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Spanish general election: United We Can knocking at the door

 

 

The United We Can campaign is generating enormous enthusiasm and by far the biggest rally crowds of any of the parties in the lead up to the June 26 general elections in the Spanish state.

 

By Dick Nichols

 

June 21, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article was published in Green Left Weekly — The Spanish and European establishments have, at the time of writing, less than a week to lock the door against the advance of the progressive alliance United We Can (Unidos Podemos) in the June 26 general elections in the Spanish state.

 

How are they doing? As matters stand, not very well. However, in this war of old corruption and privilege against hope for change, the powers-that-be and their media are pulling out every last stop to block United We Can's advance. Just one example: the lead headline in the June 20 edition of the conservative daily El Mundo screamed “OVERSEAS BANKERS WARN OF RECESSION IF PODEMOS WINS”.

 

United We Can brings together Podemos and the United Left (IU) as well as broader coalitions in Catalonia (Together We Can), Galicia (In Tide) and Valencia (A La Valenciana). On the Balearic Islands United We Can also includes the left-green regionalist force More For Mallorca (Més). The new coalition was formed in early May after it became clear that electoral disunity between Podemos and IU had cost many seats in the December 20 general election.

 

Now, after the failure of that poll to produce a governing coalition, Spain is going to a “second round” election in which the United We Can campaign is the one real novelty. It is threatening to capsize Spanish politics by overtaking the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) as the main party of the left.

 

In this context, the PSOE, the ruling conservative People's Party (PP) and the neoliberal hipsters of Citizens have effectively all been given overlapping contracts by the ruling elites for the job of keeping the dangerous new player out of “their” neighbourhood. All may put their different programs before the voters, but on the condition that they share the same number one point — anyone as prime minister except “the guy with the pony tail” (United We Can lead candidate Pablo Iglesias).

 

Common to all three establishment parties is a fear-and-loathing brief: each is free to blast United We Can as “extremist”, “populist”, “ideological”, “day-dreaming”, “destructive”, “sectarian”, “anti-constitutional”, “inexperienced”, “negative”, “anti-European” and “a threat to the unity of Spain”.

 

At the same time, the three parties' own wrangling has to be kept under control to ensure that, together, United We Can and the other radical coalitions do not get past the PSOE. That outcome would put Spanish social democracy, the country's oldest political party (founded in 1879), under great pressure to become a junior partner in a United We Can-led government, reproducing at an all-Spanish level the governing alliance in the city councils of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.

 

On June 15, acting PP interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz — a feudal-minded Catholic Santa Teresa cultist with a visceral loathing of the left and Catalan “secessionism” — could not help blurting out the truth: “Maybe an overtaking [of the PSOE by United We Can] would be good for the PP, but it would be bad for Spain.”

 

As for the PSOE, the clearest sign of its desperation is growing deployment of the old standard of Spanish centralist politics — raving attacks on “reds” and “secessionists” aimed at getting every last backward voter out of bed on polling day.

 

Probably leading the way in scraping the bottom of this barrel is Andalusian premier Susana Díaz, who said on June 11 that “the votes of Andalusians are not going to pay for the privileges of [Barcelona mayoress] Ada Colau nor for the weird nonsense of the pro-independence people she's tied up with.”

 

However, Díaz has competition in this game from the former PSOE premier of Extremadura, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Ibarra. He told a June 16 rally in the regional capital Mérida that “what we're not going to do is pervert ourselves and dress up in drag and do deals with communists, we're not going to do that, we've never done deals with communists.” He added that the PSOE “would never deal with anyone who defends the right to self-determination.”

 

Polling trends

 

Going by last fortnight's opinion polls, what Fernández thinks is “bad for Spain” is more likely to come true than not — barring a sharp trend reversion in the last week of the election campaign.

 

These polls show United We Can and its allies heading the PSOE by between 3 and 5.5 percentage points in votes and also edging ahead of it in seats.

 

The rigged Spanish electoral system of multi-member electorates of uneven size continues to favour the PSOE and PP. However, the latest Spanish poll with the largest sample, the May barometer of the Centre of Sociological Research (CIS), has United We Can and its allies leading the PSOE by at least 88 seats to 80 and by as many as 92 seats to 78. Every one of the myriad of polls that have appeared subsequently show United We Can leading or level-pegging with the PSOE on seats.

 

Since the December 20 general elections gave Podemos and the coalitions in which it took part 69 seats and IU two, United We Can and its allies are projected in the CIS poll as gaining up to 21 seats.

 

Eighteen of these would be directly due to the creation of United We Can, which has converted the often exhausted vote for IU into extra seats for the new IU- and Podemos-based alliance.

 

Those extra seats would also strengthen the position of United We Can in the regions that have been most resistant to the breakdown of the old PP-PSOE duopoly: Andalusia (according to CIS a possible gain of four for United We Can); Castilla y León (possible gain of three); Castilla La Mancha (possible gain of two); and Extremadura and Murcia (possible gain of one each).

 

Other gains would come in regions where Podemos had already advanced on December 20: the Basque Country (up two); the Canary Islands (up two); Aragón (up one or two); and the Balearic Islands (up one).

 

The broader coalitions in which Podemos and IU take part would also gain seats: Together We Can up to three, In Tide one and A La Valenciana one (this last due to the entry of IU into the coalition between Podemos and the Valencian regionalist coalition Commitment).

 

According to the CIS barometer, the three other main parties would be the losers: the PP down five seats (to 118); Citizens down two seats (to 38), and the PSOE down 12 seats (to 78).

 

Nationalist forces in the Basque Country, Catalonia and the Canary Islands could also lose out: the ruling right-nationalist Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) by one (down to five) and the Canary Coalition possibly by one (down to zero).

 

The Basque left-nationalist EH Bildu, whose presence was reduced from seven seats to two on December 20, might win one more, probably because of the boost the Basque left cause has received from the release from prison in March of its charismatic leader Arnaldo Otegi.

 

In Catalonia, the centre-left nationalist Republic Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the right-nationalist Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC), which together run the regional Catalan pro-independence government, could lose up to three seats (down to eight and six seats respectively).

 

As a result, the ever-important Catalan front is taking the form of a double fight: firstly by ERC and CDC to stop pro-independence voters deserting to Together We Can (which supports a Scottish-style referendum for Catalonia), and secondly between the two pro-independence forces over who is to be the leading force within the independence camp.

 

The third pro-independence force in Catalonia, the left-nationalist People's Unity List (CUP), is once again not standing in what it regards as a “Spanish” election, with the result that its support base is being contested between Together We Can and the ERC.

 

Shifting leftwards

 

The other discernible trend in the last fortnight's polls is the increase in the total vote for the all-Spanish broad left (United We Can plus PSOE) as against the all-Spanish right (PP plus Citizens).

 

On December 20, that vote was practically equal: the right managed 42.5% and the broad left 42.7%. By June 19, the average of the last fortnight's polls showed the total right vote at 43.9% and the broad left vote at 45.9%.

 

The potential result in seats had the broad left very close to an absolute majority (176 seats out of 350), an increase from the 161 seats it commanded after December 20. At the same time, the PP and Citizens could have as few as 156 seats (down from 163).

 

The projected increase in the all-Spanish left vote also seems due to a shift in support from nationalist parties to United We Can in the regions where the right to national self-determination is important.

 

United We Can is the only all-Spanish force that supports the right to decide of the peoples who make up the Spanish state. The swing to it looks particularly marked in the Spanish Basque Country (where the projected vote for United We Can exceeds the combined Podemos-IU vote on December 20 by up to three percentage points).

