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Press briefing by President of the Government of Spain at second day of European Council

Brussels (Belgium), Friday 11 December 2020

SPEECH BY PRESIDENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SPAIN, PEDRO SÁNCHEZ

(Brief inaudible fragment with opening greeting). Because on many occasions; no, not on many, but on all occasions, the good work and successes of summits and councils are closely intertwined with the preliminary work done in different areas. So our sincere gratitude to all of them for that.

I also wanted to take stock of this marathon Council meeting we have had where none of the leaders have literally slept for this whole day and a half; we started a 1 pm and have just finished the Council meeting now, because there were a great many very serious matters of great importance for European, and hence, for Spanish, citizens.

In this section on expressing gratitude, I also want to acknowledge the work of the German Rotating Presidency. I feel that one of the things we have witnessed at the end of the Council has been the applause by all of the members in recognition of the German Chancellor, of Chancellor Merkel, because clearly at this such critical time in the history of the European Union, we have had the good luck that it has been Germany, and particularly a leader with this track-record and this experience like Chancellor Merkel, who has headed up the European Union in mid-crisis, in the worst crisis in the last hundred years, not only in Europe but also in the history of mankind in terms of health emergencies. And hence, I also wanted to pay tribute and acknowledge the German Rotating Presidency because I feel, to a great extent, that many of the things we are going to say now, many of the things we have been debating in recent months, are also closely related to the good work done by the German Government, and particularly, by Chancellor Merkel.

Firstly, I feel that the most important issue is what was announced yesterday, which is the unblocking by two countries that are members of the European Council, finally, of the Multiannual Financial Framework, and hence, also of the Recovery, Resilience and Transformation Fund. I believe this is extraordinary news for Europe, and also clearly for Spain.

I feel it is also important to remember that Spain, together with other countries, at the start of the pandemic back in March, was already advocating what we are calling a Marshall Plan. In July, this form of Marshall Plan, that we have called the Next Generation European Union, came to fruition, with an allocation of 700 billion euros over the next six years for the European Union as a whole. All European countries are going to go into debt, through the European Commission, and over these next six years Spain will receive resources amounting to 140 billion euros.

We have said this on many occasions, including here in the press room of Spain's Permanent Representation before the EU (Spanish acronym: REPER); I said this precisely in the early hours of the day that we signed this agreement back in the month of July. In the 1990s, the structural funds amounted to 8 billion euros over six years, and here we are talking about 140 billion euros, and hence, in short, there is no comparison. Nor is there any comparison between the challenge for absorption, implementation and transformation of these funds… But I feel that the Government of Spain is clearly ready now. We are ready. In what regard? Well, fortunately, in recent weeks we have seen, after two long years of an impasse, that the Lower House of Parliament has given the green light to the approval of the public accounts for 2021, which I feel meet three fundamental requirements for the future, and I would like to tie this in with the approval of the Financial Framework and also the Recovery Fund.

Social protection. We will be able to strengthen public policies tied in to social protection, healthcare, education, dependence, in short, our social policies, including the Minimum Living Income.

Two. The protection of competitive sectors which, as a result of the lockdown, have been affected. I believe we all have the paradigm in mind. Tourism is a very competitive sector in our country, which has unfortunately been seriously affected by the closure of our borders, the restrictions on international mobility, and national mobility, in order to flatten the curve of contagion of the virus.

And thirdly, well, these 27 billion euros allocated under the National Budget, which will be, let's say, the first wave of these resources under the Recovery Fund that we will allocate to the modernisation of our country, to education, to science, to the ecological transition, to the digital transition and to the training of workers.

In other words, we are facing an exciting challenge. I feel that it is very exciting and inspires hope, but it will clearly require we give the best of ourselves, not just the Government of Spain, but also all public institutions, and also clearly the private sector, which we are relying on to materialise many of these investments.

Hence, I feel that the first piece of good news came at the start of the European Council yesterday, which was the release of the Next Generation European Union funds, the unblocking of the Multiannual Financial Framework, which Spain is ready for because we have a new National Budget, after two years of an impasse, to successfully address, with all due guarantees, this challenge we face to protect companies, to protect the most vulnerable groups as a result of the crisis, and thirdly, to address the transformation and reconversion of our economy.

