Spain’s new government faces multiple challenges

By Hanadi Watfa MADRID, Spain’s first ever coalition government started executing its duties last week, with many challenges ahead that need to be tackled.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez revealed his 22 government members, including four MPs last week.

The new government comes after two legislative elections held in 2019, where the Socialist Workers’ Party, led by Sanchez, won the majority of votes that were far from enough to rule.

The party announced that priority was to resolve economic issues in the country, as experts expect economic growth to drop from 2.1 percent in 2019 to 1.8 percent this year.

In this matter, Sanchez appointed his third deputy Nadia Calvino who serves as Minister of Economy since 2018 with the economic reforms task. She was also one of the candidates for the World Monetary Fund’s chairman position last year.

Sanchez also appointed lawyer Arancha Gonzalez, who has a record of accomplishments in international relations, economics and trade as foreign minister.

Moreover, Jose Luis Escriva is in charge of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration. Escriva is a well trusted economic figure in Spain, as he previously chaired the Independent Authority for Spanish Fiscal Responsibility, who manages the country’s budget.

The new government is facing different challenges in its term, including cooperation between the workers party and Unidas Podemos party, who had their conflicts for long months.

The main challenge would be endorsing the fiscal budget, especially after the government’s defeat to approve the General State Budgets against the opposition last year, leading to early elections in April 2019.

The workers party had affirmed they will make new decisions to create growth, provide new job opportunities, raise the minimum salary limit by 60 percent in the coming four years, raise taxes on high salaries and boost investment in education and scholarships by five percent of the GDP by 2025.

Meanwhile, the Catalonia issue is one of the biggest challenges for the coalition government, considered the most complicated topics in Spain’s history.

Sanchez aims to create a peaceful dialogue with Catalonia to resolve the current situation, while Catalan separatists seek to hold a referendum on separation from Spain.

Another challenge is resolving social issues, lowering homes rent prices, fight corruption, protecting women rights, gender equality and laws on mercy killing.

Source: Kuwait News Agency