There is more than a year left for the general elections and in the PP they hide with difficulty an atmosphere of euphoria. The main opposition party considers the coalition government written off. The leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has been one of the main threads of this spirit in his formation, after replacing a Pablo Casado at the head of the PP who is still not able to assimilate what and why what happened to him happened the last February. Feijóo himself considered it impossible just a few weeks ago for Spaniards to vote for Pedro Sánchez again after five years in the Moncloa Palace. But the euphoria after so many months does not seem like the best strategy, especially when governing alone seems like a chimera. And this Sunday, in Toledo, he has warned all his deputies: “I am not satisfied with winning when others lose. I am not satisfied with being treated better because they treat others worse. We cannot settle.”
Ayuso points to Feijóo as the alternative to the “soft men” that he personifies in Pedro Sánchez
The PP has celebrated this weekend in the capital of Castile-La Mancha its XV Interparliamentary, in which it has brought together all the regional, national and European deputies, to draw up and share the general lines before the regional and local elections of May 2023 An essential intermediate step on the way from Feijóo to Moncloa, and that can serve as a lever for the generals or weigh down their options at the end of that same year.
In the different speeches and interventions, the leaders who have participated in the open-door events have considered Sánchez amortized. But the latest polls, and the result of the face to face between the president and the leader of the opposition in the Senate, they have set off an alert at the party’s national headquarters, in Madrid’s Génova street.
The CIS of this past week has relocated the PSOE to the forefront of the vote estimate, has indicated a growth of United We Can and has confirmed the fall of Vox, after the fiasco in Andalusia and the frightening of Macarena Olona. Perhaps that is why Feijóo has attacked this Sunday against the public opinion institute. “Fixing the match before playing it, it’s a bit of a shame. No member of the Executive Committee of the PP will ever be president of the CIS”, he pointed out to the applause of the plenary.
Income agreement conditioned to the reduction of VAT
Feijóo’s speech before his deputies has not moved one iota from what he has been repeating since he assumed the leadership of the PP, last April. Almost nothing new and a large number of phrases without excessive content. The head of the opposition has proposed “a method” to convince the majority of Spaniards that it involves “changing the policy that Spain has had to suffer in recent years” with “too much time of insults, artifice and imposture”.
“Politics is worth it and occupying the space of moderation and centrality,” he said. A recipe with which Juan Manuel Moreno achieved the first absolute majority of the PP in Andalusia last June, but which collides with the speeches made by prominent party leaders, starting with the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who even attacks the plans of his own party in Europe to approve a tax on extraordinary profits of energy companies.
“Good politics is always worth it”, said Feijóo, who has defended that he aspires to “transcend ideas” and “bring Spaniards together, who need to believe in public powers again”. Because, he has maintained, the Government has assaulted the institutions, among which it has not placed the Zarzuela Racecourse, as Ayuso did on Saturday, but Indra, the State Attorney General’s Office or the INE. Nothing new under the sun.
At the economic level, Feijóo has also insisted on his usual recipes: attacking taxes and crying out against public debt. Even against which he has assumed the European Union jointly for the first time in history to provide funds to the States and be able to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. For Feijóo, that is not “progressive” at all. Although it was led by a president of the Commission from his own party, Ursula Von der Leyen, who is not particularly fond of her in Genoa.
Feijóo has only made one announcement, half actually. The president of the PP has defended an income pact between employers and unions, something promoted by the coalition government, with the vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, at the head. The president of the PP had already supported him in previous interventions in recent weeks, but today he has linked it with another of his latest proposals: lower VAT on some basic products due to the increase in the price of the shopping basket and as an alternative to the cap of prices raised by Diaz herself.
That is to say, Feijóo will support the income pact if the Government assumes a VAT reduction.
Against linguistic immersion… but from afar
The president of the PP has started his speech with an allegation against the linguistic immersion that is practiced in Catalonia and Euskadi. In recent weeks, criticism has intensified against the absence of Feijóo in the demonstration that was held this Sunday in Barcelona against the language policy of the Government.
The march was called after the PP already had this weekend’s event underway, in which it has mobilized hundreds of representatives from different parts of Spain. And the president of the party is always the one who closes the act. Feijóo has chosen to send his number twoCuca Gamarra, as the main representative of the party in his absence.
Sánchez has sent a “remembrance” to those who demonstrate in Barcelona to demand that the only vehicular language in education be Spanish, and has juggled to defend his “cordial bilingualism” while at the same time attacking those who defend the immersion that It has been practiced for decades. An idea that Álvarez de Toledo, in the front row of the PP delegation, recently described as “Galician”.
No one has to explain to us what it means to have and love two languages. We said it in Seville, I took an explicit position: our project is inalienable, linguistic cordiality in all the communities that have the privilege of having two languages. That is why no one, no one, no one in Catalonia has the right to stir because there are people who decide to speak Spanish, and no one in the rest of Spain has to stir because someone likes to speak Catalan. And no one has the right to prevent our children from learning both languages and speaking freely the one they want“.
But he has immediately promised to legally attack the immersion and prohibit it if it reaches Moncloa. “I ask the Catalan and Basque independence movements to stop imposing their way of thinking and acting on the people,” he said, expressly addressing his own party: “We will go to court and when we are in government we will apply all the tools of the rule of law to achieve linguistic cordiality, guarantee knowledge of languages and the freedom to use them”.