Secondly, I feel that one of the main areas of concern for European leaders, and also clearly for European citizens, including Spanish citizens, is the evolution of the pandemic. You saw the figures yesterday: we are now below an accumulated incidence rate of 200; we are one of the countries in the European Union with the lowest accumulated rate… And let me tell you something else; when we had one of the highest accumulated rates in the European Union, and I will say the same now as I did then, we are not doing anything better or worse than other European countries - we are doing the same things, with the same instruments, with the same intentions, with the same humility, following the same scientific advice. And of course, we are well aware that although we have an accumulated incidence rate of a little over 180 per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days, the criteria of the WHO are very clear. We must reach 25 per 100,000, while we are over 180 and under 190. Hence, we still have a long way to go to keep the virus at bay.

What is true is that our citizens may be a little tempted to feel that 180 is not the same as 400, which we are seeing in other countries, and hence they might want to relax a little the safety and protection measures. I believe that the most important thing to always remember is not to drop our guard, particularly now, at this time of holidays, at Christmas, which, beyond its purely commercial nature, it is clear that what Christmas means is meeting up, family, affection… And I will not tire of saying that the best present we can give to our loved ones is health and safety.

So, let's not drop our guard, let's continue to maintain all the protection measures, because we are clearly lowering the curve, but we are still at very high levels compared with the criteria the WHO demands from us to be able to keep the virus at bay, the COVID-19 virus.

What is true is that also as a result of this third phase we are in, we can perfectly go ahead with the vaccination strategy, which we also spoke about at the European Council.

You are aware that Spain, together with Germany, was one of the first countries to approve a vaccination strategy. We started to work on this vaccination strategy back in September. We did this with experts in bioethics. We also did this following advice from the CAES. And we also did this with the advice and joint work with some regional governments, the most important, let's say, in terms of population size.

And I believe that the result is very positive in terms of establishing the, let's say, social groups that should be vaccinated first, of establishing the plans we have in terms of the distribution of these vaccines, of the logistics, the recording of vaccinations and communication… In short, this will be a major challenge because it is the first time that we will begin to vaccinate millions of people in Spain, and also in Europe, with different vaccines to tackle the same virus.

Hence, everything in relation to the logistics, the distribution, equal access, and also the fair distribution among the regions according to their population size, and safety, which is guaranteed as a result of the validation process by the European Medicines Agency, I feel will be tremendously important.

And in this regard, I would like to convey to you that the feeling of all the members of the Council, and you will see this reflected in the Conclusions, is to attempt to step up coordination in the vaccination strategy.

Some countries, including Spain, have asked the European Commission, and also the rest of the Member States, if we could somehow coordinate the start of the vaccination process, maybe not on the same day but at least begin to vaccinate in the same week. Why? Because it is very important to share information on the vaccination process and also clearly to design communication strategies regarding the Spanish people, and indeed, all European citizens.

So, I feel this is a little of what you will see in the Conclusions of the European Council - the utmost coordination, including in the vaccination strategy, together with two of the most important elements, which are recognition of tests, including the antigen tests - and you are aware that the European Commission has given us a series of recommendations in this regard - and these are some of the elements we must continue working on at a European level because not everything has been resolved yet. There are some recommendations that the Commission has made to us that we are upholding in our country, but there are some which, let's say, still require further steps in the right direction.

Two more questions tied in to the vaccination strategy; I apologise for going on so in this opening speech but there are many issues to cover.

The first, which I feel is very important: the vaccination strategy and vaccines in Europe is a case study within this calamity of the pandemic. If it had not been for the concerted action headed up by the European Commission and the support of all European governments in the negotiations with the large pharmaceutical companies, then today Europe would not have the volume of vaccine doses that will be available to us as from 2021, or equal access by all countries, according to their population size vis-à-vis the whole of the European Union. And I feel it is very important to underline this, because we rightly hear criticism on many occasions of the European Union for not undertaking concerted action; well, in a case like this, which is a calamity and a terrible pandemic that has ravaged Europe, and the whole world, the worst in 100 years… All of the adjectives you could imagine, which I am sure you will agree with me on, but Europe has risen to the challenge. And we must acknowledge this; it has risen to the challenge because it has offered a response to the health emergency, to an unprecedented vaccination process, and I believe that for a pro-European country, for a pro-European society, like Spain, it is very important to underline this.

