26th September 2023
Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez talking with citizens visiting Moncloa
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Sánchez invites 50 members of public to Moncloa to ‘hear and talk about their concerns’

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez received 50 members of the public to Moncloa on Monday, the official residence of Spain’s head of government, as a way to learn more about the concerns of the country’s ordinary citizens.

The initiative was held to coincide with the new political term, commencing at the start of September. 

The 50 citizens, reportedly ‘unconnected to any political or administrative body or major corporation’, were invited to discuss their main concerns, and the day included a tour of the Moncloa palace.

The special event was organised as part of the launch of a new political programme from Sánchez and his PSOE socialist party, in a bid to connect with the grass roots of the nation at ‘street level’. The plan is to include 30 other events across Spain.

Sánchez and his government are aiming to better understand the thoughts and concerns of ‘regular Spaniards’, perhaps with an eye on the general election expected to be called in the second-half of 2023.

The 50 visitors on Monday were not randomly selected, however.

Over the four years since Sánchez first took up office, before and after the November 2019 elections which led to the coalition with the left-wing Podemos group, Moncloa has received around a quarter of a million letters from members of the public – by email and post – and the 50 visitors were chosen from people who had written in.

Via the scheme Moncloa Abierta (‘Open Moncloa’), small numbers of the general public have also been invited on a handful of occasions to visit the seat of government, taking a guided tour.

Félix Bolaños, Minister of the Presidency, said Monday’s event was to ‘exchange opinions and listen to the concerns that citizens have’.

Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez talking with citizens visiting Moncloa
Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez talking with citizens visiting Moncloa. (Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo)

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