Neither journalists nor questions. The Government has suspended the traditional press conference after the Council of Ministers (extraordinary this Friday) so that nothing dazzles the signing of the Pedro Sánchez agreement with the employers and unions to deepen the ERTE and prevent dismissals during the crisis stemming from the COVID-19. It was an act to which the Executive has given the greatest relevance at a time when the agreement with the PP for reconstruction is resisting and reaching the negotiation in Brussels with the support of the main opposition party is important for the Government.
The image of unity has been achieved in Moncloa by bringing together representatives of employers and workers at an event held outside the palace among trees and with the staff of the cabinet. But without questions from the journalists, who were not invited to the act. Only photographers and television cameras. On the Government’s part, the act was attended by the four vice-presidents and the ministers of Finance, Labor, Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and Inclusion, Social Security and Migration. The representatives of CEOE and Cepyme, Antonio Garamendi and Gerardo Cuerva, and of the CCOO and UGT unions, Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, have participated in the event that Sánchez has closed.
As has happened on previous occasions, Moncloa has not allowed journalists to attend the signing, and the images of the act have been distributed through a televised signal. The President has begun his speech thanking the media for their work.
Before the institutional act, which took place in the Moncloa gardens in an idyllic setting, Sánchez met the Council of Ministers in an extraordinary way to approve a package of economic measures, including a line of ICO guarantees for an amount of 50,000 million euros or the Renove Plan. Despite the relevance of the initiative that the President has briefly detailed in his speech, the Government has decided to avoid the subsequent press conference where the ministers elaborate on the details and answer questions from the press on these or other current issues.
“Today’s extraordinary Council of Ministers approves economic measures. And these are the basis of the pact that is signed below. Information notes will be distributed, which the media can complement with the ministries proposing the measures. The act of signing the Pact will count with interventions by the Prime Minister and the social agents. It is not an ordinary council. And today, with the concatenation of extraordinary council and signing act, has led us to this format, “is the explanation given by the Secretariat of Communication Status.
The press conferences have also been held in the ten extraordinary councils of ministers that have been called during the health emergency. The antecedent that journalists are not summoned after a cabinet meeting dates back to 2014, when the then Government of Mariano Rajoy did not provide explanations after an extraordinary meeting to approve the legislative amendment that regulated the abdication of King Juan Carlos I.
The PP has not hesitated to stir up the government for the decision not to offer a press conference after meeting the Council of Ministers. “What does the government want to hide? What does it not want to be accountable to the media for?” Asked Deputy Secretary of Communication Pablo Montesinos on Twitter. “The government, which has decided not to hold a press conference after the Council of Ministers, cannot hide today. What do they have to hide?” Cuca Gamarra said at a campaign event.