MADRID – The parties forming Spain’s acting government said Tuesday that they will push for a 37½-hour workweek as part of an agreement the coalition partners struck as they try to remain in power following an inconclusive election in July.
Spain has had a 40-hour workweek for the past two decades. Now, the government wants to move toward a shorter workweek like in neighboring France, where the workweek is 35 hours. The proposal is for Spain to have a 38½-hour workweek next year and for that to fall to 37½ hours in 2025.
Spain’s Socialist Party and its junior coalition partner, the leftist Sumar (Joining Forces), have until Nov. 27 to earn the backing of the majority of Spain’s Parliament to form a new government. If not, a new national election will be held in January.
Tuesday’s agreement was the first, and likely the easiest, step that the two parties face ahead of what promises to be a difficult task of earning the support of myriad smaller parties.
The Socialists and Sumar tally 152 legislators between them. They will need several other parties, including separatists parties from Catalonia and the Basque region, to reach the 176 votes by lawmakers to form a new government.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist leader, and Sumar leader Yolanda Díaz signed the document and presented it in Madrid.
The deal included around 230 policies, ranging from fighting climate change and controlling artificial intelligence to education and housing.
This story has been corrected to show that Spain’s governing party and its junior coalition partner have until Nov. 27 to try to form a government, not Nov. 21.