Yolanda Díaz

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Yolanda Díaz
Official portrait, 2023
Second Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
Assumed office
12 July 2021
MonarchFelipe VI
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byNadia Calviño
Minister of Labour and Social Economy
Assumed office
13 January 2020
MonarchFelipe VI
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byMagdalena Valerio
(Labour, Migration and Social Security)
Third Deputy Prime Minister of Spain
In office
31 March 2021 – 12 July 2021
MonarchFelipe VI
Prime MinisterPedro Sánchez
Preceded byNadia Calviño
Succeeded byTeresa Ribera
Member of the Congress of Deputies
Assumed office
13 January 2016
ConstituencyA Coruña (2016–2019)
Pontevedra (2019–2023)
Madrid (2023–present)
Member of the Parliament of Galicia
In office
13 November 2012 – 4 January 2016
ConstituencyA Coruña
Additional positions
First Deputy Mayor of Ferrol
In office
17 June 2007 – 18 October 2008
National Coordinator of Esquerda Unida
In office
7 November 2005 – 3 June 2017
Preceded byPilar Díaz
Succeeded byEva Solla
Member of the Ferrol City Council
In office
14 June 2003 – 13 November 2012
Personal details
Born
Yolanda Díaz Pérez

(1971-05-06) 6 May 1971 (age 52)
Fene, Spain
Political party
Other political
affiliations
United Left (1986–2019)
Spouse
Juan Andrés Meizoso
(m. 2004)
Children1
Alma materUniversity of Santiago de Compostela
Occupation
Signature

Yolanda Díaz Pérez (Spanish pronunciation: [ɟʝoˈlanda ˈði.aθ]; born in Fene, A Coruña, on 6 May 1971) is a Spanish politician and labour lawyer,[1] currently serving as Second Deputy Prime Minister since 2021, and Minister of Labour and Social Economy of the Government of Spain since 2020. A member of the Congress of Deputies since 2016, she has previously been a Ferrol municipal councillor (2003–2012) and member of the Parliament of Galicia (2012–2016). She was the National Coordinator of Esquerda Unida (EU) from 2005 to 2017. In 2023, she founded the electoral platform Sumar, which she currently leads.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in San Valentín, Fene, on 6 May 1971, next to the shipyard of Astilleros y Talleres del Noroeste (ASTANO), Díaz is a member of a family of renowned trade unionists in Galicia who were strongly involved in anti-Francoist activism.[2][3][4]

Díaz graduated with a licentiate degree in Law from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC),[5][6] and later earned three post-graduate degrees. Upon concluding her studies, she commenced working as a paralegal for a law firm. Later, she registered as an attorney at law and opened her own law firm, which specialised in labour law.[5]

Political career[edit]

Career in regional politics[edit]

Díaz joined the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) at an early age,[4] before entering institutional politics in 2003, when she became member of the Ferrol municipal council.[7] In 2005, she was elected leader (National Coordinator) of Esquerda Unida (EU), the Galician federation of United Left (IU).[8]

Díaz stood as candidate in the list of the Galician Left Alternative (AGE) coalition between EU and Anova in the October 2012 Galician regional election,[7][n. 1] becoming a member of the 9th Parliament of Galicia, representing the constituency of A Coruña.

Career in national politics[edit]

Díaz ran as a candidate for En Marea in the 2015 Spanish general election, becoming a member of the 11th session of the Lower House of the Spanish parliament. She retained her seat in the 2016, April 2019, and November 2019 general elections, running as candidate for the En Marea in the former, and for En Común–Unidas Podemos and Galicia en Común in the latter. She left the role of EU Coordinator General in June 2017, and was replaced by Eva Solla.[9]

Following the failure of talks to build a coalition government between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos in the summer of 2019, Díaz spoke out in favour of such a coalition, unlike other voices within IU. She advocated the sole investiture of Pedro Sánchez, while reaching an agreement on a programme for government. She distanced herself from IU over disagreements over how IU had handled the negotiations and eventually left the party in October 2019, while remaining a member of the PCE.[10]

Minister of Labour, 2020–present[edit]

Appointed as minister of Labour and Social Economy of the Sánchez II Government, Díaz was sworn in on 13 January 2020.[11] Díaz, who put the struggle against precarious work as the main goal of her mandate, vowed to repeal the 2012 labour market reform.[11] She chose Joaquín Pérez Rey to hold the post of Secretary of State for Labour and Social Economy, making him the effective second-in-command in the Ministry.[12]

As Minister of Labour, Díaz took part in the negotiations that paved the way for the increase of the minimum wage to 950 euros per month, in addition to outlawing employee dismissal for medical leave.[13][14] She also took part in the dispatch of labour inspections to the agricultural sector to monitor the working conditions of rural workers.[15] In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Diaz negotiated with unions and employers the implementation of a furlough scheme (in Spanish, Expediente de Regulación Temporal de Empleo - ERTE) and its extensions, as well as the creation of the 'Working From Home Law' (in Spanish, Ley del Teletrabajo).[16]

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh hosts MOU Signing ceremony with Yolanda Diaz.

