The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, and the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, met urgently and secretly on Friday to try to close the open war between the two on account of payments to the brother of the Madrid president by a company that contracted with the Community of Madrid. A meeting that was “unsuccessful”, according to a statement issued by Ayuso. It has not been the only one in the morning. In another, the PP leadership assures that Casado told Ayuso that “the statement made public providing the required information on emergency contracting during the pandemic will be incorporated into the information file opened by the PP to conclude it satisfactorily.” According to Ayuso’s version, she was also required to issue a statement in which she denied having been investigated by the PP. So far, this gesture has not occurred.
Ayuso vs Casado: chronology of a war
Hardly any details have emerged about what happened at the Friday meeting, which was not reported to the media until this Saturday, but so far peace has not come. According to sources from Puerta del Sol, Casado would have asked the Madrid president to “say in a statement that she had not been investigated by the PP.” “In exchange, she raised the file,” he adds. “Unsuccessful” is the adjective they have used to explain the appointment at the national headquarters of the PP.
The Genoa version is different. According to a note sent to journalists, “the statement made public by the Community of Madrid providing the information required on emergency hiring during the pandemic will be incorporated into the information file opened by the Popular Party to conclude it satisfactorily.” In other words, the national leadership assumes the explanations given by Ayuso, despite the fact that she acknowledges in said statement that her brother actually received at least 55,850 euros for “the steps taken to obtain the material in China and its transfer to Madrid.”
In addition, according to this version, “he assured him that he has never ordered any investigation into professional activities in his environment and that he will take legal action against anyone who claims otherwise.” The PP leadership does not publicly acknowledge that Casado asked her to assume in public that the alleged espionage did not exist and that the party did not promote it. In private, they do admit that it was so. Ayuso, for the moment, has not taken that step.
The meeting took place in the midst of a climate of great tension among the popular ranks and with constant calls from the rest of the regional barons to put an end to the crisis as soon as possible. The president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, on whom some eyes are set in the PP, had defended Ayuso the day before, with whom he does not have a great personal harmony, and has advocated that the problems be resolved ” intelligently, not by starting a fire. His criticism of Casado’s leadership did not stop there and the Galician president pointed directly to the number two of the party, Teodoro García Egea, whom other leaders point to as the main person responsible for this crisis.
Other party heavyweights have also conveyed to the national leadership the need to end the war.
The appointment in Genoa took place a few hours after Casado estimated at 286,000 euros that Tomás Ayuso, the brother of the head of the regional Executive, charged for “receiving masks” and that he raised, “beyond the fact that it is illegal”, if it is “understandable that on April 1, 2020, when 700 people died in Spain, they can contract with your sister and receive 300,000 euros for selling masks”. The Madrid president acknowledges the payment, although she estimates the reduction to 55,850 euros for that contract and three other invoices that she does not quantify and that she relates to different jobs for the company, owned by a mutual friend of both brothers.
The objective of the meeting was to address the internal crisis that threatens to blow up the party and in which there are movements of territorial leaders who indicate that Casado should dismiss his number two, Teodoro García Egea despite the fact that Casado himself has publicly defended the same theses as the secretary general. In fact, the president of the party assured that the finger award revealed by elDiario.es was not only a legal problem, but also a moral one.
The Madrid president, involved these days in clarifying those payments, has justified that it was an amount of 55,850 euros “for the steps taken to obtain the material” and, although she acknowledges that there are three other payments from the company Priviet Sportive to Tomás Ayuso He refuses to detail them.
Casado, for his part, downplayed the fact that the award of this contract and the payment to the president’s brother is legal and focused yesterday on the exemplary field. “I would not allow my brother to charge 300,000 euros for a contract decided in the council of ministers,” said the opposition leader in an interview at Cope, in which he justified an internal investigation of Ayuso to find out if there was “trafficking of influences” in the award of that contract and suspecting that Daniel Alcázar, the family friend who took the contract, may have acted as a “figurehead” for Tomás Ayuso.
“It is necessary that there be previous processes before the Justice acts so that any official can act and avoid a case of corruption,” Casado said on Friday. The day before her, Ayuso had accused him of persecuting her “cruelly” for wanting to preside over the Madrid PP.