 

A similar trend would seem to be taking place in Barcelona, where a May 24 Metroscopia poll had the vote for Together We Can increasing from 26.9% to 34.1% (from 9 seats to 12).

 

However, the biggest and potentially decisive unknown in the campaign is the rate of participation — will it approach the historically high figure achieved on December 20 (73.2%), or will the establishment media campaign to bore and depress people with “the politicians” induce enough United We Can potential voters not to turn up to vote?

 

The polls over the past fortnight show a steady rise in the predicted participation rate as all parties toil to get their support out on June 26. The last week of the campaign will see an enormous struggle over the unprecedentedly high number of undecided voters at this point in the campaign: 30% or more say they have yet to decide how to vote.

 

However, if the leftward shift detected in the polls holds up, both a government of the right (PP plus Citizens) or a government of the centre (PSOE plus Citizens) will be even less feasible than they were after December 20. The only choices will then be between a United We Can-led left government, a grand coalition of the PP-PSOE (and maybe Citizens), or a minority government of the right sanctioned by the abstention of the PSOE.

 

A PSOE-United We Can-Citizens governing alliance will in all probability not come about because United We Can will put it to a membership referendum, which would almost certainly reject it. However, such a rejection may well be used as a pretext by the PSOE to participate in a grand coalition with the PP or abstain on the formation of a PP-Citizens minority coalition.

 

The blunted offensives

 

This fraught reality has done nothing if not heighten the agony and internal tensions in the PSOE. These have been further exacerbated by the fact that the campaign offensives unleashed by the three establishment parties against United We Can seem so far to have had little effect on its momentum.

 

First came the failure of the campaign scandalising the Podemos-IU “Venezuela connection”: this was supposed to portray Podemos as a creature of Bolivarianism and convince voters that putting United We Can people into government would mean importing Venezuela's economic woes into Spain.

 

The campaign began with a visit by Citizens' leader Albert Rivera to the Venezuelan capital Caracas, where he was feted by the anti-Bolivarian majority in the National Assembly, which also demanded that Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias appear before it to explain his ties with the Bolivarian government!

 

It next surfaced in the European parliament on June 8, when a motion was agreed between the European parliamentary caucuses to which the PP, PSOE, Citizens and the Union for Progress and Democracy (UpyD, now without representation in the Spanish parliament) belong. The motion called for the Bolivarian government of President Nicolas Maduro to release political prisoners, respect the Venezuelan constitution and allow humanitarian aid to enter the country. Podemos European MPs abstained in the vote while those of IU voted against.

 

The three establishment parties, egged on by the establishment media in Spain, tried to turn this vote into a battering ram against United We Can: Citizens led the charge, the PP said “us too, but please leave this sort of work to we professionals”, while the PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez issued “please explain” questions to Iglesias about the supposed funding of a Podemos-aligned foundation by Caracas.

 

After a week of ironic commentary from United We Can spokespeople about the one-eyed nature of the other parties' interest in human rights violations outside Spain, the PP, PSOE and Citizens more or less dropped the Venezuela issue — their focus groups had probably told them that undecided Spanish voters were more concerned about other issues.

 

Also serving to deflate their bubble of hysteria was Podemos's challenge to anyone who wished to maintain that the party had been financed illegally from Venezuela to take the issue to the High Court, which has already thrown out such allegations three times.

 

Notwithstanding, it would not be surprising if the operetta “Venezuelan Financing of Podemos” didn't get a final dramatic re-run in the last week of the campaign — if only because Citizens needs to wave this battle standard against the PP's crusade for the conservative vote to return to its fold.

 

After Venezuela came Greece. Before the campaign's one televised debate (June 13) between the four party leaders, Rajoy said against Podemos: “Their catalogue pretends to be Swedish [a reference to the IKEA-look of Podemos's electoral pamphlet], but it hides a Greek reality.”

 

This line of attack, pushed strongly by the Madrid media “cavern”, was answered by Iglesias in a May 15 interview with the conservative Madrid daily La Razón in which he was asked whether he was not afraid that Podemos would “turn into a bluff like SYRIZA”:

 

Luckily for the Spanish, Spain isn't Greece. We are the fourth largest Euro economy. For good or for worse Greece is now almost a protectorate, almost without sovereign power to make political decisions. They are being forced to fix up the shambles left by the previous parties New Democracy and PASOK. Spain, despite all its tribulations, has a much stronger economy. With difficulties and within limits things can be done in a different way here.

 

La Razón: Is that enough? What if at the end of the day the challenge turns out badly for you? What will you say to the Spanish who are those who will have to pay the bill?

 

It's not very advisable in politics to throw out challenges. You have to look for alliances and agreements. There's a very favourable scenario for reaching an understanding with Italy and the Portuguese government, so as then to be able to say to the French government: “Wouldn't it seem more sensible for us to get an agreement, respecting the framework of the market economy, to loosen up a little so that the states can breathe?” Although the politics of defiance can be very sensational, in the end you have to sit down and negotiate well. I don't want to lead a government that throws off challenges against anyone.

 

The lesson the Podemos leadership has drawn from the failed SYRIZA challenge to austerity imposed within the European Union and Eurozone by Germany and its allies, is the need to build up a counterbloc of “peripheral” EU countries committed to an expansionary fiscal policy and boosted public investment. That path, which excludes for the moment any Plan B for leaving the Euro, is dictated by the fact that clear majorities in these countries still want to stay in the Eurozone.

 

In the Catalan election debate on June 19, Together We Can lead candidate Xavi Domènech replied to the SYRIZA-baiting of the PP and CDC lead candidates like this:

 

Our model is not Greece. What is happening in Greece is the model of the Troika which was imposed on the Greek people and was voted for by the Conservative Party of Europe, the Liberal Party of Europe and the Socialist Party of Europe. What is being applied in Greece is the model that you people, at a European level, wanted to impose on the Greek people...

 

There's an enormous dose of hypocrisy in those who voted to impose this model on the Greek people now coming here and saying that it's our model.

 

Agony of the PSOE

 

The failure of the initial offensives against United We Can was underlined by the popular reaction to the leaders' debate on June 13: all the polls except those of the conservative Madrid papers ABC and La Razón had Iglesias as the winner and PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez as the worst performer. Most tellingly, the Metroscopia poll for El País — effectively the campaign paper of the PSOE — scored Iglesias as winner with 22%, followed by acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy (18%), Citizens' leader Alberto Rivera (14%), and Sánchez last on 6%.

 

With the polls showing it falling further behind United We Can, the PSOE leaders have been practising total denial. “We do not consider that option” — such is their rehearsed response to requests for comment on the latest poll findings, even as they expend all their energy in persuading the PSOE base to get out to vote on June 26.

 

Their attacks on United We Can and its lead candidate Iglesias have become more virulent. “We won't make Iglesias prime minister under any circumstances”, one anonymous “longstanding leader” of the PSOE told the Catalan daily Ara on June 16. “That would be the end of us.”

 

However, this blind revulsion before all things Podemos clashes with a stubborn reality: a large majority of PSOE voters — 70% according to another Metroscopia poll — want their party to reach agreement with United We Can for a left government. Knowing this, the three other parties ask insistently for Sánchez to come off the fence — will he be part of negotiating for a left government or not?

 

His answer has been to talk evasive nonsense, as in this comment at a PSOE rally in Málaga: “There's only one thing worse than four years of Rajoy: that's four more years. There'll be many ways to keep Mariano Rajoy as prime minister, but there's only one way not to, and that change passes through the PSOE.”