On 15 March 2021, the then second vice-president of the government, Pablo Iglesias, announced that he would leave the post to run as Podemos candidate for the regional elections in the Community of Madrid, which had been brought forward due to the collapse of the conservative government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso formed by PP and Ciudadanos, with the support of Vox. Announcing his candidacy, Pablo Iglesias handed over the vice-presidency to Yolanda Díaz as his successor, who officially accepted the position that same day.[17] On the same Monday, in a press conference from Montauban, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, also confirmed the succession of the vice-presidency to Díaz, declaring that he had "the highest regard" for her.[18] In July 2021, Díaz was promoted from third to second Deputy Prime Minister.

In November, Díaz announced her intention to create a political platform to contest in the next Spanish general elections, starting a "listening process" after the Christmas holidays, popularly identified by the media as a "broad front".[19] That same month, Díaz also announced that by the end of 2022 labour reforms under Mariano Rajoy would be abolished and replaced.[20] It was finally approved on 3 February 2022.[21]

Also in November 2021, Díaz led a group of left-leaning female leaders (Ada Colau, Mónica Oltra, Mónica García, and Fátima Hamed Hossain) in unveiling a new initiative called Otras Políticas, a play on words meaning both "other female politicians" and "other policies".[22]

On 18 May 2022, Díaz publicly announced a new electoral platform named Sumar ("Unite"), with the intention to contest in the 2023 Spanish general election.[23][24] The platform was also registered as a political party under the name Movimiento Sumar [es] ("Unite Movement" in English) in order to form coalitions with other leftist parties.[25][26]

In November 2023, she was ratified in her government positions for the third government of Pedro Sánchez.[27]

Political positions[edit]

Diaz, still a member of the Communist Party of Spain,[28] now avoids declaring herself as one and focus entirely on left-wing voters,[29] although she has praised the regimes of Fidel Castro in Cuba and of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in the past.[30][31][32][33][34]

In 2021 Diaz wrote positively of The Communist Manifesto, stating that "Throughout all this time, The Communist Manifesto has continued to develop its programmatic character to the tempo of the century, with its global economic crises and great revolutions. Capitalism has been ever present in all of its diverse and voracious mutations, ready to engulf, corrupt, and disintegrate the very reality that constitutes it, but without ever being able to escape the theories of Marx and the transforming power of this text. A book that speaks to us of utopias encrypted in our present and in which beats, today as yesterday, a vital and passionate defense of democracy and freedom."[35]

While campaigning for 2023 elections in Madrid, she expressed her desire to break with bipartisan politics.[36] Diaz describes herself as an atheist, but claims meeting Pope Francis, who regularly criticises uncontrolled capitalism, was "the most important encounter" of her life, and the two keep in touch because they "have so much in common."[37]

In 2023 Diaz defended the social record of the coalition, arguing that "Despite the “re-armament of the defense of neoliberal policies” in this progressive coalition government “we have been able to deconstruct the myths of capitalism.” Diaz cited examples such as measures to prevent unemployment, a reduction in the gender pay gap, and a fall in the temporary employment rate.[38]

