The Galician president and candidate to replace Pablo Casado at the head of the Spanish PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, believes that it is not in his hands to define what type of policies Vox defends or qualify them as ultra-right. That corresponds to the members of the organization led by Santiago Abascal and he refuses to apply a specific description if they do not use it: “I will not be the one to use a label to disqualify a party if that party denies being that.” “It is they who have to define what they are. And then contrast what they say with what they do, and to which European political family they belong,” he maintains.
Feijóo, contradiction as the art of doing politics
The answer is given in an interview granted to the newspaper The world. It is the reaction of the Galician baron of the PP to a question about whether he would define Vox as far right, as other colleagues in his party do, although not all. One of those who rejects the label is Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, who is negotiating an alliance in Castilla y León to remain as president of the Junta. Feijóo has already ruled on the possibility that the agreement be with Vox, both before and after his rise to the leadership of the PP in Spain, and the situation marked, in fact, a change in his speech. From sticking out his chest as a kind of containment barrier against Vox because in Galicia he does not have representatives in any institution to defend that his partner in Castilla y León should speak to everyone, including Abascal’s party.
It does not vary, however, in its position of placing the responsibility on Mañueco and giving him free rein to seek an agreement with the extreme right. “He will see if a formula can be found for the government alone, which is the best option. If he cannot and has to decide between repeating elections or agreeing to some issues with Vox, he will inform us,” says Feijóo. For all criticism of Abascal’s party, he points out that he is “surprised” that a party that “does not believe in autonomous communities wants to be in the government of one.”
He defends once again that the PP is distinguished from Vox and focuses the discrepancies on the defense of the Constitution, which protects the autonomies, and on the “deep Europeanism” of the popular. The objective to face the growth of the far-right formation is, according to Feijóo, to make its voters see the PP “as a party that can unseat the governing coalition.” He makes it clear that he wants those votes, which he believes have been increased by the conflict in Catalonia. “We will have to see what things we must improve, because I am convinced that the PP can do it,” he says. And he asks to respect the voters of Vox -who does not do it “is wrong”, he maintains-: “A Vox voter is someone who has an idea of Spain, and who takes that ballot because he understands that it is the party that best represents him I understand that we must convince those voters to then win. Vox failed first and now it has an electorate, but it definitely doesn’t.”
Interview, editorial and publicity of the Xunta
In the interview with El Mundo, which is overturned this Sunday with Feijóo publishing the conversation, an editorial and publicity from the Xunta on its pages, the Galician president reviews the internal shake-up that the PP has experienced in the last two weeks and that have marked the way out for the hitherto leader and have earned him the ticket to Madrid that he had previously given up on using. And his interpretation differs from that of Pablo Casado. He contradicts him and considers that the still president of the PP is wrong when he points out that he has been treated unfairly: “In the party there was no attack on the president. The PP has carried out an exercise in self-protection, in survival.”
The Galician baron assures that what they transferred to him was that the “convulsive situation” had to be resolved and a new stage opened, a message that he defends that “came from the bottom up”. He insists that he “honestly” thinks that the treatment has not been bad and that there has been “loyalty” in transferring to Casado that there were mistakes since before his war with Isabel Díaz Ayuso. This last battle “is added” to the end, but Feijóo reiterates that there had been “little sensitivity in other communities” before.
He leaves no doubt in his position regarding the contract awarded by hand by the Ayuso Government at the beginning of the pandemic for 1.5 million euros to a friend’s company, for which the brother of the president of Madrid charged a commission . The accusations of the leadership of the PP were, according to Feijóo, “very serious” and something that she “does not deserve”. “That is improper for our party,” she adds and qualifies the head of the Madrid government as “active” for the PP. The approach, she says, is not whether it is problematic that Ayuso’s brother receives payments from the community that his sister presides over. “That person was already dedicated to the supply in the health field. We cannot make such thick, unserious proposals,” she ditches.