 

On June 20, the PSOE formula for government got a bit clearer, but no more acceptable to United We Can — a Sánchez government with Citizens and United We Can ministers. In no case, however, would the PSOE support Rajoy or Iglesias for prime minister.

 

The PSOE scriptwriters have been churning out increasingly abusive copy for their speakers to use against Iglesias. He is referred to as Pablo Manuel Iglesias (his full name) — to distinguish him from the Pablo Iglesias who founded the PSOE in 1879. This sarcastic effort from Pedro Sánchez is typical:

 

When Iglesias meets with [Podemos leader in Andalusia] Teresa Rodríguez he's an anti- capitalist [Rodríguez belongs to the Anticapitalists current in Podemos]; when he meets with [IU leader] Alberto Garzón he's a communist, when he meets with me he's a social- democrat ... it frightens me to think of him locked in a lift with Rajoy.

 

The rest of the PSOE attack against United We Can consists in abusing the coalition because it contains 16 organisations (“a Russian salad where no-one trusts anyone else” according to PSOE lead Málaga candidate Miguel Ángel Heredia); dubbing its economic program as “fiction” while avoiding any serious discussion about it; and claiming that the radical coalition is more interested in appeasing separatists than in improving the lives of ordinary hard-working Spaniards.

 

The PSOE's filthy methods may help it in its Andalusian and Extremaduran heartlands, but the longer it refuses to drop Citizens from it formula for government the more difficult will be any last-minute revival powered by its still superior on-the-ground organisation.

 

The decisive question will be whether the PSOE's “communists-and-Catalans-at-the-gate” hysteria can induce enough usually apathetic non-voters to offset the desertions of those tradition PSOE voters who cannot stomach Citizens.

 

As matters stand at the time of writing, a PSOE comeback is as likely as a PSOE cold split, between those regions and cities where PSOE leaders already have some sort of working relationship with one or more of the forces that have come together in United We Can and those where fear and loathing of Podemos prevails.

 

For example, in the Valencian Country and on the Balearic Islands, local PSOE affiliates has been part of bringing about social and cultural renaissances after the defeat of corrupt PP governments that also suppressed Valencian and Balearic culture and language. In the greater Barcelona region, the socialist mayor of working-class Santa Colomer de Gramanet found it impossible to support the PSOE governmental pact with Citizens after December 20.

 

When the campaign for June 26 began, Podemos offered the PSOE a pact for presenting united tickets in the Senate, presently run by a PP majority elected with only 25% of the vote. The PSOE premier of the Valencian Country, Ximo Puig, supported this sensible proposal — which would have favoured all non-PP parties regardless of future negotiations among them — only to be pulled into line by the PSOE barons.

 

In the end, the PSOE's campaign of brutal negativity towards United We Can — which has included correcting PSOE candidates who have made the mistake of saying they feel closer to United We Can than to any other party — is designed to demoralise potential voters for their rival from bothering to vote by fostering the impression that there is no way such antagonistic forces could ever get together to form a left government.

 

The PSOE strategists understand full well that the wider the margin of any eventual overtaking of them by United We Can, the greater will be the pressure on the PSOE to accede to the formation of a left government, and the greater the political price they will pay for any eventual refusal.

 

PP and Citizens

 

One telling indicator of the surge in support for United We Can is the increasingly tense fight between the PP and Citizens over who is the best defender of “moderate” Spain against the looming “extremist” threat.

 

Rajoy has conducted a marginal seats campaign, heading from one regional centre to the next in an attempt to persuade conservative rural voters that their vote for Citizens on December 20 had been wasted, and that only by returning to the PP can the United We Can nightmare be made to go away.

 

In his one appearance to date in Catalonia, at a June 19 PP rally in the provincial capital Lleida, Rajoy hardly mentioned the “secessionists”, but centred his fire on the “extremists and radicals” — Barcelona mayoress Ada Colau for stopping tourist developments and the CUP for blocking the Catalan regional budget (along with the PP, but that small detail did not bother Rajoy).

 

The acting prime minister said: “There's a lot more at stake than we have ever had at stake before. In the coming elections the economic recovery, national sovereignty and the values of the Constitution are at risk.” Faced with the nightmare of a “Greek-style or Venezuelan-style government ... we have to concentrate the vote.”

 

“When the moderate vote gets divided, the bad people end up taking advantage”, he told a PP rally in Tenerife the day before. This was a reference to the PP losing the last seat in a number of electorates in elections in 2015, leading to it being thrown out of power in various regional and local governments. According to the acting prime minister, in the December 20 election “there are 25 Spanish provinces [electorates] where the votes for Citizens were good for nothing.”

 

On June 18, acting foreign minister José Manuel García-Margallo made this contribution to the war effort against radicalism: “There are times when the voters make a mistake. I would like you to remember that Mr. Adolf Hitler became Reich chancellor by passing from 12 to 107 seats and thereby getting a majority in Germany.”

 

As the campaign enters its final week, the PP hunt for the anti-United We Can vote is even being extended to traditional PSOE voters. For Rajoy, the only reliable alternative to the “chaos a radical government would bring” is the PP, even for people who have never voted PP in their life.

 

In this atmosphere resembling the Spanish Civil War without the guns, Citizens, the “Podemos of the right” is having difficulty explaining which enemy is worse. Is it the corrupt PP, whose leader Rajoy Citizens' leader Rivera has sworn never to support as prime minister? Or is it Podemos with its Venezuelan connection? As the advance of United We Can builds up pressure for the conservative vote to return home (and overlook the PP's minor blemish of organic and ineradicable corruption), Citizens is being forced into a gimmicky “more patriotic than thou” contest with the ruling party as some polls show it losing up to 10 of its 40 seats.

 

Approach of United We Can

 

Having united IU and Podemos on a single platform, the United We Can campaign has been focussed single-mindedly on attracting traditional PSOE voters: its message is that its goal is to overtake the PP as number one party and that the PSOE is not the enemy but a partner in a future Barcelona-style left government.

 

A lot of United We Can effort has gone into ensuring that no free kicks are given to a PSOE leadership desperate for any pretext to justify their not collaborating in a left government. Iglesias put the issue like this in his May 15 La Razón interview: “The PSOE is going to be the great arbiter of Spanish politics. It is going to have to decide whether the PP governs or if there is to be a Podemos government in which, moreover, we won't be asking them to sign a blank cheque but to share responsibility and be part of this government with us.”

 

Furthermore, to help make a governing alliance with United We Can palatable to the PSOE's base, Iglesias told the Barcelona Economy Circle on May 26:

 

We are the political expression that arises from the conviction that the policies of austerity and structural reforms not only don't solve the present situation, but also involve an excessive cost for a very broad swathe of the population that is neither responsible for the crisis nor has the means to endure it. Some will today call us the new social democrats. You can put whatever tag you like on us. What is clear is that in the name of efficiency a different economic policy is needed. Nowadays there's a consensus among a good many economists — on a world scale — that so-called austerity policies have been ineffective in dealing with the crisis.

 

Iglesias's comments have stirred a whirlwind of comment in the media and social media as to whether this former PCE member had really become a social democrat or whether his statements were just a confusing feint. Matters got even more confused after IU leader Alberto Garzón wrote a (non-polemical) piece on May 18 called “Some of us are communists” and Podemos number two Iñigo Errejón told the free handout paper 20minutos on May 26 that “communists and social democrats are species of the past”.

 

Interviewed on the popular program El Objetivo on June 19, Iglesias said: “I will be a socialist prime minister like [Chilean president Salvador] Allende or [Uruguayan president José] Mujica.” He added that “social democracy is an option for governing that has less to do with an individual's ideological tag as with options for government in Europe” and “we are what we do”.

