Courtesy is news. The five candidates for the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council debated on Thursday night on the second channel of the Basque public broadcaster (EiTB2) and no one called anyone an ETA member. What’s more, Mikel Lezama, the PP candidate, reiterated something that he has been saying throughout the campaign: that he would agree with EH Bildu on proposals that are good for the citizenry. Although there are those who on Calle Génova (and on Puerta del Sol) want to cover their ears, agreements between PP and EH Bildu are relatively common in the Basque Country: there was one on May 10 in the Basque Chamber, without going any further.
The common good argument is the same one that Mertxe Aizpurua, the spokeswoman for EH Bildu, uses in the Congress of Deputies to explain her support for the Coalition Government laws: they are good for the people.
That conciliatory spirit and white glove treatment prevailed in the debate moderated by the journalist Juan Carlos Etxeberria. When after 50 minutes of discussion he asked about the willingness to agree after the elections between the different parties, the PP candidate took the opportunity to express his displeasure for “the bad example” that “the main political forces” are setting. That bad example, in which it was not clear if it included his own formation, is none other than “throwing things at the head”.
At that moment, the moderator asked him a direct question: “Does that mean that the PP can agree with anyone who is here?”
Lezama did not hesitate to respond. At no time did he consider sitting next to ETA members or convey the idea that ETA was still active in any way, nor did he use the victims in any way (contrary to what Isabel Díaz Ayuso repeats day in and day out).
The candidate from Gipuzkoa replied calmly that he would agree with EH Bildu: “As long as it is limited to what I have said, which is to absolutely forget about any type of ideological backpack and fight for and for Gipuzkoa, of course yes”.
The attitude of the candidate – which does not surprise anyone in the Basque Country, but can leave Cuca Gamarra and Díaz Ayuso stunned – is not a flash in the pan. At the beginning of March he already kept the doors open to agree on measures with the coalition EH Bildu “if they are positive”. He has been holding the same thing for at least three months and, presumably, enduring pressure.
Yesterday he returned to maintain his position. Viewers who watched the debate were not dreaming: the proof is in this link to the EiTB debatefrom minute 53.