And secondly, and this is also very important and related to the first point. One of the fundamental elements we will find over the next year is that it is highly likely that Europe will find itself with a surplus of vaccination doses, and hence, what will we do with these? What is clear is that the attitude of "if the world isn't safe then Europe isn't safe" implies that we must undertake a donation strategy of these vaccines to other countries. So, we also spoke about this at the European Council. And all the Member States are in agreement that we must clearly make an effort at solidarity with those countries that unfortunately have neither the economic capacity nor the ability to access a vaccine in the near future.

So, this is the second point I wanted to mention to you, regarding the vaccination against COVID-19. The third, I feel, is also a very important achievement. You will have heard this, but if not, I will repeat it now: the pandemic has speeded up transitions which were already on their way, which were also objectives of the coalition government, as I said in my investiture speech. I won't tire of saying this; the ecological transition is one of the main transformations we need and is demanded of our country by the world.

You have the Paris Agreements, which tell us that if we don't enhance and bring forward compliance with these targets to reduce CO2 emissions, then Europe will not be able to meet these targets set in the Paris Agreements.

Tomorrow is precisely the anniversary of the Paris Agreements, and we will hold a Climate Action Summit, and hence, the European Council has been practically all through dinner and all night and in today's session negotiating to reach an important commitment to reduce at least - and I feel it is also important to underline this expression - greenhouse gases, well, CO2 emissions, by 55% by the year 2030.

I believe that this is not only in the interest of our economy, and of our industry, but is also in line - if we look at this ecological transition from a perspective of social integration - with the values that represent, or at least what we want to represent, Europe:

One, intergenerational solidarity with young people, who will inherit the planet we leave behind for them today. Two, prosperity, through the creation of sustainable jobs. And three, the sustainability and well-being of those of us from generations that are presently enjoying the planet.

Hence, I believe that from a more political perspective, if you will allow me, it is clear why we must bring these targets forward. And also from a geostrategic and economic perspective, allow me to leave you with a thought. There is a sort of momentum at this time, thanks as well to the election of a new President of the United States, who clearly stood in the elections saying that he was going to ensure the United States signed back up to the Paris Agreements; we have seen Japan, South Korea and China talk about converting their countries into carbon neutral economies by the year 2060; and hence Europe cannot lag behind. We have lost a great many jobs in revolutions and transitions that are going to mark the future of the 21st Century: the digital transition, 5G, new technologies… In short, I believe that we have a great opportunity at this time to transform the automotive sector of electric vehicles to renewable energies, where Spain is a cutting-edge country… In short, we have a great opportunity not to miss this train, and hence to place us, like Europe, at the vanguard in many of these transitions that will obviously also mean very powerful technological development.

I feel that the Recovery Fund is also essential in that regard. You are aware that the design we are making, which I have already presented in Spain, of this Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Fund, is related, in more than 30% of its content, to green investments, and hence to this ecological transition that we want to see for our country over the next six years. And hence, and I stress this, we are ready to successfully make this huge effort, with all due guarantees, that will lead to a reduction of at least 55% in CO2 emissions in our country by the year 2030, that is, within ten years. In other words, the efforts the public and private sectors will make are extraordinary, but I believe this is worthwhile.

Four, Brexit, which is, let's say, an unknown, at least until next Sunday. You know that the President of the European Commission and the British Prime Minister held a dinner, here in this city, in Brussels, at the start of the week, and were urged to meet this weekend to see if they could reach an agreement.

You are aware where the problems lie because the difficulties have not shifted over these long months of negotiations: governance, let's say, the level playing field, and also fishing. There are other more collateral issues that affect us a little more, more directly, but which have now been resolved, such as the issue of air transport. But at any event, the first thing I would like to say is that the Government of Spain fully supports the negotiating team. That is the first point.

The second point; what Spain wants, like the rest of Europe, and we are absolutely united in this, is to have balanced relations with the United Kingdom, above all on these three aspects. We want to have the nest possible relations with the United Kingdom, but we want these relations to be as balanced as possible. Hence, we hope that over the coming days we can reach a successful outcome in these negotiations.

Despite this, should this not transpire in the end, and it is clear that yesterday you saw that the European Commission published a series of more general EU-wide contingency measures and that Spain has already been working, as you know, since 2018 - which you have asked me about on some occasions - on the sector contingency measures that we will have to implement at any event, despite this, we hope that this will not end up being a hard Brexit as from 1 January.

