Both coincide in their mission: to change the coalition government of the PSOE and United We Can for another of the PP and Vox. But they differ in mechanisms and timing. The different strategies defined by Pablo Casado and Santiago Abascal for the restart of the political course have had a curious conclusion: a confrontation between the two that has already accumulated almost a year and that, far from fading, threatens to intensify in the coming months, with the possible electoral advance in Andalusia as fuel for a conflict between two forces condemned to understand each other.
Vox intensifies its attacks on the PP due to its stagnation in the polls
Casado broke relations with Abascal in the middle of the debate on the motion of censure that the president of Vox led against Pedro Sánchez in the fall of 2021. Abascal barely collected the votes of his own. And the no of the PP, whose leader snapped at him: “We don’t want to be like you.” The rupture did not have any real consequence in the municipal and autonomous governments of the PP that are sustained by the far-right party. But since then the dialectical level between the two does sound like a confrontation.
This Monday the leaders of both parties met for the first time after the holidays. Both formations coincide in their “no to everything” against the coalition government. The general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, appeared before the media at the first press conference of what he defined as “an intense and important political course.” “Every day with Pedro Sánchez in Moncloa, Spain falls back on its goal of a previous recovery. A step back from the crisis,” he said, to describe the Executive as “absent, erratic and failed.”
García Egea attacked the Government for – he said – congratulating himself on the management in Afghanistan. “What he is celebrating is a withdrawal. I do not know very well what he is celebrating,” he snapped, to ensure that “the Government has joined the operation when it was already organized,” recovering the thesis that the president was absent in the first week of crisis. “Not to everything”.
“We have prepared all the reforms. We are designing the first Councils of Ministers of Casado as president of the Government,” said the number two of the PP. A phrase that could seem out of time when the next general elections are more than two years away, if Sánchez does not decide to advance them. Something that, given the polls and the difficulties in assembling the majority that gave him the inauguration, does not seem very likely. In fact, in public and in private both the PSOE and United We can rule out an electoral advance.
But that in the PP the Councils of Ministers are already rehearsing does not imply that they aspire to assume the Government soon. In fact, García Egea once again rejected questions from journalists who are going to present a motion of censure, as they are required again from Vox, or who plan to support Abascal’s, if they finally present it again as they have suggested.
“The motion of censure against Pedro Sánchez can only be made at the polls by uniting the vote of all of us who want a sensible, capable, credible and internationally important government. That is the work we have to continue doing,” defended García Egea, who He left a message for Vox: “They have long realized that the alternative is the PP. Nothing to mislead us with other issues.”
Abascal launches the notice for Andalusia
Married this Monday he did not make any statement, although last week he was lavished almost daily. Yes it will do it on Tuesday, in an act in Barcelona to prepare the national convention of the PP, scheduled for early October.
The one who did formally return from his vacation was Santiago Abascal, who reappeared this Monday to continue with the script of recent months: charge against the “criminal” government of Pedro Sánchez. Abascal repeated the slogans that Vox has not released since January 2020 and to which the PP sometimes resorts. Sánchez is an “unworthy and illegitimate president”, his partners “insult and denigrate the Armed Forces and the Civil Guard.”
But his hardest darts were directed this time against Pablo Casado and against the PP, whom he now accuses of being “a crude relief from the PSOE.” It is the new strategy after the stalemate in the polls. “This Government needs an alternative, not a replacement as the PP offers, with a change of faces and the same policies,” said the president of Vox before the sloppiness that he says he perceives in the party in which he previously militated and with which he continues fighting for his own constituency.
In his opinion, PSOE and PP are “indistinguishable” for how they have faced the crises that have arisen this summer. Starting with the “invasion of illegal immigrants” to Spain, of which he blames the permissiveness of both parties with the borders with Morocco. For the leader of the extreme right, both Sánchez and Casado are “accomplices of the call effect.”
Abascal took advantage of the press conference to remember that Vox has broken the pact with those of Casado in Andalusia precisely because of the immigration policy. For now, the threat has not increased and the extreme right has limited itself to asking for early elections. But the coalition government of PP and Citizens must already present its Budget proposal for the autonomous community, which necessarily implies negotiating with Vox in the face of the left’s refusal to support the accounts of Juan Manuel Moreno.
The Andalusian Government already paves the way for an electoral advance that anticipates the polls almost a year. If in the elections of last May in Madrid the treatment between the PP of Isabel Díaz Ayuso and the Vox de Rocío Monasterio was with a silk glove, everything indicates that in Andalusia it will be very different.
Abascal also reproached the former bipartisanship for the Mar Menor disaster, but it was obvious that since the failed motion of censure presented by the Socialists and Citizens against the former bipartisan (PP and Citizens), former members of his party are now part of the Murcian Government that presides the conservative leader Fernando López Miras.
However, Abascal once again called on Casado to present a motion of censure against Sánchez. If not, maybe he’ll do it himself again. The result of the initiative will hardly be successful, as it already happened in 2020, since the majority of Congress actively rejects the far-right party.
What the motion of censure does reveal, that of a year ago and now, as well as all the municipal and regional power that the PP treasures, is that without Vox it could not govern. Not even the incontestable triumph of Ayuso helped him to achieve an absolute majority. The Madrid president had to negotiate her investiture with Monastery. In the city of Madrid, Vox’s refusal to approve the new Central Madrid of José Luis Martínez Almeida put the project at risk, but the unexpected support of the four ex-councilors of Más Madrid related to Manuela Carmena will save him. The problem for the PP is that not in all municipalities there are splinters (or turncoats) to pull and those of Pablo Casado are doomed to understand with Vox. As long as they do not have an absolute majority like that of Alberto Núñez Feijóo in Galicia, which no poll gives right now.