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Government control session

Pedro Sánchez insists that unity and co-governance will lead to defeat of second wave of COVID-19

Lower House of Parliament, Madrid, Wednesday 9 September 2020

During the Government control session in the Lower House of Parliament, Pedro Sánchez stressed that society as a whole managed to flatten the coronavirus curve in the first wave thanks to an exercise in unity and co-governance never before seen in the democratic history of Spain.

In response to a question asked by Pablo Casado, of the Popular parliamentary group, the President of the Government added that those same factors will enable Spain to also overcome the second wave of COVID-19, "which is less deadly than the wave we experienced in March and April".

The President of the Government insisted on his proposal for unity on three fronts: removing partisanship from "the fight against a common enemy - the virus"; "pitching in" on approval of the General State Budget for 2021; and renewing the constitutional institutions.

Proposals for an extraordinary situation

In his response to Gabriel Rufián, of the Republican parliamentary group, Pedro Sánchez advocated a "progressist" and "country-focused" National Budget capable of receiving "sufficiently extensive support in this House, because that is what Spanish society demands from its political representatives".

"We are in an extraordinary situation, something that has not happened in the last 100 years of human history. Therefore, we must all make a joint effort to overcome ideological dialectics and focus the debate on the issues that Spanish society deserves, which are the transformation, providing a vehicle for the 140 billion euros of EU funding and not leaving anyone behind", he said.

Regarding the measures already adopted by the Government of Spain during the pandemic, the President of the Government explained that 679,000 workers in Catalonia benefited from the ERTE [temporary redundancy plans], 247,000 self-employed workers received the extraordinary benefit stemming from the lockdown and more than 6,500 households now receive the Minimum Living Income. He also stressed that Catalonia is the region where the most companies and self-employed workers have accessed the ICO lines of credit - a total of 102,214, which represents funding worth 98.88 billion euros.

"This was our response, with all the mistakes we may have made and that we want to gradually rectify, with the tools we had available at the time; i.e. the General State Budget from the previous government", said Pedro Sánchez, who encouraged the House to "get on with approving this new budget".

Government agenda

Regarding the government's ideological agenda, an issue brought up by Santiago Abascal, of the Vox parliamentary group, Pedro Sánchez said that the government's priorities are "to defend public health, save lives and not leave anyone behind by using the best social shield ever created in the history of Spanish democracy".

The President of the Government also referred to the democratic memory act announced by the Government of Spain in his reply to the MP for Vox. "We are going to ban and make illegal any ideologies that defend the Franco dictatorship", said Pedro Sánchez, who congratulated Spanish society on having overcome hatred and fear "a long time ago".

Non official translation