Podemos abstains and IU rejects the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO

The parliamentary groups of the coalition government have broken in three parts this Thursday. The Congress will ratify at the end of the Plenary the accession of Sweden Y Finland in NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) with the coalition of PSOE and United We Can reveal -once again- its fragility. The PSOE will support the access of the Scandinavian countries, Podemos will abstain and the four deputies of the United Left confirm their vote against.

NATO, as happened with its summit held this summer in Madrid, not only quarters the Executive, it also divides United We Can. The debate within the coalition has been intense in recent days. The increase in military spending that the PSOE intends in the Budgets, a commitment made at the Alliance meeting, does not help reduce internal tension. Everyone highlights their positions.

In June, Podemos criticized the decision of the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchezto host in Madrid the NATO Summit. He did not participate in any act of the military organization. But they kept a low profile those days. IU did openly support the critical acts and participated in a demonstration calling for the end of the Alliance. A key fact: IU was founded in 1986 as a negative response to the referendum for Spain to join NATO that same year.

The votes

PSOE, PP, Vox, Ciudadanos and PNV vote in favor of accession. ERC, Bildu and Más País will abstain. BNG, IU and CUP against

The PP deputy Pablo Hispanic lamented during the debate in Congress that Spain has the “only government in Europe that is going to vote differently in the enlargement of NATO, that one part is in favor of the Alliance and the other affirms that it is a ‘criminal organization’». Words from today’s Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzon, who has been the federal coordinator of the United Left since 2016. Garzón will abstain as a member of the Government. The vote against will be set by their deputies Henry Santiago, Rose Master, Miguel Angel Bustamante Y Jose Luis Bueno.

“It is an extravagance, one part of the Government considers it urgent and another rejects it (…) Sánchez is only president of one part of the Government, and it is at the expense of the credibility and reliability of Spain,” Hispán criticized.

Garzon, the minister

The IU leader, Alberto Garzón, who is also Minister of Consumption, will choose to abstain. But his deputies will vote ‘no’

Podemos justifies its abstention in that they do not want to “subordinate themselves to the interests of the United States”, but they respect the “sovereignty” of the countries. “Let the parliaments of Sweden and Finland take the decision that seems appropriate to them, but it will not be in our name,” he said. Gerardo Pisarello, deputy of United We Can, during the debate in Congress. The parliamentary spokesman for United We Can, Paul Echeniquedownplayed this week the fact that there are deputies from the group who vote differently.

Aitor Estebanspokesman for the PNV, has defended that “it is a good decision” to expand NATO. Miguel Angel Gutierrezfrom Ciudadanos, has charged against Podemos, Bildu, ERC and IU: “There are those who want to use this procedure to question the sovereign decisions of others and they do it from that moral superiority of the left, of telling citizens that they are wrong.”

from Bildu, Jon Inarritu has criticized that “NATO does not help in the peaceful resolution of conflicts”. Alberto Asarta (Vox) has maintained that NATO is a “defensive and dissuasive tool, necessary and decisive not only during the Cold War but during the subsequent period and also today”. Y Gabriel Rufian (ERC) has underlined its critical position in the corridors, although it has also defended the “sovereignty” of the countries.

Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine caused Sweden and Finland to change their historically neutral position to apply for NATO accession. The chamber will ratify at the end of the plenary session the adhesion with the votes in favor of the PSOE, PP, Vox, Cs and PNV. CUP and BNG have already advanced their vote against in recent days, like IU. ERC, Bildu, Más País and Compromís abstain, like Podemos. It is processed by the urgency procedure (without going through the Foreign Affairs Committee). Now, it’s time for it to be ratified in the Senate.

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