(Madrid) The popular Spanish Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz, on Friday launched a “citizen movement”, on the left of the political spectrum, before the legislative elections scheduled for the end of 2023, promising a new way of doing politics.
Mme Diaz announced that she would take part in a national tour intended to collect ideas on what people want for Spain and then decide whether this new formation would stand in the next election with her in charge.
“In this civic movement, I am just one more piece. You are the protagonists and if you wish, I will join you, ”she said in front of around 5,000 people gathered in a Madrid cultural center.
The minister explained that this new formation called “Sumar”, which means “to add” in Spanish, would seek “a new social contract” and would work to end the policy of “confrontation”.
Politics should be about “reaching out and then being able to reach agreements that change people’s lives”, she added.
Mme Diaz currently represents the left-wing Podemos party, the minority coalition government partner of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Polls consistently show that she is the most popular politician in Spain.
As labor minister, she was responsible for a recent labor reform credited with leading to a sharp drop in the number of temporary work contracts.
She also oversaw during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic a generous system that guaranteed people an income even when whole swaths of the economy were shut down due to lockdowns.
The launch of this new political movement comes at a time when both the Socialists and Podemos have fallen in the polls, with Spain plagued by high inflation, as is the case in the rest of Europe.
The main opposition party, the People’s Party (PP, conservative), has overtaken the Socialists as the most popular party in Spain, according to a poll published Monday in the daily El País.
The PP, which chose a new leader in April, a moderate, had the support of 27.4% of Spaniards, ahead of the Socialist Party at 26.3%.
Podemos was in fourth place, behind the far-right Vox party.
Last month, the PP secured a landslide victory in a regional election in Andalusia, a former socialist stronghold, winning an absolute majority of seats there. He will henceforth govern alone, for the first time, this southern region, the most populated in Spain.