Alfonso Fernández Mañueco is already president of Castilla y León thanks to the unprecedented agreement that will introduce the extreme right in an autonomous government for the first time since the restoration of democracy. As planned, the only favorable votes from his party, the PP -31 seats-, and his government partner, Vox -13 seats-, have allowed Mañueco to achieve a majority with which to revalidate a government that he himself had interrupted two and a half years after starting his first term after breaking his pact with Ciudadanos. The rest of the parliamentary groups, PSOE, Mixed –Citizens, United We Can and For Ávila– and UPL-Soria Ya, have voted against, in an investiture debate that started at 12:00 p.m. and ended after 9:30 p.m.
To make his investiture possible, Mañueco has had to incorporate into his speech before the Cortes de Castilla y León a good part of the programmatic axes of Vox, which will occupy the vice presidency and the portfolios of Agriculture, Industry and Employment and Culture of his Government. Thus, the PP candidate has assumed the concept of domestic violence, the idea of ”orderly immigration” and has refused to speak of Historical Memory to defend a new Concord Law imposed by the extreme right that “avoids the use of history to divide ”.
Mañueco, who has defended that the agreement with Vox “improves democratic quality” despite having been drawn up in a secret negotiation and after having stated that he would not agree to the entry of the extreme right into his Government, has guaranteed his new partner urgent processing of the laws of Concord and Domestic Violence. On the first, the Castilian and Leonese president has assured that he will treat history “as an element of reconciliation and avoiding its use to divide the Spanish.” The rule will replace the current autonomous decree of Historical Memory, which was based on the reparation of those repressed by Francoism, and thus fully assumes the approach of the extreme right on the matter.
If the processing of the Concord Law will begin before June 30, another of Vox’s demands, the Domestic Violence Law, will start on July 31. Despite insisting that his government is going to “maintain the Law to Fight Gender Violence” – something that Vox rejects – and will not take “a single step back in recognized rights”, Mañueco has defended the Law on Domestic Violence as an opportunity to recognize “all the victims”, a common approach of the extreme right.
“There are situations that have to be addressed by generating new benefits, such as violence by children against their parents or against people with disabilities in the family environment. I don’t think anyone can be against this,” she argued. However, the candidate has ended up equating sexist violence with other types of violence in the domestic sphere: “Improving detection and prevention, expanding and reinforcing protection for victims and guaranteeing the best immediate and comprehensive care is an inalienable commitment ”.
Under the watchful eye of Santiago Abascal from the guest gallery – the new leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has avoided going to the vote that sealed his party’s first agreement with the extreme right – Mañueco has also endorsed the Vox’s concept of “orderly immigration”. Despite not having powers in matters of immigration, the president of Castilla y León has defended immigration as a tool against depopulation, but always under certain conditions: “Always in a legal, orderly manner, with a clear vocation to join the market labor and that seek full integration through respect for the European laws, values and freedoms of the society that integrates them”.
The future regional vice president, Juan García-Gallardo, has spoken in what seemed more like an inauguration speech than a speech to invest Mañueco as president, in which he thanked, one by one, their work and willingness to the three future Vox advisers. In fact, he has warned that Vox’s political objectives “are not satisfied” with the government pact. “Vox is the party of law and order, and with full respect for the Statute of Autonomy, know that our objectives are, when we have a parliamentary majority, to return the powers of Health, Education and Justice to the central government”, he has advanced .
He has also attacked the opposition, justifying the future laws of Concord and Domestic Violence. Of the latter, he has said that it equals the bombings of Gernika and Cabra and that it allows “everyone to interpret history as they wish”, and that in the case of the latter it protects “all the victims”.
The rest of the Cortes, against
In the afternoon, the opposition as a whole has rejected this agreement between PP and Vox. The spokesman for the Socialist Group, Luis Tudanca, has asked Mañueco to be ‘himself’ and betray Vox. “Let’s see if it’s going to turn out that he’s going to start having a say now, fulfilling the agreements with the extreme right,” the socialist leader ironically commented. Luis Tudanca has demanded that he “fail to comply” with Vox as he has done with his government pact with Ciudadanos, with the Social Dialogue, with officials or with the Reconstruction Pact.
The general secretary of the autonomous PSOE has directly questioned Mañueco: “The terrible thing is that you, who have breached all the agreements you have reached with everyone, may begin to keep your word with the most infamous pact you have signed never”. In addition, Luis Tudanca has alluded to the future Vox advisor who will lead Culture, Gonzalo Santonja, who “went to Herri Batasuna rallies in the lead years.” “Imagine what you and the far right would be saying in this country and what the extreme right would be if someone who went to Herri Batasuna rallies in the years of his lead was appointed councilor of this Community,” he claimed.
One of the harshest interventions has been that of the former vice president and now the only attorney for Citizens, Francisco Igea, who has accused Mañueco of being a “pathological liar and a dishonest being” who “neither his party colleagues nor the citizens of Castilla y León nor his family”. It has not been Igea’s only reference to Mañueco’s family: “Her dishonesty doesn’t bother me because I met her, I know her better, just like some of her family, so the maneuver she has done has not surprised me, because she is at her level ”.
Also from the Mixed Group, the attorney for United We Can, Pablo Fernández, has predicted that Mañueco will go “into the annals, but of infamy” after deciding to introduce the extreme right in the Government of Castilla y León in its sole objective of “remaining in the easy chair”, for which he has “lowered his pants in the most undignified way”.
UPL spokesman Luis Mariano Santos has recalled that he “never” has been “neither from cordons sanitary nor from red lines”, but, he has insisted, he cannot be close to what Vox defends. “There are things that are raised here about social rights acquired for a long time, which is that I don’t even consider talking about it, I’m sorry, Mr. Gallardo, it’s that I don’t even consider talking about it.”
In the same line, the spokesman for Soria ¡Ya! has spoken, who has refused to support this investiture, since he considers that there are “too many doubts, uncertainties, inconcretions and acquired rights in danger”.
The only attorney for Por Ávila, Pedro Pascual, has announced that any party will be able to count on him as long as what is agreed upon are benefits for the province of Ávila and has recalled that most of the decisions that have been made up to now have been by party discipline.