Monday, September 20

Heal the wounds

Pedro Sánchez: You leave the ministry, you leave the Government and immediately leave the PSOE Organization secretariat.

-José Luis Ábalos: May I know the reasons?

-PS This is not the time. We will talk later.

Thus it was in general terms, according to several sources familiar with the conversation, how on July 10 the Prime Minister dismissed his Minister of Transport and right hand in the party. The least expected dismissal – along with that of the ousted Iván Redondo – of those who occurred in the last reshuffle of the Executive is still pending a conversation so far not held. Ábalos has revealed in his first television appearance on La Sexta that since that day he has not spoken with the person who used to do it up to three times a day. Morning, afternoon and night. Until two weeks before the new composition of the cabinet was made public, Ábalos was aware of the adjustments that Sánchez wanted to face in the Government. And he even knew the names of some of the projections, among which the president never mentioned his, of course.

His removal remains a mystery. For the PSOE, for the Spanish and for the minister himself. What is heard in the cenacles is pure political-journalistic speculation until the contrary is proven. Ábalos has passed in these two months between the perplexity and the pain of who was next to Sánchez when in the PSOE there were no more than half a dozen “Pedristas” and nobody believed in their possibilities in the first line of politics.

And in the face of affliction there are those who prefer to heal themselves with words and those who choose to rot in silence. In politics, the seconds are the least. There is no infallible recipe for emotional wounds, but if Ábalos has decided to speak out – those who know him well say – it is to heal and also not to give fuel to rumors and gossip.

The fact is that he has broken the silence of the last 60 days and in his account there has not been a single reproach, if perhaps a not very credible statement that his departure from the Government, and much more from the leadership of the PSOE, did not catch him for surprise and did not ask for the reasons. Saving the distances, the former minister has emulated the “Redondo formula” in an attempt to convince locals and strangers that his departure was of his own decision and that he was tired of a tremendous intensity after three and a half years in the first line that affected especially to his private life.

That politics is more of a human meat grinder than a bed of roses is not new. Nor that in recent years the harassment and demolition campaigns of adversaries and some pseudo journalists have crossed all acceptable limits, but that Ábalos, with the experience he accumulates of more than 40 years in politics, intends to convince at this point of that only the ruthless partisan struggle and the Cainite public scrutiny have ended his vocation of public service is not bought by anyone.

He himself has announced that he will remain as a deputy in Parliament. It is likely that the new leadership of the parliamentary group will assign him a committee chairmanship, pending some new destiny in the international arena. That is his aspiration and that will be the decision that Sánchez has to make in the future. Whether or not you are seeking accommodation for whoever was your right hand man for the past five years. And also if he gives his approval for any of the CEOs of the Ibex 35 to open any of the doors that his former chief of staff is knocking on to sell his services. Until then, Redondo will also have a stellar appearance sooner rather than later in the same chain where Ábalos has broken his silence.

Politics is just television now. If not, why would they look for accommodation, in addition to a remuneration supplement, all the ex in the social gatherings. This season, Ábalos has signed for Cuatro; Susana Díaz and Teresa Rodríguez, for the Ana Rosa program on Telecinco and others, such as Margallo, Miguel Sebastián or Manuela Carmena, already did it when they left the front line and continue in the social gatherings. Attentive to the grill. Everyone is looking for their minute of glory, to stay in the spotlight … Or to heal the wounds.

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