The PP turns its back along with Vox to the decree to limit energy prices
Cuca Gamarra, spokesperson for the PP, together with the popular deputy Guillermo Mariscal, this Thursday in Congress.
Cuca Gamarra, spokesperson for the PP, together with the popular deputy Guillermo Mariscal, this Thursday in Congress.Alberto Ortega (Europe Press)

This Thursday was not the day chosen by the PP in Congress to demonstrate that its pactist vocation goes beyond rhetoric. The popular even refused to give their support to the decree that regulates the system to limit energy prices, just a few hours after Brussels issued the expected approval to the so-called “Iberian exception”. The PP limited itself to abstaining, like Vox and Junts, before a measure that had great support, 195 deputies. The popular also coincided with the Santiago Abascal bench in their negative vote on the law regulating private pension plans, which the Government managed to carry out thanks to the support of Ciudadanos and with the abstention of EH Bildu.

If the Socialists are questioned about their difficulties to save the Government’s initiatives in Congress, the same comment always comes up: “Well, regardless of who weighs, this week we have approved everything again.” This Thursday was no exception: five legislative initiatives and a decree, which will limit energy prices, successfully passed through Congress. Some almost unanimously, such as the reform of the requested vote; others in trouble and with a new example of government contortionism to seek diverse support, as in the law on pension plans.

Since Alberto Núñez Feijóo took command of the PP in April, in each session of Congress the movements of its deputies are scrutinized to verify if there has been a change in attitude in the opposition. The decree to curb energy prices came with the support recently granted by Brussels and an acquiescence in the Chamber beyond the usual division of blocks: they supported it from Ciudadanos and the Canarian Coalition to all the independentist groups without exception. The Third Vice President and Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, in her intervention in defense of the project, calculated that the measure can contribute to lowering inflation between eight tenths and one point.

There were only two votes against in the Mixed Group. The PP, like Vox and Junts, did not reject it, but denied its support. “The Iberian exception is not a success, it is the unequivocal manifestation of a failure,” declared the popular deputy Guillermo Mariscal, alluding to the lack of gas connections with the rest of Europe. Mariscal criticized the intervention in the market to curb prices and predicted that “it will create distortions and slow down investments.” The attitude of the popular exasperated the socialist Germán Renau, who renamed the leader of the PP as “Fake-jo” and pointed out to the deputies of that party: “You want Spain to do badly. That doesn’t just make them bad politicians, it makes them bad people.”

Despite everything, the Government took the measure without haste. The pension plans were somewhat more laborious. There the problems for the socialist part of the Executive were located on the left, including its partners from United We Can, with whom it maintained a struggle until the last minute. On that flank, the PSOE started the abstention of EH Bildu including in the text a 15% rise in non-contributory pensions. ERC, Más País, Compromís, CUP or BNG did not move from no. The Executive overcame the trance with the most centrist groups: Citizens, PNV and PDeCAT. The rejection ended up uniting PP and Vox with the most leftist sector of the Chamber. The popular and the extreme right were also the only ones who did not support another bill, which will force all traffic accidents with victims to be reported to the judge.

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