ensure the country did not fall to political deadlock, a familiar situation in recent years with the emergence of several parties breaking up the hitherto dominance of the traditional center-left and center-right.

"I'm proposing that Spain should have a government, and an opposition, and that Spain does not become deadlocked. Most of all because the world does not stop," Sánchez told MPs in Spain's lower house, the Congress of Deputies.

Although the Socialist Party (PSOE) took the most votes in the April 28 snap election and overturned the majority held by its chief adversary, the conservative Popular Party, it failed to land an absolute majority, taking 123 seats in the 350-seat hemicycle.

For that reason, Sánchez needs the support of the left-wing Unidas Podemos ("United We Can," in English, feminized in the original Spanish form) as well as the abstention of pro-independence parties from Catalonia, to edge him over the finish line.

Ongoing negotiations with the grassroots party have not been smooth-sailing, with PSOE requesting UP's leader Pablo Iglesias renounce any bid to land a ministerial position. He did so.

In his two-hour-long speech to lawmakers, Sánchez did not once mention a coalition government in name and only addressed the Unidas Podemos benches in his closing remarks.

He said: "Nothing worth the effort it easy, and what we have ahead of us is really worth the effort.

"Many people have shown support for us bringing our forces together, but beyond that, our sensitivity, intelligence and experience to improve the lives of the people and the history of Spain. We must heed that call."

A first vote is expected on Tuesday, although if he fails to shore up a majority, which is likely, another vote will be held at the end of the week.

Sánchez said the electorate had made clear their desire for the next Spanish government to take on a progressive and forward-thinking approach when they went to the polls on April 28, in which, he said, they had rejected the "backward" politics offer by the country's right-wing.

He hoped the message from voters would also encourage the country's center-right parties, Ciudadanos ("Citizens," in English) and the PP, to move away from far-right newcomers Vox. The trio have made several political deals to take power at local and regional levels in Spain.

The 47-year-old listed six major challenges facing the country, spanning dignified work and pensions; high unemployment; the digital revolution and the issues a rapidly modernizing world throws up; the climate crisis; gender inequality; social inequality and safeguarding the European Union.

The acting PM said he wanted Spain to become a reference point for feminism. His last PSOE government was ground-breaking as it became the first cabinet in the world to appoint a cabinet with almost two-thirds women.

"We should reject with all our might any attempts to banalize the violence that half of the population suffers for the fact they are a woman," he said in a thinly-veiled message to Vox.

The ultra-nationalist Vox has pushed for gender violence laws to be renamed "inter-family laws."

On the domestic front, Sánchez reiterated his plans to exhume late right-wing military dictator Francisco Franco from his grandiose mausoleum in the Madrid mountains, saying it was inconsistent with the principles of a democratic nation.

He also warned the PP and Ciudadanos that a project to limit emissions in the capital would not be lifted.

Sánchez first became prime minister in early June 2018 on the back of a no-confidence motion against his predecessor Mariano Rajoy following a slew of corruption scandals in the PP.

He was forced to call elections when right-wing parties and Catalan separatists blocked his State Budget. EFE-EPA

jt/ja/sh

News history
Twitter: China has mounted campaign to delegitimize Hong Kong protests

San Francisco, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Twitter on Monday said that it had uncovered a coordinated effort by 936 accounts originating in China to delegitimize the...

US congresswoman asks that US attach conditions to its economic aid to Israel

Washington DC, Aug. 19 (efe-epa).- Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of the United States, one of the lawmakers who recently got barred from entering Israel,...

Hong Kong government announces platform for dialogue amid protests

Hong Kong, Aug 20 (efe-epa).- Hong Kong's chief executive on Tuesday announced the immediate creation of a platform for dialogue involving people from all...

Bangladesh says its ready to start Rohingya repatriations

Dhaka, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Bangladesh said Monday it would be ready to start the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar on 22 August, nearly two years...

Focus is on Macri's goals, Argentina's incoming finance minister says

Buenos Aires, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Incoming Argentine Finance Minister Hernan Lacunza said Monday that he could not discuss the details of his meeting with...

NYPD fires cop blamed for death of Eric Garner

New York, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The head of the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced Monday the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in the...

Bardem: If 30 pct. of oceans not protected in 2030, damage to be irreversible

By Alvaro Celorio

The world is at work on a treaty to protect the oceans

United Nations, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Countries of the United Nations set out this Monday to perfect an ambitious treaty to protect the biodiversity of the...

US gives China's Huawei another 90-day reprieve on sanctions

Washington, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that the US government would give China's Huawei Technologies another 90-day...

Taliban marks 100 years of independence

Kabul, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The Taliban on Monday marked its hundredth anniversary of independence from Afghanistan by reiterating that foreign troops are to...

NGO boat still awaiting safe port as tensions run high aboard

Rome, Aug 19 (epa-efe).- An NGO-operated rescue vessel with 107 migrants on board which has been stranded at sea for 18 days and has been repeatedly denied...

Pro-independence protests in Indonesia's Papua region turn violent

Jakarta, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Pro-independence demonstrations took a violent turn in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua Monday during protests...

Main corruption trial against former Malaysian prime minister postponed

Bangkok, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- A court in Malaysia on Monday postponed by a week the start of the trial against a former prime minister for his alleged role in...

China urges Trump to keep his word, allow business with Huawei in US

Beijing, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Beijing on Monday urged Donald Trump to keep his word and allow companies in the United States to do business with Chinese tech...

8,000 evacuated due to wildfire in Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Some 8,000 people have been evacuated from several areas of Spain's Gran Canaria Islands due to a...

Trump acknowledges US' interest in buying Greenland from Denmark

Washington DC, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday said that Greenland was strategically interesting for his country, although...

Trump defends China policy, says US economy is world's best

Washington, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his strategy versus China, on whose goods Washington has imposed heavy tariffs as...

Colombian ex-ministers: Peace is being fired upon from many angles

By Juliana Alejandra Franco and Ovidio Castro

Migrant rescue ship demands entry to Lampedusa

(Update 1: Adds details)

Open Arms continues stranded with 107 migrants on board

Madrid, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- The Spanish government has on Sunday offered the “Open Arms” migrant rescue vessel the possibility of docking at the southern...

Kashmir residents denounce high number of detentions in region

By Shah Abbas

An anti-government rally in Hong Kong

By Shirley Lau

Lacunza to be Argentina's new treasury minister as Dujovne quits

Buenos Aires, Aug 18 (efe-epa).- President Mauricio Macri said Sunday that Hernan Lacunza "is the right person" to replace former Finance Minister Nicolas...

Portland remains under strict police guard awaiting extremist demonstrations

Washington, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- The city of Portland, Oregon, remained this Saturday under strong police guard after far-right and left-wing extremist groups...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.