SPEAKING today in Congress during a debate with the opposition, and holding up the latest edition of The Economist newspaper, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez today cited Liz Truss’s actions as the way “not to run a country”.
The moment of political theatre came during a question and answer session in the lower house of parliament, when the Socialist Party leader was responding to a question from Cuca Gamarra, the spokesperson for the main opposition Popular Party.
“In two years, we have recovered the employment levels from before the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sánchez, in reference to his coalition government’s recent actions.
He also made reference to what he called the PP’s “neoliberal” response to the Great Recession while it was in power, criticising the party for its austerity and cuts to the welfare state.
Sánchez took aim at the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who recently hit out at the central government’s plans to hike taxes for the wealthy and make cuts for lower earners. Feijóo – who cannot debate with Sánchez in Congress, given that he has a seat in the Senate – slammed the plans as “antiquated”.
“What shows a lack of empathy is to hear your leader,” Sánchez said, in reference to Feijóo, “say that it is antiquated to talk about rich and poor in a country that has two million children living in poverty”.
Sánchez then produced the magazine cover, which features a picture of British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in a sinking lifeboat, with the coverline: “How not to run a country”.
“What is antiquated,” he continued, “is to cut taxes for the rich, what they are doing in the United Kingdom. Talk to your Conservative friends and ask them how you shouldn’t run a country,” he concluded, to applause from his fellow lawmakers.
Prime Minister Liz Truss has recently had to backtrack on plans to cut the highest rate of income tax in the UK after a severe reaction from the markets, public and press alike.