Just 24 hours after Pablo Casado announced at the PP national convention that he will repeal all the laws approved by the Pedro Sánchez Government if he arrives at Moncloa, the president of the Board and Andalusian leader of the PP, Juan Manuel Moreno, decided to verbalize for the first time his “good feelings” with the leader of the opposition, the socialist Juan Espadas, “because I have seen the possibility that an agreement can be reached with the Andalusian PSOE” to agree on the Autonomous Budgets of 2022.
The Andalusian PP will close ranks with the reelection of Moreno in its congress in Granada on November 20
While Casado dug a strip between PP and PSOE and exalted an identity discourse with winks to the Vox electorate – against historical memory, feminist laws, irregular immigration, some regional powers, the education law, etc. – Moreno took shelter and he was quick to speak “of the Andalusian model” of the PP. Namely, “dialogue with all, reformist, moderate, focused and inclusive”. “I do not have ideological trenches,” he repeated several times this Monday, “and I am willing to agree on the Budgets with all the forces that put the interests of Andalusians before individuals.”
Moreno supports the leadership of Pablo Casado and has pushed the party convention to transcend the internal unity that he was seeking. But the speech of the national president of the PP was truffled with all the cultural battles that the Andalusian has tried to circumvent by all means in his three years of government in Andalusia. The president of the Board is perceived in Madrid as a moderate counterpoint to Casado, although the Andalusian already governs with the explicit support -and part of the Vox program- and the Palencian only intuits that scenario, according to the polls. However, Moreno has taken great care to highlight his own script for the Andalusian PP, once again “encapsulated” so that this “ideological rearmament” sought by the popular convention -Sarkozy, Aznar, Vargas Llosa, Díaz Ayuso, etc.- does not agitate the southern waters.
The sociological axis in the center left
His territory, always underlines it in petit committeeIt is a region with the sociological axis in the center left, but with 400,000 socialist voters who stayed at home in the last autonomous regions. For the Junta and for the Andalusian PP, ideology is anathema, and by extension any political issue that stresses the left against the right. Moreno wields management, stability and a certain status quo of what existed when the PSOE governed. For now.
On Sunday, before a devoted public, Pablo Casado made an amendment to the entire Government of Sánchez, whom he even refused to name. This is how “wide” is the sociological and strategic base of the popular ones. The political blockade in Congress in the face of an “unprecedented” and incipient negotiation between PP and PSOE in Andalusia. It was Moreno himself, this Monday, in Granada, where he has chaired the Board of Directors of the PP-A that has convened the congress in which he will be re-elected president of the party, who has underlined this difference with Casado, sending a message against the current of the which was heard at the closing of the national convention in Valencia: “What a good example it would be for Andalusian society if we abandoned the ideological trenches and produced a Budget with some unanimity.”
In the sudoku of budget negotiation, Moreno includes Vox and Unidas Podemos, although internally the popular ones see it unfeasible to revalidate their agreement with those of Santiago Abascal. They have dismissed themselves accusing Moreno of “breaching his previous commitments.” Socialists also take it for granted that if they sit at the table with the PP, Vox will rise immediately. “We all have to give in and I am willing to do so from my Government. I want to be optimistic and positive, I hope and wish that it is not a strategy and that deep down there is a will to agree,” he said about the proposed pact that he sent him. Swords, on Friday at the Palacio de San Telmo, headquarters of the Junta.
A path of uncertainties
Moreno and Espadas have started a path towards understanding between PP and PSOE in Andalusia against the current in Madrid, in the Congress of Deputies. It is too early to know if it is “only strategy”, as the popular leader says, or if both leaders, of moderate profile, are seriously rehearsing the first political agreement between a government party and the opposition leader to give stability to Andalusia in major State affairs: health, education, social services … Espadas needs time and visibility to make itself known before the elections and a budget agreement would scare away the specter of electoral advancement; Moreno has managed to exorcise the fear that the right will rule and his approach to the socialists allows him to fish in a fishing ground of 400,000 votes from the center – those who stopped voting for the PSOE in 2018 – with more room for growth for the Andalusian PP than what which can be left on the far right, where it competes with Vox.
This is what both parties recognize about “strategy”, but then there are “feelings”. “They are serious and the president is serious,” admitted a source close to Moreno on Friday after his meeting with Espadas. Even in the United We Can coalition, after their brief meeting with the president of the Junta, on Friday, they believe that the popular leader “is serious.” “Moreno knows that the sociological base of Andalusia is closer to the center left and his agreement with the PSOE makes him earn more through the center than he can lose in the strip that he shares with Vox,” assess sources close to the confluence.