As regards Turkey, which is an important issue, I want to say that the Declaration, in the opinion of the Government of Spain, which has always advocated constructive and positive dialogue with Turkey by the European Union, is quite balanced and firm. It expresses the solidarity of all the Member States with Greece and with Cyprus. It also expresses the concern over some of the actions being taken by President Erdogan in the Eastern Mediterranean. And of course we are not closing the door on holding constructive dialogue with a strategic partner, as is Turkey, in a great many areas.

And also within this context, thanks to the leadership of Spain and Italy, which you had the chance to see and ask us about at the bilateral summit we held in Majorca a few weeks ago, we circulated a "non-paper" on the southern neighbourhood strategy, because Europe must start to look at the southern neighbourhood in a much more structural and strategic manner.

So, I feel that the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process, the summit that was held and headed up by High Representative Borrel in Barcelona, meant updating the Barcelona Process and making it more dynamic, seeking to visualise dialogue structured around ten pillars related to elements that we may have in common with these countries to the south, not just on migration, because we often only speak about migration when we refer to these countries, but also to the economy, the ecological transition, equality between men and women; in short, a long list of shared and joint actions we could take, even in the field of protecting the Mediterranean by boosting the blue economy.

As regards terrorism and security, you are aware that this is one of the issues proposed at the Council as a result of the attacks in Germany, in Austria and in France over recent months.

What all the countries have done is express our solidarity with these three countries. And we have stated that we not only have to step up police cooperation, but also judicial cooperation. Spain, unfortunately, is a country that has suffered from terrorism for many years and is well aware of how to combat terrorism, which is not only through police cooperation, but also through judicial cooperation.

And another element that we have also included upon a proposal from the Government of Spain is not losing sight of the victims of terrorism. And this is something included in the Conclusions at Spain's behest.

Two last points and I will end by taking any questions.

One is the trans-Atlantic relationship between the United States and the European Union. I feel there are good expectations regarding the new US Administration. Spain's attitude is that there is a pressing agenda, which is what we need to activate with the new Administration, related to what I said before; the Paris Agreement, the WHO - the World Health Organization. In short, we want the United States to return to the multilateralism forum. That is the pressing agenda.

The important agenda for Spain and for Europe is to resolve some of the contentious issues pending regarding customs tariff wars on agri-food products from our country's agroindustry, which, furthermore, are related to things that had nothing to do with the conflict between Boeing and Airbus. In short, there are many things there to take up again, a lot to do with the US Administration. The digital tax, which you know is something that is being debated at the level of the OECD. In short, there are questions that are tied in to the important agenda that the United States has with the European Union.

And then you have the strategic agenda, which is clearly related to China, Syria, Libya, Turkey, NATO, 5G technology and geostrategic implications with Latin America, with

Venezuela… In short, I believe there are a great many issues on the strategic agenda that we must address with the new US Administration and which we are clearly interested, as a government, in dealing with.

And finally, this is also a very important matter; we have held the Euro Summit, at which we have approved the reform of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), approved by the Ministers for Economic Affairs and Finance at the Eurogroup a week ago. I believe that the most important aspect of the Conclusions is bringing forward the backstop to 2022, which I feel is a very important step for what many governments and administrations have spoken about regarding the culmination, once and for all, of the Banking Union and also the Capital Markets Union at a time in which structuring savings to invest is clearly one of the elements that I also feel is very important for the economic recovery.

So there are a great many issues and I would like to end where I began. I feel it is very important to acknowledge the work and the success of the German Rotating Presidency and of Chancellor Merkel. The success and the good news, despite this calamity we are suffering from due to the pandemic, is that we have made progress and developed the Recovery Fund, the Multiannual Financial Framework, which will structure, for example, all the common policies that are so important for our country. And, in short, I feel we are ready, as I said before, with the approval of the National Budget after a two-year impasse in Parliament, at the end of this year.

And without further ado, I will take your questions.

Journalist: La Vanguardia. I have two questions about Brexit. Do you feel that the idea we are receiving is that there is now more of a chance of not reaching an agreement than of reaching one?

And is Sunday really the final date, because we have seen a lot of final dates that have then been extended. And the other more specific question relates to air transport and the regulation which establishes that 50% of the ownership of companies that opt for a European licence must be owned by citizens from the European Union. Are you sure that Iberia and Vueling have done their homework and adapted so that they can continue flying in the European Union in the future?

President of the Government: As regards your first question, I will try not to confuse my wishes with the reality. I hope that an agreement is reached; I hope we will have the best possible relations with the United Kingdom, which I believe is in Spain's and Europe's interest. This is a strategic partner. We have always said that it is a shame that the United Kingdom has decided to abandon the European project.

