MADRID (Reuters) - *HOLD/HOLD*
Spain’s centre-left Socialists and the left-wing Unidas Podemos party have formed the first coalition government in the country’s post-dictatorship history.
But a hair’s-breadth parliamentary margin means the Socialist-led government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez could struggle to pass some policies.
Following are main measures, centred on tax hikes for high-earners and big companies, agreed between the allies:
* TAX HIKES
The coalition plans a new minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, rising to 18% for banks as well as oil and gas companies.
Sanchez promised to increase Spain’s personal income tax for those earning over 130,000 euros ($145,300) annually by two percentage points and by four points for those with incomes above 300,000 euros.
Tax on capital gains above 140,000 euros would increase by four points. A separate tax would target stock market transactions.
* MINIMUM WAGE RISE, PROTECTION OF SERVICES
Sanchez and Unidas Podemos agreed to lift the minimum wage to 60% of the average national wage by the end of the government’s four-year term, from around 45% now.
Sanchez has promised to shield services like health, education, security and social support from privatisation, identifying them as tools in the fight against inequalities.
* DIALOGUE ON CATALONIA
Sanchez has also agreed to open a dialogue on the future of Catalonia, the conclusions of which would be put to a popular vote in the wealthy northeastern region. He described dialogue with Catalonia, where separatism has been rife, as the “only possible path” forward, but made clear any negotiations must abide by the constitution, which upholds Spain’s territorial integrity.
* LABOUR REFORM
Proposals include rolling back a labour reform passed by a previous conservative government and strengthening protection against dismissal for illness-related absences.
Pensions will be re-evaluated according to Spain’s inflation index, and minimum pensions will be raised.
The program will introduce a price index to limit abusive renting practices, as well as reinforce the role of state-owned bank Sareb in subsidised housing.
* DEFICIT AND DEBT REDUCTION
In a nod to Brussels and to soothe investor concerns, the Socialists and Podemos agreed to keep reducing the budget deficit and public debt.
The Socialist leader mentioned “prohibiting prostitution”, reforming the penal code so that only explicit assent can signal consent, and eliminating the gender pay gap.
The coalition government will declare Oct. 31 as remembrance day for all victims of General Francisco Franco’s fascist dictatorship that ended in 1975.
Reporting by Jesús Aguado and Clara-Laeila Laudette; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Andrew Cawthorne
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.