PP and Cs sign off coalition pact in Andalucía and Vox will support it

Juanma Moreno (PP) and Juan Marín (Cs) shake hands during the meeting.
Juanma Moreno (PP) and Juan Marín (Cs) shake hands during the meeting. / EFE
  • Juanma Moreno is now certain to be new president of the Junta after a vote of regional MPs due by 16 January

The coalition pact between the Partido Popular (PP) and Ciudadanos (Cs) to take over the government of the Junta de Andalucía from the PSOE party after 36 years was confirmed this Wednesday just as the two parties' leaders were signing off on their agreement.

Among measures in the PP and Cs pact, Juan Marín of Cs will be regional vice president and the number of regional ministers will be reduced. As expected, the PP's Juanma Moreno will be Junta president.

The pact, however, almost derailed earlier in the week when the hard-right Vox party, whose 12 regional MPs are needed if the PP and Cs plan is to succeed, said on Tuesday it would not vote for the arrangement unless 19 demands were addressed first.

The surprise list emerged at a meeting between Vox and the PP which had been agreed to after Vox complained that they had been shut out of the coalition negotiations between the PP and Cs.

Last week Vox demanded that plans to give extra support to gender violence in a new PP-Cs regional government be redrafted to include equal treatment for male victims of domestic abuse.

However the further list of demands at Tuesday's meeting, which the PP and Cs immediately rejected, contained many more eye-catching wishes, in keeping with Vox's radical agenda.

Among the measures, Vox asked for the new regional president to declare that Education, Health and Justice should be returned to Madrid to control nationally and not regionally, the suppression of regional laws against LGBTI and gender discrimination, and the removal of "52,000 illegal immigrants" from Andalucía.

Regional holiday date

Also among the more eyebrow-raising proposals was to change Andalucía's regional day, 28 February, to 2 January, the date of the defeat of the last Muslim stronghold of Spain in Granada in 1492.

However, amid accusations that Vox was merely "grandstanding" and was still in election mode, on Wednesday afternoon, the PP announced that the votes of Vox's MPs had been guaranteed in a 37-point agreement between these two parties that hardly mentioned Vox's latest demands. Both sides agreed that the new regional government should work for "quality jobs" and the PP made some concessions towards Vox's pro-family policies.

On Thursday, the new speaker of the regional parliament in Seville, Marta Bosquet of Cs, started the countdown to nominating a candidate to lead the government, which now seems certain to be Juanma Moreno. The regional MPs' vote for a presidents must take place by 16 January.