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President of the Government sets ring-fencing of Welfare State as goal for this legislature

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 3 August 2018

​The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, appeared on Friday before the media, following the Council of Ministers, to take stock of the agreements adopted, and to explain his government's priorities for this legislature.

The President of the Government believes it is necessary "to ring-fence" the Welfare State with measures to guarantee education, healthcare, pensions and long-term care. These are fundamental cornerstones on which the government is working. Pedro Sánchez reiterated the approval of the Royal Decree on grants and study aids, which provides for students of the most needy families and for the children of victims of gender-based violence, as well as the recovery of universal healthcare and the approval of the VECA Programme to guarantee food, leisure and the well-being of children at risk of poverty.

Pool Moncloa / Fernando CalvoAs regards gender-based violence, the President of the Government announced the approval of a Royal Decree-Law to develop the State Pact approved a year ago in the Lower House of Parliament.

For the President of the Government, the vote of no confidence and subsequent formation of the government have led to a "change of era", reflected in the agenda for change announced in his appearance in the Lower House of Parliament and which covers the consolidation of economic growth and job creation, progress on social cohesion and equality, strengthening territorial cohesion and Spain's role on the international stage and in the European Union. Pedro Sánchez stressed that the people of Spain have a government that represents them and that represents a progressive, open and plural Spain.

The President of the Government stressed the importance of European countries finding a common response to migratory flows and announced the creation of a single operational commander for cooperation between the State law enforcement agencies in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar. This single commander will centralise actions related to these flows pursuant to prevailing national and international legislation, which seek to protect lives and the dignity of migrants.

According to the President of the Government, two of the main challenges facing the European Union are completing the Monetary Union and the creation of a social pillar, with five major guidelines under discussion related to labour improvements, which should be set in motion before the end of the year.

Economic agenda

In his speech, the President of the Government underlined another of his government's goals: the consolidation of growth and job creation. In this regard, he took stock of the economic forecast that point to growth in our country above the European Union average, with the creation of some 450,000 jobs before the end of the year.

Growth, competitiveness, investment, exports and confidence, as well as backing for wage rises, are the main goals of this legislature. Pedro Sánchez stressed the approval last week at the Council of Ministers of the Master Plan for Dignified Work and announced the approval this Friday of a Royal Decree to combat the figure of fake independent contractors and of another Royal Decree that will provide cover to workers, particularly unemployed female workers, who no longer sign up to the extraordinary Employment Activation Programme.

As regards public employment, the President of the Government referred to the approval of wage rises and the largest public employment offer of the last decade. On environmental matters, Pedro Sánchez stressed the government's special commitment to tying in growth to ecology, which lays the foundations for self-consumption, renewable energies and a commitment to the 2030 Agenda.

Path of stability

Pool Moncloa / Fernando CalvoFor the President of the Government, restoring the health of the public accounts and strengthening the Welfare State are two fundamental cornerstones. The President of the Government reiterated his clear commitment, which he will take to the two Houses of Parliament, to improve public health, active employment policies, long-term care, social services, compliance with the State Pact to Combat Gender-based Violence, boosting science, industry and the ecological transition, all to the benefit of the working and middle classes.

The path of stability seeks to be two-fold: economic and social; a path which, he reiterated, will be implemented through the presentation and approval of the General State Budget in 2019.

Territorial cohesion

"Consensus and agreements" are the foundations on which to build territorial cohesion, stressed the President of the Government. This can be seen in the meetings held with the regional presidents, which will conclude before the year is out, as well as the holding of 18 sector conferences with the regional governments and the creation of a Bilateral Committee with Catalonia, a committee that had not met for the last seven years.

Non official translation