Wednesday, October 20

Andalusia seeks a temperate zone for politics

It is not a pose and it is not a ruse either. There is will and there is determination on both sides. Leaving the M-30 of politics has these things: the trench is relaxed; low inflammation; politicians speak and may even understand each other. Andalusia is going to prove itself as an example. Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla and Juan Espadas, the protagonists.

The Andalusian president and the leader of the PSOE are already exploring, calmly and discreetly, the possibility of an agreement on budgetary matters, which would turn Vox – on whose votes the regional government depends – into a pure anecdote and would give a policy lesson with capital letters at a time when qualitative They demand agreements and citizens declare themselves tired of so much tension and so much reductionism.

We are talking about the most expansive budget in the history of Andalusia and about two leaders whose profiles represent the furthest thing from the usual outburst in the current public sphere. The initiative came from the socialist Juan Espadas and, although Moreno received it at first skeptical because he glimpsed in it an attempt by the head of the opposition to seek prominence, now in conversation with he admits that he has “good feelings” and will do everything possible to solve the obstacles that separate both parties and, in his opinion, “they are not insurmountable.”

The Andalusian president is clear that the Socialists will not support the public accounts, but there are certain possibilities that with their abstention the budget will go ahead without counting on the votes of the radical right, that it can govern until the end of the term without depending on VOX and incidentally project an image of transversality that allows it to widen its electoral space.

“Definitely [explica Moreno Bonilla] it would be a qualitative leap, as well as a win-win for the PP, for the PSOE, for public accounts, for society and for Andalusia. This, in addition to contributing to reduce political and social tension in a thick environment of absolute polarization. “We want and can understand each other. If there is a moment that justifies the agreement, this is it ”. Moreno is not Pablo Casado. In fact, he is one of the most remote barons and also most critical of the strategy followed by the national leadership of the popular and their emulation of a good part of the most radical right-wing discourse.

Script change for a different speech

Espadas’s arguments to defend his commitment to the agreement are not very different from those of the Chairman of the Board, although he adds that, in his opinion, the strategy of the left of permanently placing Vox in the spotlight and appealing to fear of The fact that Abascal’s party can govern with the PP has ceased to have an effect on the electorate. “Vox is consolidated [explica] and in some territories such as Andalusia, the polls even give it a slight rise compared to the last elections. In the end, we give them the prominence they seek. They move like a fish in water in the framework of anger and tension. And this happens face to face with the polls that show a majority demand for agreements, economic reactivation and future expectations ”.

The leader of the Andalusian Socialists defends that in the face of “such a monotonous scenario in which the opposition to use no longer serves the citizens”, his bet is to change the script for the construction of a different political discourse. And it is in this framework that he considers that some budgets are an instrument, of government yes, but “above all of the stability that Andalusians demand”.

Both agree that the Andalusian public accounts for 2022 will be the most expansive in the history of the Autonomy, with the help of European funds and an investment in health and education of 7% and 5% of GDP respectively that should not be fed to the quagmire of polarization, but rather of agreements on public services, town halls and economic reactivation.

Espadas has a script, speech and story for a constructive opposition in the style of the one promoted by Zapatero in the last Aznar mandate and from which two great State pacts emerged and, furthermore, he is not willing to make budgets an element of political combat. And this despite having received some internal criticism in Andalusian socialism. Ferraz has given him carte blanche. In fact, Pedro Sánchez has let him know that he likes the lyrics and the music of his attempt and that he does not give up on the effort. Deep down he knows that an agreement between the PSOE and the PP in Andalusia would leave Casado and his blocking strategy in a bad place and of “no because no.”

If the operation goes ahead, “it would change the regional board, de-dramatize the public scene and make politics something habitable,” insists a Espadas, aware like the president of the Junta, of the difficulties it entails. The first, the “attack of jealousy” of Ciudadanos, a government partner of Moreno Bonilla. It is enough to review the angry reaction of Vice President Juan Marín, who prefers a budget extension at a time when Andalusia like the rest of the autonomies will have more resources than ever and says he does not trust the intentions of Espadas. Not in vain, those of Arrimadas intend to occupy alone that space of centrality that the socialist seeks and that, however, was discredited long ago for its link with the PP.

Nobody expects support from the PSOE for public accounts, but an abstention in exchange for four or five nuclear issues for social democracy, such as more resources for rural municipalities, equal pay in medical categories, equality or dependency. In this way, they would no longer be budgets conditioned by the extreme right, but by the PSOE. And if for this, the PP has to take out of the budget, and lead to a decree as it will do next week, its announced tax cut, no one, they think, will be able to tell Moreno that he has resigned from his program or Espadas, that supports measures typical of liberalism. In fact, the leader of Andalusian socialism and mayor of Seville has in his curriculum to have agreed with the opposition seven municipal budgets, including one with the PP, which abstained from the accounts of the Seville capital two years ago.

Everything in order to corner Vox to parliamentary irrelevance, something that, on the other hand, is done normally in other European countries, from Spain it is applauded and the PP at the national level and in communities like Madrid does not contemplate in any case. In France, even a fraction of the extreme left asked to vote in the 2002 presidential elections for the neo-Gaullist Jacques Chirac in order to defeat Jean-Marie Le Pen, candidate of the National Front, in the second round. In Germany, Merkel refused to agree with the ultras and relied on the Social Democracy for a grand coalition. In Sweden, six traditional Swedish left and right parties reached an agreement six years ago in which they pledged, for example, not to vote against the budget presented by the government. And in Belgium, the Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), which got 18.65% of the votes in Flanders, is also a plague. Andalusia is now ready to continue on the European path.

The jump, as the Andalusian president says, “would be qualitative”, a historic and innovative pact that would certainly raise blisters in the agitated Spanish right.

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