Socialists and Sumar reach new coalition agreement for potential new legislature

Left-wing bloc still needs support from Catalan pro-independence parties to govern

Leaders of the Socialists and Sumar, Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz, sign a new coalition agreement in the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid
Leaders of the Socialists and Sumar, Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz, sign a new coalition agreement in the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid / Miquel Vera
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Madrid

October 24, 2023 09:46 AM

October 24, 2023 09:05 PM

The Socialists and Sumar have reached an agreement for a new coalition government, pending support from other parties in the Spanish Congress, including those in favor of Catalan independence. 

According to a statement from the two parties, their main priority as a potential coalition would be to reach full employment and reduce working hours without a paycut for workers.

Sumer spokesperson Ernest Urtasun said the workweek would be initially reduced to 37.5 hours, with the possibility of reducing it even further, depending on negotiations between the Spanish government, employers and unions.

Other key issues the parties would work on include: a "fair" fiscal reform that would force banks and energy companies to contribute to public spending, a shock plan against youth unemployment, an increase in public housing and educational childcare programs for up to 3 years.

In addition, the left-wing bloc would aim to strengthen the public healthcare system, offer free dental care, create a new tax for large companies, revise climate change targets, reach 20% public housing and extend paid leave for new mothers and fathers to 20 weeks, from 16.

Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz, the leaders of the Socialist and Sumar parties respectively, gave a press conference on Tuesday afternoon in the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid to announce the agreement and offer more details.


The acting Prime Minister said the deal would offer "stability, coexistence, and progress for Spain for the next four years."

The agreement includes the repeal of the 'gag law', the promise to keep public transport free of cost and to ban flights of less than 2.5 hours when there is no alternative option by train.

In addition, the parties will aim at extending the use of electricity vouchers and implementing air conditioning in schools and care homes. 

Agreement worthless

Catalan government spokesperson, Patrícia Plaja, warned that the agreement would be worthless, if it is not accompanied by pacts with Catalan pro-independence parties. 

That sentiment was echoed by the People's Party, who said without Puigdemont's approval, the agreement means nothing. 

Hung parliament after July election

After July's election, the right-wing bloc won more seats in Congress than the left but fell short of a majority in the chamber. People's Party leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo failed to be named Prime Minister in September. 

As a result, Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez was invited to try to form a government. He has promised solutions to "overcome discord" in Catalonia but has reiterated his stance that an independence referendum is incompatible with the Spanish constitution. 

Speaking in early October, Sánchez said that negotiations will be "complex" and that his aim is to build a majority in Congress to remain stable for a full term. He spoke of the need for a "progressive" government and one that believes in the "territorial diversity" of Spain.