Thursday, October 28

Felipe González and Mariano Rajoy claim their right to have an opinion against “Torquemadas that flourish everywhere”

They did not finish specifying what they were referring to, but the former presidents of the Government perceive “Torquemadas everywhere”, 25 or 30 inquisitions where before “there was at least one single Inquisition”. Felipe González and Mariano Rajoy are not allowed to give their opinion with “a certain tranquility”. That was one of the main conclusions they reached after an hour and a half giving their opinions to dozens of VIP guests at the LaToja Forum and under follow-up, screen by, dozens of journalists. The moderator, Gloria Lomana, tried to extract something more precise from them. It did not succeed. “There are a lot of inquisitors who throw their horses on you,” González insisted.

The “dialogue” of the former presidents made up one of the highlights of the conclave, organized by the Hotusa hotel group in Illa da Toxa (Pontevedra). They knew it themselves and did not disappoint the respectable. There was apology for the “regime of 78 and much honor”, a closed defense of the Constitution – embalmed in the case of Rajoy, timidly open to modifications in the case of González – the bipartisanship of the PP and PSOE as the optimal form of democracy. All in spite of the risks that, in his opinion, it supposes them to “say what they think”. “It is dangerous to do so,” the socialist went on to affirm.

Just while they were complaining about the ghosts that, in their opinion, threaten their freedom of expression, the Superior Court of Xustiza de Galicia (TSXG) ratified the prohibition of demonstrating at the gates of the event to the CIG, the first trade union in Galicia by number of delegates. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Civil Guard shook and shoved members of A Mesa pola Normalización Lingüística who were protesting the disorderly use of the place’s toponymy – A Toxa is the official name – at the entrance to the island. Neither Rajoy nor González made reference to this in their crusade against “inquisitors and Torquemadas.” Only the latter showed his anger, already in the discount minutes, for the attacks to which the extreme right has subjected underage immigrants. Rajoy did not say anything about it.

It was one of the few moments in a conversation with little disagreement in which one of the participants seemed to disagree with the other. Because the basic lines were shared. For example, his attack on plurality in Congress. “As we neglect ourselves, in four years there may be more parties than Spaniards,” said González. Rajoy invoked the specter of ungovernability. And he was sincere, by proclaiming himself a “longtime defender” of bipartisanship -of PP and PSOE, it is understood- that he began to crack during his tenures. Based on this criticism, they developed a kind of theory of political centrality in which the most important thing is consensus, “a minimum of understanding on big issues,” according to Rajoy.

And those “big issues” are, according to the popular, Catalonia, the renewal of constitutional bodies and the distribution of European funds. Rajoy vindicated himself. In Catalonia they no longer proclaim independence because their government taught Catalan sovereignty “that the Spanish nation has instruments to defend itself and uses them.” During his presidency, the judiciary was renewed – he failed to comment that it is his party that has been blocking it for three years now. He could not say much about European funds, beyond a certain reproach to austerity that has been part of his speech since he left power: “Europe has behaved better than in the previous crisis.”

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