But let's wait and see. I feel that the key is in what I said. First, we must trust the negotiating team. Second, we need the unity of the 27 Member States regarding the negotiating team and the negotiating position of [Michel] Barnier and the President of the European Commission. And third, what we want to see is a balanced relationship.

We want a balanced relationship, to which end we need to define and clarify the rulebook well. Because there is a great deal at stake there in terms of the functioning of the internal market, which is one of the EU's main achievements. Other key issues are fishing, governance and many other sector matters that obviously affect some countries more than others.

In this regard, in relation to air transport, well, we have been working for a long time now, at least since 2018, when I came to power, first with IAG, with Iberia, and also with the European Commission to provide a response and a way out, a solution, to put it better, to this question. And at this time, I should tell you that this is resolved, in principle. It is resolved and there will be no problem in Iberia operating in European air space after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

Journalist: So it has a 50% composition.

President of the Government: I don't want to get into that. Later, those people who have been more involved with the details can tell you exactly what the criteria and requirements are. But, at any event, what I can guarantee is that they will be able to operate in European air space.

Journalist: El País. I had two questions, more on domestic affairs, the first about the Royal Household. I don't know whether you feel that the King, or the Royal Household, should explain the emeritus King's tax irregularities that have come to light in recent days to the Spanish people and whether you fear that the prestige of the Royal Household has maybe been irreparably damaged.

Secondly, as regards Moroccan sovereignty of the Sahara, which the United States recognised yesterday, which has precisely come at a time when the minister was visiting Palestine, I wanted to know whether any shift in attitude has been foreseen in relations between Spain and Morocco or between the European Union and Morocco. Thank you very much.

President of the Government: Thank you very much, Guillermo. Well, firstly you have asked me for explanations about relations with the Royal Household. Look, these are questions that you must ask the Royal Household as an institution, which is different to the Executive Power.

What I do feel is that explanations are often not given through words, but through actions, and I feel that King Felipe VI, through his actions, since the start of his reign, has conveyed an exemplary image, one of transparency, in short, with more modern conduct from an institution like the Crown in response to an advanced democratic society in the 21st Century like Spanish society. Hence, actions speak louder than words, and we are also seeing the way the current Head of State understands and exercises his role in public life. And this is something I have said on many occasions and which I also value and appreciate.

Secondly, as regards prestige or lack of it. I have said this on many occasions but I feel it is very important to stress this again.

It is not institutions that are being tried but people; it is not the Crown that is being tried but the former Head of State. Just as Parliament is not judged but individual parliamentarians. Just as the Judiciary is not tried but an individual judge. That is the spirit of the Constitution.

And the key is to be aware that Spain is going through, like Europe and the rest of the world, an unprecedented crisis unseen in the last 100 years. And hence Spanish society and its institutions must guarantee that these institutions are strong and stable.

And how do you guarantee the stability of these institutions? By respecting the Constitution. And I have said this on many occasions but will repeat it now; while I am at the helm of the Government of Spain, the Constitution will be applied from the first to the last of its articles, and from the north to the south and from the east to the west of our country. That is my guarantee.

So we advocate the Constitution, the constitutional pact, parliamentary monarchy and we are aware that people are tried, not institutions.

Oh sorry, Guillermo, the Sahara.

As regards the Sahara, well, I feel that the Minister for Foreign Affairs was very clear yesterday.

Indeed, this news was announced yesterday once the re-establishment of diplomatic relations was announced between Morocco and Israel, which is something we welcome. She said something else very important which is that we would like to resolve, once and for all, the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

And as regards the Western Sahara, the Government of Spain's position is well-known - a central role for the United Nations and respect for international law. The Minister for Foreign Affairs said this yesterday and it is something I fully uphold.

What I can assure you is that relations between the Government of Spain and Morocco are excellent. Since 2018, when I had the honour to become the President of the Government, I have had the chance to travel to Morocco, to meet with the King of Morocco, to meet with the government and the Prime Minister, who I speak with often.

There was, it is true, a mutual interest in holding a high-level meeting, which has not taken place between Spain and Morocco for some years now, since before my arrival. There was a great deal of interest by both sides. But anyway, we have decided, as a result of the epidemiological situation to wait a couple of months to hold it with all due guarantees. That is what was decided by the two governments and we have delayed it until the month of February, I seem to remember, which is when the high-level meeting has now been convened for.

