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Change the orientation, Don’t repeat mistakes, Build the alternative!

Anticapitalistas statement in the face of the failed investiture of Sánchez

Thursday 1 August 2019, by Anticapitalistas

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The investiture of Pedro Sánchez has failed and along with it, the tactics of Podemos who invested all its assets to enter the government as a supposed guarantor of social policies. The PSOE has tried a double game: to placate the right by offering itself as a stabilizer of “reasonable” governance for the interests of capital and the 1978 regime, while at the same time, it has tried to defraud, subordinate and annul its left, integrating it into a project alien to the interests of the social majority. Sanchez has graduated as a parliamentary confidence trickster. Unidas Podemos made very important mistakes in their attempt to enter government by the tradesman’s entrance: all the resignations have not sufficed for the voracity of social liberalism.

Given the strength shown by the group of three aggressive and threatening right wing formations with respect to what were supposedly consolidated social and cultural conquests and in the absence of advances of the popular movement in the street and at the polls, a significant number of people on the left thought, understandably, that a PSOE-Unidas Podemos coalition government could resolve their fears. But it has not turned out that way, nor could it ever have done so. Therefore, after the sad parliamentary spectacle and tactical failure, we must reflect and extract lessons from what happened so as not to generate false illusions (and fall into traps) in the imminent next steps.

The discourse of coalition government has ignored three issues that need to be taken up again. First, establishing the essential demands at this time to defend the interests of the social majority. Secondly, being clear about the nature of the Socialist Party and, therefore, what can be expected from it without strong pressure and demands from the left. And, finally, assessing the correlation of electoral and social forces between the PSOE and the left to avoid the latter’s subordination.

The objectives of the left at this time are threefold: 1) to prevent the right from governing – an unavoidable issue on the horizon of the undesirable call of an autumn election, in the face of which the PSOE shows an irresponsible excess of confidence; 2) to achieve immediate improvements for working people and popular sectors; and 3) to trace an eco-socialist and feminist horizon in which to frame each tactical step, or what is the same thing, to offer a project of a just, democratic, egalitarian and sustainable society. All of this needs a strategy that mere governmental tactics lack.

In terms of the immediate demands that cannot be waived because they are essential to reversing the situation of popular prostration and the correlation of existing forces (social, economic and political), it is worth highlighting 20 democratic, social and environmental emergency measures:

1. Mobilizing all economic resources and establishing the appropriate legal and cultural framework to combat macho violence inside and outside couples or from former partners.

2. Immediate promotion of unilateral measures without waiting for international agreements to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases in industry, transport, agriculture and services;

3. Ending the repressive policy towards the democratic aspirations of the Catalan people.

4. Enabling the binding referendum demanded by the majority of Catalan society.

5. Repealing the gag law that poses a serious risk to our freedoms and putting an end to any mechanism that threatens the rights of migrants such as Detention Centres for Foreigners.

6. Exhuming Francoism from the institutions and judging its crimes and criminals.

7. Repealing the two employment reforms that undermine social and trade union rights.

8. Promoting public education and schooling and putting an end to the state financing of semi-private schools.

9. Increasing spending and investment in public university education.

10. Prioritizing support for research.

11. Shielding pensions and equalizing contributory and non-contributory pensions.

12. An immediate rise in the minimum wage.

13. Ensuring that that no one receives a pension, unemployment benefit or salary less than 1,200 euros.

14. Increasing the salaries of public service employees so that they recover the level of income lost through austerity measures and promoting massive public procurement to ensures public services.

15. Ending precariousness and the contracting model that protects it.

16. Adopting the necessary measures to ensure equal pay between women and men and avoid the threats to real equality through legislation to detect and penalize fraud in the same wording on categories of agreements, in the mechanisms for the allocation of functions and promotions.

17. Establish a general wage increase route resulting from the combination of parliamentary and trade union action.

18. Regulating rental prices and approving the proposals of the PAH (Platform of People Affected by Mortgages).

19. Prohibiting layoffs in profit-making companies.

20. Amend Article 135 of the Constitution to prioritize social spending and public investment.

All of these are reasonable, feasible and necessary issues, which imply providing the government with financial means through a progressive fiscal reform that seriously increases taxes on high incomes and assets, as well as the profits of big companies and banks, while ignoring the impositions of Brussels on the fiscal deficit.

With arrogance, the PSOE leaders have blackmailed the left and promised the electorate in the campaigns things they then failed to deliver. Neither in September nor later, if there is a new call for elections, must the left repeat the old failed tactic determined by the effort to form a government at all costs with the Socialist Party. To enter a government led by the PSOE is to be tied hands and feet to a party that has shown that what it really does is to decaffeinate the desire for popular change. The PSOE is today one of the guarantors of the monarchical political regime of 1978 and of the antisocial treaties of the European Union, both aspects that determine the strategic orientation of its governmental action. The left needs political independence in order to chart its own path with the capacity to condition government action and promote its own alternative for the future.

To continue insisting on a failed tactic, to continue with the mind set on an agreement on the formation of a government by means of the distribution of ministries, would be to incur again in a failed and harmful strategy for the social majority and, of course, for the future of the political left itself.

If the PSOE wants to govern in a minority with the temporary permission of the left without it being compromised and silenced by the impositions of staying in a government that is not its own, it must win the votes of the transforming forces by complying with those requirements. That is why our position has been and is to negotiate from the left a programmatic investiture agreement that we propose is based on the demands raised above in exchange for allowing the government of Sanchez and moving into opposition, conditioning with the votes the legislative and governmental action, organize and mobilize society and patiently raise the alternative to liberal social hegemony.

If the PSOE wants to govern as a minority with the temporary permission of the left without the latter being compromised and silenced by the impositions of staying in a government that is not theirs, the votes of the transforming forces must be won in compliance with those requirements. That is why our position has been and is to negotiate from the left a programmatic investiture agreement that we propose is based on the demands raised above in exchange for allowing a Sánchez government and moving into opposition, conditioning the legislative and governmental action with votes, organizing and mobilizing society and patiently raising the alternative to social liberal hegemony.


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