• Red Cross, Cáritas and others want right to public assistance guaranteed
• Groups urge parties to enshrine basic economic, social rights in Constitution
A federation of more than 29,000 Spanish nonprofits, charities and non-governmental organizations, the Plataforma del Tercer Sector (Platform of the Third Sector), has presented a 10-point program of electoral demands to the country’s political parties that include a Constitutional Reform to guarantee the rights of the most needy to public assistance.
The proposals from the organization, which includes such well-known nonprofits as the Spanish Red Cross and the Catholic church’s Cáritas aid agency, run counter to the position of the governing conservative Popular Party (PP), which has refused to include in its plans to reform the Constitution a similar change proposed in 1978.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has argued publicly that there is no real demand for such guaranteed assistance to Spain’s most–disadvantaged citizens.
But the federation of organizations disagrees and the proposal which it has begun circulating to all political parties in the runup to Dec. 20 general elections calls for a clear change to the Spanish Constitution to “convert social, cultural and economic rights into basic rights” guaranteed by the country’s Magna Carta.