 

As this debate roils on three things at least are clear: nothing like United We Can's “social democratic” program is being proposed or implemented by any nominally social-democratic party in Europe; the United We Can campaign is generating enormous enthusiasm and by far the biggest rally crowds of any of the parties; and Spain and Europe's elites are awaiting the result of June 26 with great nervousness.

 

Dick Nichols is the European correspondent of Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, based in Barcelona.

 

Comments

Spanish Left: 50 Steps to Govern Together

The coalition between Podemos and IU (called “Unidos Podemos” – Together We Can) is the only one that, on 26 June, could overturn the situation created by the 20 December Spanish election. In order to do that, Podemos and IU have agreed on a 50-point programme to end austerity and bring democracy to the country. Here we present transform!’s translation of said agreement. http://www.transform-network.net/focus/spain-decides/news/detail/Program...

* * * * *

“The upcoming general election will not simply be another election like those that have preceded it. Given their political importance, we will participate with a comprehensive agreement. The political forces taking part in this agreement will keep for June 26th election their own manifestos as proclaimed for December 20th, 2015. Nevertheless, we have produced a common document communicating to Spanish society the main points of common ground found between the various manifestos and, above all, the main lines of action for the Government of progress and change that we hope to lead as a result of the June 26thelection. The document is a roadmap comprised of fifty steps that we will use to respond the major challenges our society's is facing in the short- and medium-term.

The text is entitled “50 steps to govern together”, and it is organised around five main topics: economy, society, politics and institutions, the environment, and international affairs.

Today, nothing is more urgent than putting a Government in place that is able to build a new future for our country; a new future for the millions of low-paid workers and the hundreds of thousands of young people that have been forced to look abroad because of a lack of opportunities here at home. Nothing is more urgent than helping the families that have lost their home, those that have been forced to close their businesses, and those that have lost everything during this financial crisis. Nothing is more urgent than protecting workers that put in extra, unpaid hours for a miserable wage, those that want to start their own family but have no resources to do so, the sick that can barely pay for their medications, and the retired that have gone back to supporting their families - this time with their pensions. Nothing is more urgent than reinstating the investment taken away from public health care and public education, from social services and dependants, from research and development, from infrastructure, culture, and sport. Nothing is more urgent that putting an end to the systematic theft of public funds that the corrupt political elite have been practising for decades with total impunity.

Today, nothing is more urgent that putting a Government in place that works to defend dignified living and working conditions for the vast majority of our nation, and guarantees that those who are corrupt will come to be tried before a judge, and not sit on the Board of Directors for Spain's large, strategic companies.

These are our goals, and this is what we propose:

50 STEPS TO GOVERN TOGETHER

I. Economic democracy

1. The National Energy Transition Plan (PNTE - Plan Nacional de Transición Energética)

In accordance with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the goal of the PNTE is to modernise the economy, make business efficient, and have a fully decarbonised energy system by 2050. It must move towards improving the energy efficiency of our production and consumption models, and reducing total overall consumption, energy costs for businesses and households, CO2 emissions, and our imported fossil fuel bills. It should be structured around two main concepts:

1) National Energy Saving Plan: aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption in buildings, as well as transport, industry, and power distribution systems. The backbone of this plan will be the energy renovation of the Administration's buildings and housing, which should allow for a portion of the unemployed from the construction sector to be reassigned.

2) National Renewable Energy Plan: centred on technologies such as solar and thermal energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, small hydroelectric energy, and low emission biomass energy. This plan must include all links of the research, development, manufacturing, and installation chain.

The PNTE will be accompanied by sweeping reforms of the power system, which will include:

· An audit of the debt accumulated due to the tariff deficit, and a cost audit of the entire system (in addition, the excess amount charged by power companies due to costs associated with transfer to competitors will be demanded in court).

· The establishment of effective controls to impede oligopolistic practices, specifically vertical integration.

· The modification of the regulatory framework and the electricity market so that all power generation sources receive compensation based on the real cost of production.

· The approval of personal consumption legislation so that: a) energy for personal use that is instantly consumed is free from any kind of taxation, b) energy fed back into the power system is duly compensated by the supply company, c) administrative paperwork is flexible and, d) shared installations are allowed.

· The adoption of measures to reduce the price of energy for industry (especially power-intensive ones), in accordance with the principles of energy transition defended (renewable energy, savings and efficiency, co-generation) and tariff transparency (cost audit).

· The progressive substitution of the use of fossil fuels in favour or renewable energy, while guaranteeing a fair employee transition towards new, non-polluting sectors in all cases.

· The definitive closure of the Santa María de Garoña nuclear power plant, and the refusal to extend operating permits for all other nuclear power plants in operation so that they will all be closed by 2024.

· The State's recovery of hydroelectric power plants following the expiration of concessions to private companies.

· The use of fracking and hydrocarbon prospecting off the coast will be banned.

2. New path towards deficit reduction

The next Government must come to an agreement with the European authorities and present a new path towards public deficit reduction that is in line with the priorities of our economy: underpinning economic recovery, increasing the rhythm of job creation, encouraging public investment to change the pattern of industrial specialisation, and strengthening social services and welfare in order to fight inequalities.

This requires a pace of deficit reduction that is significantly more gradual than that proposed by the European Commission, and in any case is produced as a consequence of improved State financing and not new cuts in public spending. The deficit reduction pace must delay compliance with the deficit thresholds established by the European Union (EU) Stability and Growth Pact to the end of the legislative term, given that a faster pace could easily translate into more economic strangulation making the strengthening of social cohesion in our country impossible.

Likewise, a substantial amendment to those aspects of the Budgetary Stability Law that most complicate the application of fiscal policies appropriate for the cyclic position of the economy and the need to strengthen the welfare state, must be agreed upon. Also, the reform of article 135 of the Spanish Constitution must be reversed.

In addition, a Government of change will promote a sweeping reform of the Stability and Growth Pact, and Eurozone's fiscal rules, relaxing the goal of budgetary balance in the terms set forth by this agreement in the section entitled "International democracy", thus adapting to the needs of the various national economies.

3. Reinforce the welfare state, strengthen public services, and reform article 135 of the Constitution

The economic, employment, and social situation requires a change in the budgetary policy for the next term. No social agenda nor investment policy can exist without a sufficient budget. Without driving economic activity, more employment will not be created. For this reason, we propose increasing the public income/gross domestic product (GDP) ratio to ensure the expenditure/GDP ratio remains at its current level (43.3%). We believe that the goal of raising the public income/GDP ratio by 3% by the end of the term can be reached through the measures proposed below.

· The largest part of the fiscal expansion package would be earmarked for education and healthcare, so that in the first two years of the term, the nominal expenditure level prior to the budget cuts is recovered (4.6%). In turn, 2009's weight on GDP would be reached by the end of the term in office (6.8%).

· The social protection expenditure would remain at 1.1% above that set forth by the policy designed by the Partido Popular (PP, People's Party). This would allow the Plan de Renta Garantizada (Guaranteed Income Plan) to be implemented, care for dependants to be extended, and upgrading pensions.

· Public investment would be centred on financing the energy transition linked to the change in the production model.

· The remaining difference from the Programa de Estabilidad (Stability Programme) would be earmarked for environmental, housing, community services, and cultural policies.

· All other items (general public services, defence, public order, and economic affairs) would maintain the reduction set forth in the current Stability Programme. 

