Friday, May 20

Feijóo opens up to a dialogue with Vox: “I have no problem”

The first important political decision in the PP that became known after the territorial barons outlined the departure of Pablo Casado and his replacement by Alberto Núñez Feijóo was the agreement between his party and Vox to govern in Castilla y León. The pact allows the extreme right to enter a democratic government in Spain for the first time and represents a shift, supported by the Galician leader, in the strategy that the popular ones were following until now. The now president of the PP, who had not yet been formally elected, defended the decision as “perfectly legitimate.” In his new responsibilities, he does not foresee cutting off the relationship with the organization led by Santiago Abascal and is open to meeting with him: “I have no problem talking to the president of Vox.”

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Feijóo makes these statements in an interview granted to the newspaper ABC, in which he indicates that, for the moment, he has not received any calls from Abascal nor has he called him. He repeats that he “disagrees” with Vox, but makes it clear that there may be dialogue. In another newspaper interview The voice of Galiciaadds that he has not communicated, for the moment, with other leaders of the far-right formation, but considers it “sure” that he will do so in the future.

In the conversation with this last means of communication, the president of the Spanish PP speaks openly for the first time about his preferences to organize his succession at the head of the party in Galicia: he assures that his bet is an extraordinary congress. But he suggests that the militancy arrive at the conclave with the ballot resolved and that before the call a single candidacy be agreed upon. With this prior agreement, Feijóo believes that the change in the Presidency of the Xunta, which he still occupies, would also be solved, and that it could be possible for the same person to be in charge of the responsibilities of the Government and in organic life. He avoids giving names, although among those who carry the most weight continue the current first vice president, Alfonso Rueda, who is also the provincial president of the party in Pontevedra, and the leader in the province of A Coruña, Diego Calvo. Both meet the profile that Feijóo himself draws in the interview: “There are people who are trained and have organic and government experience.”

Feijóo has already resigned as president of the PPdeG forced by the party’s internal rules, which establish that it is incompatible to lead it throughout Spain and, at the same time, in one of the communities. That exit stirred the internal waters. Although now he says he is betting on a congress, four days ago he assured that this was not “the only democratic way” to elect his replacement. Two provincial barons -Diego Calvo in A Coruña and José Manuel Baltar in Ourense- publicly requested the convening of a congress to elect a successor. The latter, president of the only deputation in the hands of the PP in Galicia, slipped that he would accept the appointment of Alfonso Rueda to relieve Feijóo, but clarified that this should not be interpreted as support on his part for him to be president of the party and, therefore, Therefore, a candidate in the regional elections of 2024 -the rules of the PPdeG establish that it is the leader in the party who presents himself to the Xunta-.

In the interview, Feijóo assures that what he is transferring to his colleagues in the Galician PP is that a congress should be held, although he warns that “it is perfectly legitimate for the board of directors to consider that it is not.” The matter, he says, should be “aired” in the month of May. In response to whether this internal conclave should be prior to the election of the new president of the Xunta, he replies that “not necessarily” and that the possibility of a bicephaly could be resolved with a prior agreement: “Let’s see if before convening the congress there is an agreement regarding a consensus candidacy. If so, there is no harm in doing both at the same time”.

The president of the PP insists that he believes that “a majority coincidence congress for the Popular Party of Galicia is the best formula to elect the president, and that can be perfectly compatible with an investiture session in Parliament planned in parallel.” He believes that “the logical thing” to face the succession is that “people who may have an interest and also the provincial presidents, even if they do not” talk to whoever “wants to be president” about their project.

On Friday, he considered the attitude of everyone in the party “impeccable”, but admitted that he has not yet spoken with all the provincial barons, a round that he expects to end during Holy Week. He maintains that nothing they have said so far has caused him “concern”, but he leaves a message against personal battles: “We will resolve it as we have resolved it to date. Unless we realize that the goal is social leadership, not organic leadership.” He also asks not to return to the provincial baronies and believes that “it would be a mistake.”