Antonio Miguel Carmona (Madrid, 1963) has become one of the most media socialists without the need to manage a public euro, without positions of responsibility neither in the institutions nor in the party. By dint of faking on the sets, where he presents himself as an easy-to-verb talk-show that has no problems getting into melee, he has become a well-known face of the PSOE, despite having been out of the front line for two years – when he abandoned his act of councilor in the Madrid City Council, which he had maintained against the criteria of Pedro Sánchez. Now it is he himself who has become the center of controversy and not only a target for gathering people, but also for political parties after signing for Iberdrola to occupy the vice-presidency of the electricity company in Spain at the worst possible moment: with the price of the light fired and in full pulse of the companies in the sector with the Government.
The old socialism that feeds DTT and the manifestos against Sánchez
Carmona comes to the energy company from the San Pablo-CEU University, where he has been teaching economics for years – for three decades he has combined his teaching career with his stages in politics – and technically he cannot be blamed for being a door revolving, because he has not held any executive position related to the position to be held. Neither awards nor permits nor aid, because Carmona has not directly managed any public portfolio. But his appointment as vice president of the company, with no known relation to the sector, has fallen like a cold water jug in the socialist ranks, who came out in a torrent to criticize the decision that is taken even as a “declaration of war” against the Government.
“At the moment he is a grassroots militant who has not represented the PSOE or its militancy for a long time,” the spokeswoman in Ferraz, Eva Granados, has settled, who has assured that the former leader has not consulted and that if the management had done so I would have said “no”. “The dialogue with the electricity companies at a time when the Government is taking decisive action to lower the electricity bill is the Government of Spain and not Mr. Carmona,” he warned. The clamor is spreading through your organization. “It has been used and it is disloyal knowing the damage it was going to do, because the moment is not accidental,” says a senior official of Madrid socialism.
The incorporation of Carmona is the latest of the company’s political signings, which in the last year has put former ministers Fátima Báñez and Isabel García Tejerina on the payroll to fatten a list of fifteen former senior salaried positions, including the former director of the CNI Félix Sanz Roldán.
In the case of Carmona, his incorporation coincides with the defense that he himself has made of the company in one of the social gatherings in which he is habitual. “It is not true that Iberdrola has emptied swamps, among other things because it could not, since it does not have powers,” he said in Cuatro al Día this summer, when the emptying of several reservoirs that the Government is investigating – which has opened files. Iberdrola and Naturgy– and that the Prosecutor’s Office is also investigating in the case of Galicia.
It is not the first time: the socialist has been stepping on puddles for several decades. He was already forced to resign in his first stage as a regional deputy in Madrid after making a joke just a month after the Prestige disaster. “We are overloaded with votes, and if necessary, we sink another ship,” he said at a meeting with merchants.
In 2011 he returned to the Madrid Assembly and from his seat he launched his campaign as a socialist candidate for the City Council of the capital in 2015. With his accelerated pace and with the concept “pim-pam proposed” practically as a slogan, he ran a marathon campaign that it was of little use. He repeated it at all rallies and starred in videos that made their fortune on satirical shows. He reaped the worst result that the Socialists had obtained until then – four years later, Pepu Hernández broke the record again – and saw how the left seized power for the first time in decades with Manuela Carmena at the helm. “He made an extravagant campaign. He tried to win over Esperanza Aguirre with his weapons and what he did was to leave the way clear to Carmena,” recalls a member of that candidacy. The bet to celebrate naval battles in the lakes of the Casa de Campo and the Retiro, as the great Roman emperors did in their day, was one of those extravagances of the campaign in which he came to complain of lack of support from Ferraz. Of course, neither then nor now Carmona was the preferred leader of the socialist leadership, who asked him not to confuse himself and to focus on the elections.
One of the most controversial moments of his time in the consistory occurred as a result of his appearance in a telephone tap in the hands of the National Court in the framework of the investigation into the president of Ausbanc, Luis Pineda. “Don Luis, you are the greatest,” he said in that friendly conversation to Pineda, with a criminal record for crimes committed as a militant of the extreme right. Carmona put him in contact with the socialist spokesperson in the area of Culture before Pineda’s complaint by the councilor Celia Mayer.
“The only thing that can come off the recorded conversation with Luis Pineda is a good relationship with someone who transmits a complaint to me about the Councilor for Culture. I had a relationship with Luis Pineda especially as a partner in radio talk shows, a relationship that he betrayed as a result of discovering his Indictment in different crimes. Pineda called me to denounce an act against a fair by the Councilor for Culture and I referred him to our Councilor for Culture, as I would with any other citizen, “said the then Councilor, who assured not to regret it.” no problem”. Carmona, who came to have an escort as a councilor after reporting death threats of a “sniper”, he then pointed to a conspiracy: “Crouching forces have been unleashed.”
By then he was no longer a spokesperson for the City Council. Practically the first decision of the then secretary general of the PSOE-M, Sara Hernández, was to relieve him of his position. He did so in full harmony with Ferraz, who had saved his candidacy when Pedro Sánchez intervened in the Madrid federation to remove Tomás Gómez, both from the race for Puerta del Sol and from organic leadership. Carmona appeared that day next to his “friend.” “I put my hand in the fire for Tomás Gómez. Not one, the two,” he had expressed just 24 hours before at an informative breakfast in which Sánchez was next to him. “I put my hand on fire for Pedro Sánchez and Tomás Gómez,” he reiterated a week later.
But his love affair with the general secretary did not last long: Carmona supported Susana Díaz in the battle for the leadership of the party that was opened before the decision of the PSOE barons to let Mariano Rajoy govern. He again appeared flanking the now former Andalusian president when she was defeated, in this case by the party’s militancy. “Continuity has won, the management of the last two years of the secretary general, who repeats again and wants to try it for the third time,” he lamented.
Years later, the leader of the PSOE left him out of the Senate candidacy – a position that he had rejected when they separated him as spokesman for the consistory – despite having been the name most voted by the militants.
Since then, Carmona has become one of the main scourges of Sánchez (among those who maintain the party card) from the television gatherings and the manifestos promoted by the old socialism. In February, Carmona seconded a text by La España that gathers – a platform chaired by former Basque leader Nicolás Redondo – to demand from the Prime Minister and leader of his party the dismissal of Pablo Iglesias as Vice President of the Government and promoted a collection of signatures against him. PSOE pact with United Podemos and ERC to eliminate from the Celaá law the reference to Spanish as a “vehicular language” that Wert had established.
“He has a personal anger against Pedro Sánchez, first because of Tomás and then, because of his own,” says a Madrid leader, who defines Carmona as the “little Nicolás of socialism” and accuses him of having “delusions of grandeur.” Whoever threatened to appear in the primaries to lead the Madrid PSOE now avoids defending himself from the criticism that has come to him in a cascade and from the highest level of his party. “He has never represented the current leadership,” declared the Ferraz spokeswoman, declaring any relationship with the former councilor broken. United We can on Monday asked the PSOE to be expelled from the party.