Change of cycle in Andalusia: the conservatives start its first solo government on Thursday

by Cristina Fuentes Antrás

 

Change of cycle in Andalusia: the conservatives start its first solo government on Thursday

After 19th June elections, which resulted in a wide victory for the People's Party, the new Executive presided by Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla will take office on 25th July.  The new government will have to deal with unemployment and social unrest over rising energy and food prices, amidst remaining challenges posed by the pandemic. Its first task will be to approve the 2023 budget.

Boosting innovation and cohesion, improving infrastructure, detecting new diseases and investing in telecare are among the priorities on the health agenda for the coming years.
 

  • Jesús Aguirre, Regional Minister for Health, will open the Parliament's constitutive session on Thursday (14th of July). The hearing will be the kickoff of a legislature in which multiple actions in economic and health matters are expected, starting with the approval of the regional Budget for 2023.
  • The incumbent president of the Andalusian government, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, won a historic victory for the People´s Party in Andalusia and will be able to govern alone with a large parliamentary endorsement. The positions within the new government, yet unknown, will be announced in the coming days.
  • The Socialist party (PSOE-S&D) obtained its worst results ever in a traditionally socialist stronghold and adds another defeat to previous ones in Madrid, Murcia and Castilla y León. The far right-wing (VOX Party -ECR) did not achieve its goal of forcing a coalition to govern the region and Ciudadanos (Cs-RE) lost all its parliamentary representation.


Moderation and few surprises  

The Guadalquivir riverbed dawned in turmoil on 26 April when President Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla called 8.5 million Andalusians to the polls, justifying his decision to bring forward the regional elections on “the difficulty of approving a budget for 2023 with such a fragmented Parliament”.

The announcement came shortly after the appointment of Alberto Núñez Feijóo as National President of the People’s Party (PP-EPP) and after conservative electoral successes in Madrid, Murcia and Castilla y León.


People’s Party policy seems clear: a moderate discourse to capture a broad electoral space that strengthen the party at the local level, aiming to arrive with muscle for the national elections in 2023.  

The conservatives in Andalusia obtained a narrow victory in 2018 and formed a government in coalition with the centrist Ciudadanos party. After 40 years of left-wing rule in the region by PSOE, the People’s Party victory had more to do with socialist corruption scandals and alarming unemployment figures. In contrast, the current results conclude that Moreno Bonilla has now won on his own merits, in an election that translates as a revalidation of his economic management - lowering taxes, attracting private investment, promoting business activity - and a population´s desire to return to majority governments (in the face of the instability that coalitions have brought).

With a conciliatory, cheerful and constructive profile, the candidate managed to add to his usual spectrum of votes those of socialists frustrated with the policies of the national government presided over by Pedro Sánchez, amidst an abstention rate that is also high. The explanation is simple: the misguided national energy policy, which has led to unsustainable price increases for the rural sector – highly important in Andalusia -, the impact of Covid-19 among the elderly population and a feeling of disconnect between the region's real problems, such as the unbearable youth unemployment burdened for decades, and the triumphalist discourse adopted by La Moncloa.

Even if the central government insisted on not drawing parallels between the results and the situation at national level, for many the consequences of these elections on the national party system are direct, as it creates more pressure on the Socialist's central government under the support of Catalan and Basque nationalist parties.


Health agenda: cohesion, telecare, and screening   

From the Palacio de San Telmo (seat of the Presidency of the Andalusian Regional Government), an extensive agenda has been announced in terms of health policy, one of the areas that has been the flagship of the campaign. Mainly, the regional government will approve in the coming months the Integral Health Law to reinforce coordination among the 8 provinces, will set up the Andalusian Health Institute to strengthen researchand innovation, and will commit to public-private alliances for greater accessibility to medicines for patients. It will also implement specific measures to improve care, such as the reduction of bureaucracy in primary care, the creation of the “nurse case manager” and the expansion of the use of tele-assistance tools through the implementation of Digital Rooms in hospitals. On the other hand, the Andalusian government has confirmed its intention to implement the new population screening for cervical cancerand Hepatitis C.
 

At RPP we monitor political news to inform our work at a regional level to improve health policy. If you have any questions on how this new paradigm in Andalusia can affect your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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