4. The plan to fight tax fraud

Specialists from the Tax Agency continuously reiterate that the majority of tax fraud in our country is concentrated among the nation's biggest companies and largest fortunes. We need a plan to fight against fraud that takes this reality into consideration and, among others, includes the following measures:

· Approving a package of measures against tax havens that address the following aspects: measures to know the identities of account holders in tax havens, measures on financial transparency, and measures on supervision, control, and punitive measures. These measures will be developed with special attention paid to multi-national groups.

· Eliminating tax shelters. The taxation of SICAV (open-ended collective investment fund), REIT, venture capital companies, and entities holding foreign securities (ETVE) will be reviewed in order to ensure productive investment and tax equity. The wording of double-taxation agreements will be reviewed to incorporate anti-circumvention standards.

· Approving an annual taxation law.

· Gradually increasing Tax Agency personnel.

· Producing a basic Tax Agency statute in order to guarantee its autonomy, professional management, and the eradication of partisan use of the institution. The development of this basic statute will include a provision where, in the future, the Parliament will name the Tax Agency's director.

5. Progressive tax reform

The goal of this tax reform is to enhance the Spanish Treasury's ability to collect, as its collections to GDP ratio is currently found to be eight points below the EU average.

Ambitious tax reform should increase the income/GDP ratio by 3% over the course of the following term. The fundamental mechanism for achieving this increase in collection must be, in addition to fighting tax fraud, the expansion of the tax base. Furthermore, the effective rates must move towards the nominal rates through the elimination of the most regressive deductions; a minimum effective rate must be established for large companies (15%), a tax on financial transactions must be developed, taxes on wealth, estate, and donations must be reinstated and reinforced (and, in addition, the untaxed threshold of the wealth tax must be changed). In addition, the duality in the rate between labour income and savings must be reduced. Lastly, a one-off solidarity tax on private financial institutions must be established with the purpose of recovering a portion of the public aid the sector has received.

In addition, this reform must be carried out by progressively reinforcing our system. To do this, a super-reduced rate of 4% VAT will be applied to a greater number of basic need health products and foodstuffs, and the rate will be reduced to 10% for all basic provisions that currently do not have reduced rate (heating, gas, electricity).

6. New labour relations framework and the fight against job insecurity

Over the course of the financial crisis, Spanish society has become even more unequal. It is necessary to counter this strong tendency towards inequality, and the number one area where this must and can be done involves labour.

To do this, it is necessary to repeal the 2010 and 2012 labour reforms and move forward in the development of a new labour framework that guarantees the creation of quality employment. In order to guarantee this, we think that the Government of change must support the following measures, among others:

· Approving a SMI (minimum inter-professional salary) increase schedule that would allow for an 800 Euro monthly wage distributed in 14 payments annually to be achieved in the first two years of the term. In 2019 this would increase to 900 Euro.

· A new Estatuto de los Trabajadores (Worker's Statute) will be produced with the following goals: 1) reducing job insecurity; 2) rebalancing the asymmetry of collective bargaining; 3) promoting worker participation in company management, and; 4) eliminating gender discrimination.

Among other paths, these goals will be solidified in the following way:

· Part-time and temporary contract reform: a) the various kinds of temporary contracts will be unified in a single legal form, and the economic causality associated with said temporary status would be reinforced to avoid the extension of current fraud; b) temporary contracts linked to a determined project or service will be automatically converted into permanent contracts when their duration is greater than one year, or when a succession of said contracts is concatenated during this period; c) part-time contracts must incorporate the principle of causality referring to the workday necessary to carry out the contracted task, and the workday's calculation must be set with a weekly baseline.

· Reinforcing the fight against labour fraud, mainly with temporary contracts, by better equipping the labour inspectorate with means and capabilities, and with worker representation bodies enjoying a greater level of involvement. Promoting a regulation on overtime in order to avoid this becoming an instrument to irregularly distribute the workday and be a fraudulent prolongation thereof.

· Amending the current dismissal regulation: a) in the case of wrongful dismissal, the worker will have the choice of opting for compensation or reinstatement in the company; b) the principle of unlawful null and void dismissal will be reinstated; c) the causality of dismissal for economic, productive, technical, and organisational reasons will be reinforced; d) the 2012 labour reform's lowering of dismissal costs will be reverted; e) required governmental authorisation for Redundancy Dismissal Procedures (ERE) will be obligatory.

· Reforming collective bargaining: a) sector agreements will take pre-eminence over those of the company when recognising basic rights, and the collective agreement opt-out regulation will be amended; b) business groups will be recognised as a bargaining unit; c) a new automatically extended and effective system will be approved for collective bargaining agreements; d) with the purpose of improving the efficiency of company representation systems, the sphere of worker representation will be expanded to cover all companies and work centres that lack unitary representation; e) unilateral ability by the company to set working conditions, salary amounts, and structure will be eliminated; f) guarantees to exercise the right to strike under the self-protection principle will be reinforced.

· Strengthening the information, participation, and consultation procedures through the implementation of a system similar to the supervisory boards established in Germany.

7. Restructuring home mortgage debt

Private debt continues to weigh heavy in our country, particularly home mortgage debt. A drop in housing prices led to the great disproportion between the nominal value of many mortgages and the true value of real estate assets. In addition, the high level of indebtedness ballasts private demand and hinders economic recovery. For this reason, it is necessary to encourage mortgage debt restructuring for households through a reduction in the nominal value of first-home mortgages in the case of families that meet certain social criteria (those with all members of the household unemployed, and those with no other source of income, or households with income less than three times the IPREM – Public Income Index). On the other hand, a simplified debt restructuring and cancellation procedure must be encouraged (conciliation phase / court hearing phase) within a new second-chance system that truly erases past debts once bankruptcy takes effect.

8. New model for production, industrial policy, and R&D+i

The transformation of a new model for production and the use of resources and individuals are needed. This model would move towards sustainable development centred on the search for the prosperity and the well-being of society as a whole, which is able to create stable, quality employment and also ensures a more fair redistribution of wealth and greater social inclusion. A transition plan for the economy will be designed that generates sustainable employment and responds to the social and environmental needs of the country. For this reason, we support:

· An industrial policy that, through efficiency and sustainability (of energy and raw materials), strategically defines the sectoral and industrial specifications that allow for our business structure to extend towards branches with greater added value, taking into account the international market for industrial products.

· A green employment plan that helps develop a sustainable business sector, and which implements active training and insertion policies in new niches of production. This plan will prioritise areas affected by de-industrialisation and plans to divert employment associated with sectors in crisis towards others that are more sustainable and necessary.

· The goal is set for national R&D+i investment to stand at 2% of the GDP.

In addition, investment in public infrastructure will be redirected from residential construction and motorway transport to productive and technological infrastructure that makes the economy’s digitalisation and transition towards a new production model possible (public transport and energy infrastructure, but also telecommunications and water supply, among others).

The new Government of change will promote the creation of strategic sector committees in which companies and unions participate, with the goal of guaranteeing the sector’s future, defining large-scale strategic and technological guidelines, and specifying needs for modernisation.

9. Public banking

This new industrial policy places greater importance on public financial instruments to create synergies among the innovative and financial capacities of the public and private sectors. In order to carry out these policies, and with the purpose of Spain also enjoying a large public banking network, the Government will renegotiate the terms the memorandum of understanding between Spain and the EU in order to implement powerful and efficient public banking through the Official Credit Institute (ICO) and nationalised entities (Bankia and Banco Mare Nostrum), which will not be re-privatised.

10. SMEs, the self-employed, and social economy entities

SMEs and the self-employed account for more than 98% of companies in Spain. In our country, SMEs are of special importance when it comes to creating employment, as they absorb nearly two-thirds of the total workforce. It is important to recognise the strength and initiative of these small- and medium-sized companies, self-employed individuals, and social economy entities. To do this, we will promote:

· The development of a true Ley de Segunda Oportunidad (Second Chance Law) through the introduction of a simplified debt cancellation and restructuring process for individuals and legal entities.

