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Spain's elections: Looking at promises made by parties to woo voters

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 16-04-2019 17:15 IST | Created: 16-04-2019 15:52 IST
Spain's elections: Looking at promises made by parties to woo voters

Parties contesting Spain's national election on April 28 are wooing voters with a range of different campaign promises on human rights, immigration and separatism that could well influence the outcome more than social and economic factors.

Following are key promises from each main party, in decreasing order by ratings in opinion polls:

SOCIALIST PARTY OF PRIME MINISTER PEDRO SANCHEZ

* Produce a national pact for gender equality including the law for equal work opportunities. Equal paternity and maternity leave

* Law to regulate euthanasia, currently a criminal offence

* Give autonomous regions more say on state matters, laws

* Promote robust economic growth, reduce inequality while staying the course on the deficit and debt reduction

* Increase investment in education to 5 per cent of GDP. Focus budget on health, youth housing; boost investment in R&D, the green transition and infrastructure.

* Raise taxes for large companies and high earners. Gradual minimum wage increases, no social security deficit in five years, pension indexation to real inflation

PEOPLE'S PARTY, CONSERVATIVE

* Impose direct central rule in Catalonia to recover constitutional order after a failed independence bid * Reinforce state presence in all autonomous regions

* Spanish as the teaching language in schools, regional languages optional

* Orderly immigration policy linked to labour market needs

* Reduce income tax ceiling to below 40 per cent, company tax below 20 per cent, end property and inheritance tax

* Combat gender violence, negotiate protocols to prevent sexual harassment at companies and public administrations

* Life prison sentences for homicide during kidnapping, murders involving gender violence, repeat offence rapists

* Reduce electricity prices, promote recycling

* Protect, promote bullfighting as an important tradition

CIUDADANOS (CITIZENS), CENTRE-RIGHT

* Take a hard line with Catalan separatists. Ensure Spanish is used in school throughout the country.

* Make Spain "the best country for families in the world". Free dental care for under-16s; subsidised adoption of pets.

* Find a fair, common European solution to the migration crisis

* Legalize surrogacy arrangements for families

* Decriminalise euthanasia, if it is done along with a law to provide better palliative care

* Deny legislative representation to parties with less than 3 per cent of votes

* End inheritance tax for working and middle classes. Tax cuts for 6 million families with children. Improve tax situation of self-employed workers.

UNIDAS PODEMOS (TOGETHER WE CAN), FAR-LEFT ALLIANCE

* Negotiations and referendum to find a solution to the Catalan crisis * Freedom to die with dignity - a law regulating euthanasia

* Decriminalize marijuana and legalise the medical use of the drug

* Bring to justice Franco-era torturers, compensate dictatorship's victims and their families

* Combat gender violence with an annual state budget of 600 million euros, expand LGBT rights

* Increase public investment in research and development

* Tax big fortunes and property holdings, cut VAT

* Ban evictions without a housing alternative

* Guarantee universal access to healthcare, free public universities

VOX, FAR-RIGHT

* Suspend Catalonia's autonomous status

* Shift away from the system of regional autonomies to one government, one parliament for Spain.

* Repeal the law that bans Franco-era symbols and envisages compensation to dictatorship's victims

* Ban medical procedures such as gender change and abortion under the public health system

* Repeal the law on gender violence as discriminatory against men

* Pass a law to protect bullfighting

* Build a secure wall around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla to shut out illegal immigrants. Deport illegal immigrants and those who came legally but committed a crime. * Shut "fundamentalist" mosques

* End property, inheritance taxes. Increase VAT and cut labour taxes. Reduce the cost of dismissing workers.

* Fewer public workers, less welfare state, selling public companies. Overhaul the social security and pension systems. Deregulate energy and telecoms industries

OTHER PARTIES

* They may be key for the formation of a coalition government

* Opinion polls see left-wing Catalan separatist party Esquerra Republicana (ERC), which is more open to backing a government led by outgoing Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, doing better than the more hardline, rightwing Junts per Catalunya

* The Basque nationalist PNV could also be a potential ally for Sanchez

* Opinion polls show animalist party PACMA could make its first entry into parliament, with up to two seats. Its platform focuses on banning bullfighting and boosting renewable energies.


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