“My relationship with Vox is little or none because I am focused on managing.” María Guardiola said it on September 14 as a summary of her first two months at the helm of the Extremadura joint. Just two weeks later, and from her seat in the regional Parliament, this Thursday she made the first major public defense of her government partner since she became regional president: “They are not fugitives from Justice nor are they criminals trying to escape their sorrows,” he assured.
The president of the Extremaduran Executive thus responded to a parliamentary question that the PSOE had asked her, which thus delved into the discrepancies of both government partners: “Is the PP-Vox coalition government in good health?” It was, verbatim, the formulation that the president of the Socialist Parliamentary Group had recorded, Piedad Alvarezfor María Guardiola to respond, who did not bite her tongue in her response: that the PSOE “come to give lessons in political ethics or good health in government coalitions is quite embarrassing,” she countered.
The president of the Board stressed that her agreement with Vox to form a government “was simply thinking about the interest of the people of Extremadura, beyond ideologies and beyond sensitivities”, which is why she defended that “it is not a government of parties or of colors, it is a government of people who work for all people. And, then, she praised that her Executive “believes in agreements, in plurality and in political coexistence, and like any coexistence, it will have its best moments and it will have not so good moments.” To this end, she considered that “this is not about acronyms”, but rather “it is about the general interest of Extremadura” and she even predicted that her government “has life left for a while.”
The socialist spokesperson, on the other hand, described the government’s day-to-day actions as “completely uneasy, full of shocks.” She argued that “you announce a measure and immediately Vox attributes it to you, and vice versa, Vox announces a measure and immediately you say that you are the authors.” The first discrepancy of the legislature came in the previous plenary session when Vox voted in favor of free school meals for all families without exception while the PP voted against due to budgetary issues in what it considered a “poisoned gift” from the previous socialist executive that did not leave the necessary items approved for this in the new school year.
However, this controversy between the government partners seems less than the one that is looming ahead of the negotiation of the first budgets of the legislature: subsidies to social agents. The Minister of Economy and Employment, Guillermo Santamaría, has proclaimed this week that the Executive’s intention is not to touch them: “Our Government is not a government that comes to cut rights or subsidies, but rather comes to manage public resources in the best possible way for everything that is beneficial to the quality of life of Extremadurans. We have, a priori, no other intention.” On the other hand, point 55 of the government coalition agreement signed by María Guardiola and Angel Pelayo Gordillopresident of the Vox parliamentary group in Extremadura, stated verbatim the “considerable reduction in subsidies to employers and unions compared to what was received in 2022.”