· The establishment of Social Security fees that are progressive and are set at a certain percentage of net income for the self-employed that earn more than the minimum salary, and free membership for those that earn less than the minimum salary.

· The encouragement of the social economy, with an assistance plan for cooperative projects that meet requirements for equality, sustainability, and innovation.

· Entrepreneurship in innovative sectors, specifically in the digital economy.

· Developing a study on the principle of limited responsibility for the self-employed, so that all self-employed individuals only assume responsibility for possible debts with professional resources that they have decided to associate with their activity, and not their entire estate.

II. Social democracy

11. Guaranteed Income

A guaranteed income programme will be created to complement the income of all households below the poverty line through access to complementary income that covers the difference between existing income and the income threshold established. The initial sum will be 600 Euro monthly for households with a single member, and will increase progressively depending on the number of members (an additional 35% for the second member, and 20% for each additional member) up to a maximum of 1,290 Euro.

12. Basic services and housing

Evictions provoked by proven economic reasons will be stopped. The right to retroactive non-recourse debt and mortgage debt restructuring will be given in the terms indicated in point 7 of the chapter entitled "Economic democracy". SAREB (“bad bank”) will become the management instrument for a pool of public rental housing. The concept of social rent will be regulated by law, and will not be allowed to surpass 30% of family income (including supply costs). The social function of housing would be regulated so that asset management companies and financial institutions holding unoccupied housing will be sanctioned.

On one hand, a socially adjusted tariff will be established to prevent cuts of water and electric power supply currently affecting 1.4 million households. On the other hand, a guaranteed minimum basic supply of energy will be established, whose cost will be fixed depending on individual income. The minimum for water provision is 60 litres per day according to the World Health Organisation. Furthermore, free vouchers for all individuals that do not have any income, or at a super-reduced rate for those in a situation of poverty or social exclusion, will be created.

13. New Law on Education

The Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality (LOMCE) will be repealed, and a new Education Law will be developed that is based on the text entitled Documento de bases para una nueva Ley de Educación Acuerdo social y político educativo (Baseline Document for the new Education Law. Social Agreement and Education Policy), written in collaboration with the education community. Education will be public, free, secular, and inclusive through the expansion of public school centres to cover all childhood education needs (from 0 to 6 years of age). The investment in education will be reinstated during the first two years of the term until it reaches a rate of 4.6% of GDP, and will progressively be expanded until it reaches the European average (6.2%). A moratorium on educational accords will be approved, together with a plan to progressively suppress them through the voluntary integration of private-associated schools into the public school network.

Together with the university community, a Public Research and University Law will be agreed upon to serve society, which includes improved financing, and ensures that free university education is the goal. In the meantime, minimum fees and a scholarship-grant system will guarantee universal access. The "3+2" will be rejected, and a democratic government will be proposed in universities. The development of the National Introduction to Research Programme will be encouraged, which is aimed at strengthening research careers in their initial phases.

14. Healthcare

Universal access will be given to the health insurance card, including immigrants and individuals of Spanish nationality residing in other countries who lose access to universal healthcare coverage ninety days after leaving the country. The portfolio of medications financed by the healthcare system will be studied and assessed for its later expansion. The implementation of co-payments for pharmaceuticals will be rejected. The public health budget will be increased until reaching a rate of 6.8% of GDP in 2019. Primary Care will be strengthened as an alternative to budget cuts in order to emerge from the financial crisis, and its resources will be increased with the purpose of improving its diagnostic and therapeutic ability. The public nature of the national healthcare system will be defended.

15. Pensions

Pensions will be indexed at the CPI. The pension reform approved by the PSOE government in 2010 and the PP government in 2014 will be repealed. We promise to guarantee the sustainability of the pension system with the progressive introduction of financing through taxation. Special contribution regimes for new membership will be reviewed and eliminated progressively. Tax benefits for individual complementary schemes, as is the case for private pension plans, will be eliminated. The upper limit for contributions will be eliminated, without the need to proportionally increase the maximum pension. The minimum pension will be reassessed in the following terms: personal retirement or non-dependant spouse retirement pensions will be equal to the annual SMI, while retirement pensions with a dependant spouse will be equal to 110% of the annual SMI. All company contribution reduction measures applied in recent years will be reviewed, as they have not served to generate employment, and have instead gravely deteriorated Social Security balances.

16. Care for dependants

True maximum priority will be given to the subjective right: review of the Dependency Law with new articles and substantial changes coupled with a 100% public model where possible. If this is not possible, agreements and arrangements with collaborative economy, social, and common good entities will be given priority. We propose a Plan para la Recuperación del Sistema de Autonomía Personal y Atención a la Dependencia (Dependant Care and Individual Autonomy System Recovery Plan) which includes the following measures:

· The recovery of financing levels per dependant prior to the budget cuts made following decrees in 2012 and 2013, and family caregiver Social Security contributions.

· The establishment of an urgent schedule for the care of 385,000 dependants which are eligible for this benefit, but are currently on a waiting list.

· An increase in the percentage of dependants cared for by professional services, and progressively implementing the universal right to dependant care public services that provide them with full functional autonomy.

· The production of a Social Services Law.

17. Gender inequality and sexual diversity

A system of adoption or birth permits will be reformed to create a calendar for the current paternal leave to be extended until it is equal to maternal leave. In order to guarantee effective equal rights, the permit will be: equal for each parent; non-transferable, as with all other labour and social rights; paid at 100% of the parent's salary, and with equal job protection while exercising the right to maternal or paternal leave. The powers of the Labour Inspectorate and Social Security will be increased in terms of prohibiting discrimination in hiring, promotion, and compensation, with the goal of making working conditions equal for men and women. A state company equality plan control and monitoring committee will be created with the capacity to make proposals to eliminate discrimination. Means of special attention for single-parent families (largely women) will be implemented so that childcare is not incompatible with a professional career. An employment plan for women of over forty-five years of age found at risk of social exclusion will be created. The Gender Violence Law will be amended to include women as active subjects and not victims, which will include all forms of male violence: forced marriage, honour crimes, the treatment of women and girls, and female genital mutilation.

We oppose any form of LGBT-phobia, institutionalised or not, and therefore appropriate measures and actions will be put into place so that the rights of LGBT persons are guaranteed in all areas. We will promote the review of the Gender Identity Law for the depathologisation of transsexual identities. Educational protocols will be created for professors and education professionals regarding gender and sexual diversity.

18. Childhood

A State pact for childhood will be proposed to protect the rights of infants and adolescents, guaranteeing equal opportunities between girls, boys, and adolescents (given their condition of vulnerability) and reducing child poverty. As proposed by UNICEF, the sums and coverage of economic provisions per child under the care of Social Security will be increased (from the current 291 Euro to 1,200 Euro per year) for girls and boys with limited resources, taking into account official poverty risk measurements to determine the levels of income eligible for the provision.

19. Culture

We will develop the Estatuto del Artista y del Profesional de la Cultura (Artist and Culture Professional Statute) as a means of stimulating cultural activity, with the purpose of doing away with professional insecurity, and with a range of legal standards that are adapted to the intermittent nature of the sector. Said statute will include the particularity of irregular income for cultural professionals, and will promote a new taxation system that is adapted to their needs. This will result in fair taxation, without overlooking the guaranteed social protection rights of the sector and their union representation.

We will reduce the rate applicable to cultural and scholarly products in order to return to the situation prior to PP’s reforms.

