MADRID – Last night, Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz signed a groundbreaking agreement. An agreement that, if successful, will determine not only the future of the government, but also the working week of millions of Spaniards.
How? By shortening the working week to 37.5 hours without a salary reduction. This point was one of the last hurdles in the coalition talks between the social-democratic PSOE and the left-wing Sumar. Ernest Urtasun, spokesman for Sumar, said he was “very satisfied” after the agreement was announced. “We wanted this legislature to be ambitious.”
The deal is not just about working hours. He is rich in progressive plans, such as immediate action plans against youth unemployment, strengthening the public health system, extending paid maternity leave, implementing fair tax reforms, regulating rental housing, passing a healthcare law, reforming territorial financing , the repeal of the muzzle law and an increased focus on climate change. The final goal? “Full employment will be a priority that permeates the entire agreement,” according to a joint statement from the parties.
However, this pact also has its critics. Podemos, another left-wing party, called the agreement “insufficient” and is calling for a higher minimum wage of €1,500 per month.
The right-wing Popular Party couldn’t resist responding sarcastically: “We are surprised,” they joked, “by the negotiating skills of Yolanda Díaz, who was inflexible until the last moment.”
Today a photo will be taken between Sánchez and Díaz at the Museo Reina Sofía to capture this historic moment. But the final composition of the new government and possible support from other parties, such as that of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, remain undecided despite the left-wing agreement. The next phase of negotiations will focus on the structure of the government and the division of ministries.