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PP and PSOE strike improbable deal against Madrid

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Juanma Moreno addresses the Andalusian parliament on July 7. Image: Junta de Andalucia

The Partido Popular and the PSOE in Andalusia have reached an unlikely deal on three key political issues, while their respective national entities remain rivals. Both parties say Andalusia is paving the way for a new political era.

The ruling Partido Popular (PP) in Andalusia and the PSOE-A will present a united front to launch political initiatives in Madrid in a move that sets them apart from their parties at the national level, it was announced on July 8.

Political opponents, also joined by the Ciudadanos (Cs), will present joint demands for free preschool education and a bilateral cooperation commission to increase Andalusia’s weight with Madrid. They also agreed to work together on new laws to protect the coastline, which bodes well for the PP’s hopes of passing a long-awaited town-planning law that was an essential part of their electoral manifesto.

The Junta de Andalucia is directed by Juanma Moreno of PP. Unlike the national leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, Moreno seems to be embarking on the path of cooperation with the PSOE, when appropriate.

Claiming that he is only focusing on “what’s best for Andalusia,” he and new PSOE-A leader Juan Espadas held an unprecedented meeting on June 25 and then pledged to prioritize regional interests before political parties.

Espadas is not the first politician of the PSOE to flirt with the PP in Andalusia either. In September, Ximo Puig, the socialist president of Valencia, will travel to Seville as he and Moreno are deeply dissatisfied with the current system of regional funding which they say has embezzled their autonomous communities of billions of euros since 2009.

With regional elections due to be called at the end of next year and the partners of the current PP coalition, the Cs, grappling with internal crises, the PP could simply seek support to pursue its electoral commitments. Either way, Moreno’s much-vaunted ‘Andalusian Way’ represents a southern – though perhaps brief – departure from politics as usual on the national and regional stage.


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