III. Political democracy

20. Effective transparency of the public sector and the fight against corruption

A constitutional end to the “revolving door” practice will be proposed. The scope and specifics of professional incompatibilities once service is complete will be made clear for individuals holding political and senior management positions within the administration. Ex-elected officials will be blocked from joining the board of trustees of companies that operate in strategic sectors. The privileges of elected officials will be eliminated. Compensation for elected members of the Court will be reduced, and their salaries will be put on par with the State's civil service officials. The “golden pensions” will be eliminated. The number of senior officials will be reduced.

A new Ley de Financiación de los Partidos Políticos (Law on Political Party Financing) will be proposed. Bank financing to political parties will be drastically limited. Auditing for political foundations will be put on par with political parties.

The Public Contracts Law will be considered. A database of open and accessible tenders and contracts will be created. Citizen audits of public management will be implemented. The Company Registry website will be renovated. The social and environmental criteria and criteria for encouraging the local economy will be materialised in the public tender's contract specifications. Illegal and unjust enrichment will be criminalised. The crime of improper bribery will be included in the Criminal Code.

The “Berlusconi Law” will be repealed (Organic Law 13/2015 dated 5 October on the amendment to the Criminal Prosecution Law). Article 324 of the Criminal Prosecution Law will be repealed, which guarantees impunity for all complex crimes, including corruption, through a path of early dismissal for large judicial processes.

The insufficient and inadequate Transparency Law in effect will be reformed, working from the idea that access to information produced by institutions is a right. Public institutions must be included without exception, so its area of application will be expanded beyond administrative information to all information contained in all public institutions, the three State powers, as well as public companies and private companies that manage public services, and the exclusionary mention that makes reference to auxiliary information contained in article 18 of the Law will be repealed. Exceptions to the right of access to information that are covered by vague or unreasonable motives such as “economic and commercial interests” must be eliminated, and positively awarded requests not responded to so that their fulfilment can be claimed.

21. Citizen referendum on the Government’s dismissal in case of non-compliance with the electoral programme

Two years following the mandate, citizens will have the possibility of opening a Government dismissal process due to non-compliance with the electoral programme. With an initiative from 158 representatives and 15% of the voter registration’s signatures, a binding referendum will be able to be carried out in which citizens will be asked if new elections should be held due to the Government’s non-compliance with their programme. If the referendum’s response is positive, the Government’s president must hold general elections within a maximum period of 30 days. The regulation of similar procedures in the autonomous communities and city councils will be promoted.

22. Electoral system reform

The factors that provoke disproportionate and unequal voting in Spain (constituency, magnitude, barriers, and formulas) will be corrected in order to guarantee the true equality of each individual’s vote.

23. Freedom of expression, association, and demonstration

The “Gag Law” will be repealed (Organic Law 4/2015 dated 30 March on the protection of public safety). A new legislative framework will be produced related to the free exercise of the fundamental rights of expression, association, and demonstration. A Freedom of Consciousness Law will be approved to guarantee the State’s secularity, and agreements with the Vatican will be repealed.

24. The right to decide

A greater public debate will be opened up on the recognition and ways of exercising the right to decide within the framework of constitutional change. The multi-national nature of Spain will be constitutionally recognised. Constitutional guarantee will be given to the right of autonomous Governments to hold public referendums on the territorial extension of the nation when it is intensely demanded by the majority. Under article 92 of the Spanish Constitution, a referendum with guarantees will be held in Catalonia so that its citizens may decide on the type of territorial relationship it wishes to establish with the rest of Spain. Improving the current democratic framework is fundamentally important to encouraging citizen participation in political activity. To do this, we will promote a collection of reforms that will be able to be carried out through public policies, new legislation, and through strengthening mechanisms such as referendums and popular legislative initiatives.

25. Municipalism

Local administrations will be reformed. The “Montoro Law” will be repealed (Law 27/2013 dated 27 December, on the rationalisation and sustainability of local administration). Likewise, a new legal framework will be promoted that harmonises the municipal, autonomous, and state levels of government with the expansion and updating of municipal proposals and competencies. On the other hand, the necessary reform to the budget stability law will take social services truly assumed by municipalities into consideration.

26. New model for financing

A new financing model will be created that is built on the principles of equality, territorial justice, and inter-territorial solidarity. Support will be given to a financing model that guarantees the sufficiency of the local responsibility through the collection of taxes ceded to autonomous communities and the participation in State taxes. Financing will not be an obstacle to the development of the individual responsibility framework.

27. Constitutional change

A public debate will be opened up, which is oriented towards discussing the beginning of a process of constitutional change capable of modifying the economic, social, political, territorial, and institutional framework defined by the 1978 text. Under article 92.1 of the Spanish Constitution, a collective referendum will be held to begin this process.

28. True justice and the recognition of the right to effective legal counsel

A regulatory text will be created and agreed upon by collegiate bodies and associations of counsel to provide public defenders, which are meant to guarantee improved free and dignified public counsel assistance. Court fees will be repealed.

29. Administrative sanctions and fines that are proportional to individual income

A system of administrative sanctions and fines that are proportional to sanctioned individual's income will be created. Correction criteria will be added to the sanctioning process, which incorporate the accountability of the offender, equity, and the sanction's proportionality depending on the levels of income, as well as a flexible and limited system of calculation based on basic rates and fixed thresholds.

30. Democratic memory, truth, and justice

An active public policy for the recovery of our democratic memory will be promoted.

Three main types of measures will be implemented: policies for exercising the right to memory, policies for exercising the right to the truth, and policies for exercising access to justice and reparation for victims of Franco’s regime.

Legal recognition for all victims of Franco’s regime will be granted, and legal, political, and social recognition will be granted to those who defended the legality of the Republic, and those who fought against Franco’s regime, fascism, and Nazism. Franco’s regime will be institutionally condemned in the terms declared by the United Nations (UN).

The universal justice reform will be repealed.

IV. Environmental democracy

31. The fight against climate change

A Climate Change Law will be passed, which will be oriented towards meeting the goals set by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and will transversely regulate all policies involved in a planned, coherent, and stable manner. This law will incorporate ambitious goals for 2030 to reduce greenhouse effect gas emissions by a minimum of 55%, produce at least 45% renewable energy, and reduce energy consumption by 40% with regard to 1990 figures. The Plan de Transición Energética (Energy Transition Plan) included in the “Economic democracy” section would guarantee that renewable sources produce 100% of energy consumption by 2050. A green taxation system will be promoted to discourage consumption from sources with a higher level of pollution. Likewise, climate change mitigation and adaptation criteria will also be introduced across all policies, with actions to increase the resilience of cities and ecosystems. A reforestation policy will be enhanced, with native species and the development of the carbon sink effect. Law 11/2014 and Royal Decree 183/2015 will be immediately repealed, which amend Law 26/2007 on environmental responsibility, so that the governing principles of caution and prevention are restored, along with the principles of “those who pollute pay” and “polluting is not profitable”.

32. Water Law

We will draft a new Water Law which will guarantee access to clean drinking water as a fundamental right, along with the conservation of aquifers and ecological flows. Said law will ensure that water remains in public hands and, as a common asset, it will guarantee participatory decision-making on matters of water management and distribution. Measures will be promoted to eradicate water poverty, and water will be recognised as a human right, thus guaranteeing a minimum provision of this resource to all citizens. We will examine the construction of large water infrastructure.

