surinenglish

Opposition parties disagree over need for a national pact in Spain

A near-empty Congreso chamber during Prime Minister's questions.
A near-empty Congreso chamber during Prime Minister's questions. / EFE
  • The main opposition PP party has said it is willing to reach a consensus with the PM but "in the full light of day"

There was growing ill-feeling between the political parties nationally this week over how to steer the country out of the health crisis and the impending economic crisis.

The left-wing government led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wants a cross-party deal similar to the historic Moncloa Pacts, wide-ranging social agreements used at the restoration of democracy. However, parties to the right have been reluctant to agree to the idea.

Speaking in the first prime minister's questions since the crisis, where most MPs listened in remotely, the PM explained why he thought new pacts would be a good idea and complained at opposition parties' reluctance. "Let's hope that a new way of carrying out politics brings with it the general interest and not party interest," he said.

Leader of the Partido Popular, Pablo Casado, replied, "He said in his weekly sermon that he is the high representative of Spaniards, but this isn't true. You aren't the King however much you summon us to talks." Casado said he was willing to reach consensus but "in the full light of day".

Some smaller parties, especially regional ones normally supportive of the government, have also distanced themselves from the call for cross-party pacts.