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PES congratulates new leadership PSOE to get ready for 2015 elections

14572564099_52464a9893_b.jpgOn 26 and 27 July 2014 the Spanish Workers Party, PSOE, gathered in Madrid for an extraordinary congress. Pedro Sanchez, who won the primaries, was formally elected as new leader of PSOE. A PES delegation headed by Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber and PES women President Zita Gurmai attended the congress.

The congress had the title ‘ Change PSOE, change Spain’. The congress was a breath of fresh air, with a huge showing of 3000 PSOE members declaring their wish and hope for change. Opening the of the congress, was PSOE outgoing leader Alfredo Rubalcaba, thanking the party for its commitment and support during the 40 years, he had served the party in various positions. ‘ The European elections had shown that Spanish voters had less trust in the social democratic party than expected’. Rubalcaba said. That was the reason why he announced his resignation as leader at the end on May. He expressed his support to the new leadership in making necessary changes. The party delegates thanked him for all he has done during a 4 minutes standing ovation.

PES president Sergei Stanishev thanks Alfredo Rubalcaba for his commitment to the Socialist family in Europe. ‘He has played an important role for our family in very difficult times’. Stanishev also congratulates Pedro Sanchez. ‘Knowing his dedication to bring PSOE, Spain and the European project forward, I am convinced that our cooperation will be excellent. We will support PSOE in these crucial times wherever we can’.

Newly elected PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez presented some of his proposals to change PSOE and to change Spain. The fight for equality and social justice remain at the top of his agenda. ‘Peace and the protection of minorities are the reasons we exist’.  Sanchez said that PSOE will work hard to bring back it’s former voters and aims to become the party of reference for indignations. In addition the party will include more people with migrant background on PSOE's lists for the local elections next year with the aim to better reflect Spanish society in the institutions.

He took a firm stance against deteriorating labour rights and working conditions. ‘A labour reform and to restore lost labour rights is of the utmost importance. Our economic alternative, is clear, structured and very goal-oriented: we want to defend the middle class and we want to uplift the working class, which has sunk because of Rajoy economic policies. We are not equal and not the same, but we fight for equal opportunities for all’, Sanchez said.

Regarding European issues, Pedro Sánchez highlighted that PSOE voted against Juncker because of coherence with PSOE's European campaign.

‘I am a convinced pro-European, I know Europe, I have studied in Brussels and have worked in both the public and private sectors. You will definitely see much of me in Brussels, Paris, Rome. I am going to make it possible for our European party to regain strength, to help stop division, to strengthen relationships between our European partners in order to bring the European project forward. Also when it comes to the European socialists in foreign affairs. We must be more present in Latin America'.

Read full text of speech.

The PSOE congress elected a new executive board. Some of its newly elected members are: PSOE president – Micaela Navarra; Secretary for Organisation and campaign action - Cezar Luena; Secretary for International Relations – Carme Chacon

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