Journalist: Europa Press. Returning to the matter of the summit with Morocco, I wanted to know whether the postponement of this event was not a setback to Spain's need to step up cooperation on migration. And whether you interpret it as a wake-up call for Spain to change its position on the Sahara.

President of the Government: Víctor, sorry. Thank you for the question.

Not at all; truly, not at all. We have a very good relationship with Morocco. In fact, when we came to power, I should state that we were suffering from a very serious migratory crisis. There was no migratory policy at that time. We had to establish one and re-channel the lost or weakened communication over many years with the Moroccan Government, with the Moroccan authorities. And since then we have a relationship that I would called privileged between Morocco and Spain. And I feel that it is just as good for Morocco as it is for Spain.

Clearly we have, I stress, a mutual interest in holding this high-level meeting, because we haven't held one for many years now. There are a great many issues on the agenda. Just look, regarding the issues that we had been working on through Memoranda of Understanding, these included issues closely tied in to migration; issues relating to COVID-19, on which we want to work together; issues related to energy, above all renewable energies, because Morocco is a country whose government is very interested in implementing a hydrogen strategy; etc.; logically, everything related to industry, trade and tourism.

In short, there are a great many issues. There are a great many issues that clearly need to be delayed a couple of months as a result of this calamity we face, which is the pandemic. But there is not really any specific issue behind this since, moreover, the Government of Spain's position on the Western Sahara is well-known. It is the position we have held for these last two years and we have and will continue to have a very positive relationship with the Government of Morocco.

Journalist: Televisión Española. Good day, President of the Government. I wanted to come back to two issues related to the Royal Household. You have just said that the Constitution must be upheld, the constitutional pact. Is that message also addressed to your government partner? Because Podemos has posted a video in the last few hours with a tone that reminds us of a drug dealer TV series with pictures that are far from flattering for the monarchy. I was wondering what you think about this kind of attitude.

And as regards the potential return of the King Emeritus to Spain, do you not feel that it could tarnish the image of the institution, the work being done by King Felipe? Thank you.

President of the Government: Well, as regards your last question. In short, we should remember that the former Head of State, the emeritus King, has no legal issues pending with the justice system. In the sense that he is someone who when he sent a letter to the current Head of State saying that he was leaving the country expressly stated that if his presence was required in Spain by the justice system, he would immediately return.

Hence, I believe that it is important to underline this fact. I feel that it is important to respect the presumption of innocence. When information started to filter through, I said from the outset, and have repeated this on many occasions, that this news was worrying and disturbing, not just for the Spanish people but for me as well. In other words, I have not hidden away in this regard; I have been quite clear.

But I have also always maintained that our democracy is working. You have been informed of these facts, the public prosecutor is investigating, the tax authorities are logically acting to maintain the confidentiality that all taxpayers are entitled to, whoever they may be, and regardless of their name.

By the way, former King Juan Carlos, the emeritus King, has the same rights and obligations as any other citizen, above all, the same tax obligations. I say this because of some statements we heard yesterday from a regional leader. The same obligations, not more and not less. And hence, I believe that in this regard what is important is that in regard to this question as to whether he is going to return or not, it should be the institution - the Royal Household and not the Executive Power - that responds.

And as regards your first question, look, Podemos and the Socialist Party are two different parties. We come from different cultures. I have said this on many occasions. The Socialist Party was the only party on the Constitutional Committee that advocated a Republic of Spain in an amendment. The Communist Party did not advocate the Republic of Spain at that time, it was the Socialist Party and we lost the vote because a majority in the Lower House of Parliament, on the Constitutional Committee, advocated a parliamentary monarchy.

And then, the Socialist Party said that it would take on-board the constitutional pact and when you do that, you take it on in whole, not in part, which is what some people do.

And there you have, for example, the People's Party, and, by the way, I can announce to you that I will call Mr Casado to see whether, once and for all, after two years waiting for Mr Casado, we can now renew the collegiate body of the judiciary, the governing body of the judiciary, and thus uphold the Constitution.

We must uphold all the articles of the Constitution, even those that Mr Casado may be uncomfortable with because he is in the opposition. That means renewing the governing body of the judiciary, renewing the Constitutional Court, renewing the Ombudsman, renewing all those institutions that they are always blocking, which by chance happens when the People's Party is in the opposition.

Thank you very much

(Transcript edited by the State Secretariat for Communication)

Non official translation