Moreno has maintained the pulse with the national leadership of the PP, which for months has been pressing him to advance the elections in Andalusia, and adds his foreseeable victory to Pablo Casado’s income statement (as happened with the Madrid women), consolidating the idea of that we are facing a change in the cycle. The Andalusian president has resisted external pressure, even with the table full of electoral predictions that predict a sharp growth in the number of voters at the cost of the gradual extinction of Ciudadanos. But Moreno’s biggest concern is not winning the elections, but “adding.” That is, that the conservative bloc overlaps with the left, which these days live scattered, disoriented and in internal conflict.
“If there is a time when we need a Budget it is in 2022. The Andalusians want there to be a budget and I as president want there to be a Budget. I do not have ideological trenches and I am willing to agree on the Budgets with all the forces that are willing to put the interests of the Andalusians before their particular interests, “he stressed, referring to his” good feelings “after the meeting with Espadas and the rest of the parliamentary groups, where the socialist sent him a document with a financial envelope with his priorities to agree on the accounts for next year.
Sources close to the president of the Board see today a budget agreement with the PSOE more feasible than with Vox, his partner in the legislature until now, and the one that has approved the previous three years. Santiago Abascal’s party has broken weeks ago with the Andalusian Government of PP and Cs, cries out for an electoral advance and begins to accuse Moreno of “betraying” the Andalusians for approaching the PSOE.
The popular see their former allies installed in the “electoral” struggle, and the president himself begins to warn them that “what your voters want from you may not be the same as what your affiliates want.” All in all, the Board continues to treat Vox as a preferred partner. The Minister of Finance, Juan Bravo, remarked this Monday that the far-right group has been a “reliable” ally, which has given stability to the Executive by supporting the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Budgets.
Matches with the Casado line
Although Casado appears more heeled to the right and Moreno has cultivated a more moderate profile, some points of the program wielded by the leader of the PP on Sunday squeak are coinciding with the agenda of the Andalusian Government: Casado advocates to recentralize some powers now in the hands of the communities, such as prisons in the Basque Country and Catalonia; and Moreno is an “autonomist” leader with a Statute in the hands of the same power as the Catalan, contrary, therefore, to losing autonomous powers. Andalusia does not hold the management of prisons, but in the campaign of the last Andalusian women, Casado walked through this land asking to withdraw the powers of education from the communities, something that the then PP candidate for president of the Council.
Casado has announced the repeal of the Education Law, and Moreno shares that idea. Casado intends to repeal the Historical Memory Law -which the Government of Rajoy already de facto repealed, allocating zero euros to it- and replace it with a law of concord, a proposal that in Andalusia has the seal of Vox, and the Moreno Executive has made it his , although he has not developed it yet. Casado advocates to liberalize more land to build more homes, and the Moreno Administration approved a decree law that sought to liberalize the market, including real estate, although with certain obstacles to protect the environment. In fiscal matters, Casado and Moreno propose practically the same thing: the complete reduction of taxes as a basic policy to activate consumption, the economy and employment.
Marín marks distances
Who has come to the fore to cool the expectations of the possible agreement between the Andalusian Government and the PSOE is the vice president and regional leader of Citizens, Juan Marín. It is unusual for Marín, number two of the Moreno Executive, to appear at the headquarters of his party in Andalusia on a Monday, when he usually participates in the executive meeting in Madrid. But this time the vice president wanted to mark distances with Espadas, and in passing with Moreno, convinced that this unnatural alliance ends up taking away from his party the little electoral space that he has left. PP and PSOE consider Ciudadanos as amortized and their agreement may end up extinguishing the support base that they have left in Andalusia.
Both in the agreement that Moreno signed two weeks ago with the Valencian president, the socialist Ximo Puig, regarding financing, as well as the beginning of the conversations with Espadas to agree on the next Andalusian Budget, the orange formation has been placed outside the photo , as if it were not part of the same government that has drawn these bridges with the PSOE. Marín on Monday urged Espadas to negotiate with PP and Cs, ignoring that the socialist is negotiating with both as part of the same coalition Executive. The vice president of the Board is also the one who has defended, without any drama, the scenario of an extension in the Budgets in force, in case they do not get the support of any opposition group in Parliament. His discrepancy here with Moreno is more evident.