Diaz firmly opposes holding an independence referendum in Catalonia and emphasizes that the only solution is dialogue and a peaceful resolution to the issue, asserting that Catalonia will remain part of Spain in her country model.[39]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ She hired a then relatively unknown Pablo Iglesias Turrión as an aide for the electoral campaign.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Olías, Laura (9 January 2020). "Yolanda Díaz, la abogada laboralista gallega que tomará las riendas del Ministerio de Trabajo". eldiario.es.
  2. ^ Bustabad, Lorena (25 February 2009). "Yolanda Díaz, la niña del PCE". El País.
  3. ^ Pillado, Rafael (1 September 2012). "Yolanda Díaz, giro a la izquierda". El País.
  4. ^ a b c Junquera, Natalia (5 January 2019). "Yolanda Díaz, la política que fichó a Iglesias como asesor". El País.
  5. ^ a b Hernández, Nuria (4 December 2019). "Así es Yolanda Díaz, posible nueva ministra de Trabajo: de familia sindicalista, con tres posgrados e íntima de Irene Montero". www.revistavanityfair.es. Vanity Fair.
  6. ^ "Díaz Pérez, Yolanda". www.congreso.es. Congress of Deputies. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Yolanda Díaz deja su escaño en Ferrol para ir a la cámara autonómica". www.diariodeferrol.com. Diario de Ferrol. 24 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Yolanda Díaz dejará de liderar Esquerda Unida a partir de junio". www.farodevigo.es. Faro de Vigo. 26 April 2017.
  9. ^ Rodríguez, Ricardo; Pena, Aida (2 June 2017). "Yolanda Díaz deja la coordinadora de Esquerda Unida tras doce años". cadenaser.com. Cadena Ser.
  10. ^ Riveiro, Aitor (15 July 2020). "Yolanda Díaz se dio de baja de IU en 2019 por discrepancias durante las negociaciones fallidas con el PSOE". eldiario.es.
  11. ^ a b Pascual Cortés, Raquel (1 January 2020). "Escrivá avanza que reducirá el déficit de la Seguridad Social de forma "rápida" y abordará el sistema de pensiones privadas". Cinco Días (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  12. ^ LaInformacion (11 January 2020). "Yolanda Díaz elige al 'duro' Joaquín Pérez Rey como secretario de Estado de Trabajo". La Información (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  13. ^ "El Gobierno, sindicatos y patronal acuerdan subir el salario mínimo hasta los 950 euros". El HuffPost. 22 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Despido por bajas médicas: Llega el fin del polémico artículo que lo permite". La Vanguardia. 18 February 2020.
  15. ^ Olías, Laura (1 July 2020). "La Inspección de Trabajo realizará 10.000 visitas a empresas en una campaña para detectar fraude en los ERTE". El Diario.
  16. ^ Olías, Aitor Riveiro, Laura (25 September 2020). "Yolanda Díaz, la ministra comunista que arma acuerdos con patronal y sindicatos". ElDiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Riveiro, Aitor (15 March 2021). "Pablo Iglesias deja el Gobierno para ser candidato en Madrid y propone como sucesora a Yolanda Díaz". ElDiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  18. ^ Castro, Irene (15 March 2021). "Sánchez confirma que Yolanda Díaz será vicepresidenta segunda: "Cuenta con mi apoyo y cumplo los acuerdos de la coalición"". ElDiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Yolanda Díaz armará su proyecto político post Podemos 'después de Navidad'". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). 2 December 2021. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Yolanda Díaz insiste en que la reforma laboral se derogará antes de acabar el año: "Cumpliremos con los tiempos"". www.publico.es. 29 November 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  21. ^ Riveiro, Iñigo Aduriz, Aitor (3 February 2022). "La derecha intenta frenar la reforma laboral en los tribunales tras el error de un diputado del PP". ElDiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ Guy Hedgecoe (23 December 2021), Yolanda Díaz and Spain’s new ‘new left’ Politico Europe’'.
  23. ^ Cabanillas, Ana (18 May 2022). "'Sumar': Yolanda Díaz lanza su plataforma para emanciparse de Podemos". elperiodicodeespana (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  24. ^ Arrebola, Alberto Ortiz, África Gelardo (24 May 2022). "Yolanda Díaz registra el nombre y el logo de 'Sumar', su plataforma política". elDiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 December 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ Chouza, Paula (30 May 2023). "Sumar se constituye como partido para tratar de aglutinar a todas las fuerzas a la izquierda del PSOE". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  26. ^ Ortiz, Alberto (30 May 2023). "Yolanda Díaz registra como partido "Movimiento Sumar" para "facilitar la confluencia" de la izquierda". elDiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  27. ^ "Yolanda Díaz repite como ministra de Trabajo y vicepresidenta en el nuevo Gobierno de Sánchez". Europa Press. 20 November 2023. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  28. ^ "Yolanda Díaz and Spain's new 'new left'". Politico. 23 December 2021.
  29. ^ Carreño, Belén; Rodriguez, Elena; Carreño, Belén (7 July 2023). "Yolanda Diaz: leader of Sumar party courts voters with shorter workweek pledge". Reuters.
  30. ^ "Así despidió Yolanda Díaz al dictador Castro: "Con él caminarán los pueblos, hasta siempre comandante"". Ok Diario (in Spanish). 14 July 2023.
  31. ^ "La verdadera cara de Yolanda Díaz: "Reconocemos en Hugo Chávez al más digno libertador"". Ok Diario (in Spanish). 19 June 2023.
  32. ^ "Yolanda Díaz homenajeó a Hugo Chávez en un acto en Vigo en el primer aniversario de su muerte". Ok Diario (in Spanish). 9 December 2021.
  33. ^ "Yolanda Díaz borra de su álbum de memorias sus elogios al chavismo y al castrismo". Ok Diario (in Spanish). 18 July 2023.
  34. ^ "La evolución de Yolanda Díaz: del Che y el chavismo a la 'izquierda cuqui'". ESDiario (in Spanish). 3 April 2023.
  35. ^ The Communist Manifesto Is Still Haunting the Powerful BY YOLANDA DÍAZ
  36. ^ Burgen, Stephen (3 April 2023). "Spanish minister Yolanda Díaz launches leftwing political party". The Guardian.
  37. ^ "Yolanda Díaz describes the audience with the Pope as "very moving"". The Diplomat in Spain. 12 December 2021.
  38. ^ Repartir riqueza Yolanda Díaz: “Hemos desmontado los mitos del capitalismo”, afrontar las crisis sin despedir, subir el SMI, y combatir la precariedad con la reforma laboral GEMA DELGADO, 30/04/2023
  39. ^ En, El Nacional (6 July 2023). "Yolanda Díaz Slams Door On Catalonia Referendum, Urges Dialogue For Resolution". Zenger News.