33. Ecological Rescue Plan

We will promote a Plan de Rescate Ecológico (Ecological Rescue Plan) with the goal of restoring a collection of degraded areas and achieving environmental recovery. This will entail the creation of sustainable employment. This rescue plan will include a Plan de Conservación de la Biodiversidad (Biodiversity Conservation Plan) in our country, which will involve taking an inventory of natural systems, the creation of green corridors, and the incorporation of ecosystems not represented in the Red de Parques Nacionales (National Park Network), but which also require protection.

We will create the Agencia del Patrimonio Natural y la Biodiversidad (Biodiversity and Natural Heritage Agency) and promote a Inventario Nacional de la Biodiversidad (National Biodiversity Inventory), as well as a Plan Nacional de Restauración Ecosistémica (National Ecosystem Restoration Plan) and strategic sector plans for biodiversity and natural heritage. We support a review of the Ley de Caza (Hunting Law) and its development regulations in order to adapt them to the reality of the situation and the conservation of native wildlife and the ecosystem. We will promote a Plan Nacional de Restauración Ecosistémica (National Ecosystem Restoration Plan) to properly manage, protect, and restore natural habitats, including the recovery of species now lost. We propose strict protection for endangered species throughout Spain, especially native species (wolves, lynxes, bears), and the inclusion of these species in the Spanish Autonomous Communities' catalogues of endangered species.

34. Sustainable cities

An urban ecosystem transformation policy will be carried out for more sustainable and habitable locations for citizens. An urban planning model will be encouraged that is oriented towards renovation and the energy efficiency of current buildings and facilities, in accordance with that set forth in the section entitled “Democratic economy”.

35. Right to the environment

An adequate right to the environment will be promoted as one of the fundamental rights of citizens in our country. In this sense, an Estrategia Integral de Participación y Educación Ambiental (Integral Environmental Education and Participation Strategy) will be developed to involve citizens in ecological aspects that affect our lives and well-being.

36. Protection of coasts and marine environments

The coast, marine environments, and their surroundings will be protected. Amendments to the Coastal Law will be repealed. A new coastal protection model will be promoted, which takes geomorphological and landscape criteria into account. Fishing quotas will be distributed in an economically and socially fair manner that is also environmentally sustainable.

37. Circular economy

A circular economy will be encouraged with the goal of producing zero waste. The Waste Framework Directive’s implementation into Spanish Law will be examined, guaranteeing the principles of caution and prevention. A circular economy aimed at guaranteeing a reduction in the use of natural resources will be promoted, along with effective management that seeks to eliminate waste.

38. Rural development and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Law 45/2007 on sustainable rural development will be updated, developed, and applied, with the purpose of improving the design framework and action planning of the various territorial administrations involved in sustainable rural development, participating in the fight against depopulation, productive investment, economic development, infrastructure, education, healthcare, protection of culture, society, and biodiversity, with special emphasis on priority and mountainous rural areas.

The sustainable social and family agriculture and livestock model will be defended with a new orientation by applying the CAP, and there will be new management of pillars 1 and 2, with the intention of guiding future negotiations with the CAP in 2020.

We will encourage the “territorial agriculture contract” in order to provide special and integrated support to farmers, unifying aid to facilitate its management and processing. Ecological agriculture will be supported in a clear manner thanks to a plan of concerted actions. Operational improvements to the agrifood chain will be promoted with the determined application and signing of Law 12/2013 dated 2 August to avoid dominant positions and defend the production sector throughout the entire chain. Compensation prices that cover production costs and avoid crises such as the one experienced by the dairy sector will be favoured, and the development of short distribution channels will be supported.

A new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) based on agroecology, food sovereignty, and common goods will be encouraged so that small farmers can be defended, the environment protected, and an end can be put to large multi-national agrifood chain control. The CAP must include instruments that put an end to food speculation.

39. Animal well-being and the protection of biodiversity

We oppose the use of public resources and subsidies for leisure, entertainment, celebratory, or sporting activities that are incompatible with the well-being of animals. We will defend the removal of the Asset of Cultural Interest or Asset of Tourist Interest claims of any performance in which animals are mistreated. Initiatives will be encouraged to promote the respect of the dignity of animals.

V. European and international democracy

40. EU economic governance reform

A reform of European institutions that democratises political and economic decision-making will be promoted. Likewise, a reform of the European Central Bank (ECB) bylaws will be promoted in order to include a proper level of economic activity and employment growth being maintained as one of its goals. This is to be integrated throughout the collection of institutions that apply economic policy, in a way that is coordinated and under true democratic control, so that it may act as a lender of last resort for fiscal authorities.

41. Stability and Growth Pact and Fiscal Pact reform

The Government of Change will encourage European institutions to profoundly reform the Stability and Growth Pact and the Fiscal Pact, eliminating the goal of a structurally balanced budget, and allowing for flexibility with the deficit so that it is better adapted to each country's needs. The consideration of an appropriate level of public investment will be encouraged, introducing a “golden rule” that excludes them from deficit calculations.

A true European fiscal policy will be promoted: a common budget with significant weight, a mechanism for transferring resources between countries depending on their cyclical position, the issuance of Eurobonds, and a greater degree of harmonisation between some taxes, particularly those on corporations. This European fiscal policy must serve a trans-European plan for investment in the infrastructure necessary for the energy transition and the creation of sustainable employment.

42. European Debt Conference

Holding a European Debt Conference will be encouraged, putting on the agenda the EU-coordinated restructuring of public debt in the Euro zone. We are proposing a modification to the maturity date of European debt in circulation through a bond swap that facilitates old bonds being substituted for new bonds while maintaining their perpetuity. The ECB would be the institution to acquire the old bonds at the nominal value and swap them for new ones at a 0% interest rate with the goal of keeping them on the books. Furthermore, the ECB should restructure public debt in Euro zone economies that exceed 60% of GDP, and develop this public debt elimination transaction for all Euro zone countries, thereby sharing the debt.

43. No to TTIP and CETA

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a threat to our sovereignty, our democracy, and our economy, as it perceives social and environmental regulations as obstacles to commerce. We oppose its ratification, and will establish a dialogue with other European governments to act in the same manner. We also oppose the ratification of CETA, a commerce and investment agreement between the EU and Canada.

44. Effective access to the right to vote for Spaniards residing abroad

The “expatriate vote” will be repealed, and the Electoral Regime Law will be reformed to facilitate the right to vote for Spaniards living abroad.

45. The Return Plan

We will create a Return Plan that facilitates unemployment subsidies and access to housing for those returning, and which recognises economic provisions derived from Social Security contributions for Spanish workers that have been working abroad. We will guarantee the European health insurance card for all Spanish citizens residing on the European continent.

46. Right to asylum and dignity for migrants

The foreigner internment centres, CIEs (centros de internamiento para extranjeros), will be closed, and the legal amendments necessary to guarantee the right to asylum will be redacted. These amendments will stipulate safe and legal channels for entry by reinstating the possibility of requesting diplomatic asylum at Spanish embassies and consulates in third countries, along with the concession of humanitarian visas, the elimination of transit visas for those fleeing from conflict-stricken nations, and the simplification of the family reunification process.

47. Human rights at the borders

Measures will be adopted to guarantee the respect of human rights at border controls and impede the loss of human life in the process. We will guarantee that illegal deportations are stopped, and we will ensure respect for the principle of not deporting to countries where the lives of those emigrating are at risk. To do this, we will facilitate the refugee procedure. On an international, European, and state level, work will be done to recognise and protect environment- and climate-induced migration.

48. Western Sahara

We defend Western Sahara’s self-determination.

49. Palestinian State

We will promote Spanish and EU recognition of the Palestinian State.

50. Developmental aid

We are committed to increasing the budget for Official Development Aid to 0.7% of the Gross National Income.”

translation: transform! europe

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