Pedro Sánchez has attended this Saturday in support of Juan Espadas, socialist candidate for the presidency of the Andalusian Government, with a message of socialist pride. It was about valuing the achievements of his mandate, because the Swords campaign needs a shot of encouragement that takes it out of the defeatism that is perceived in many of his supporters. “Everything that has been achieved in these 40 years has come from the Andalusians and the PSOE. On June 19, the time to resume that responsibility begins,” Sánchez told them. Before, Swords had encouraged them to ignore the polls: “Don’t speculate. It is not about going to see if one survey or another comes out. Go out to the streets to ask for the vote. Victory is achieved with effort, sacrifice, asking for the vote, looking people in the eye”.
“I notice that they already recognize me on the street”: the Swords time trial to increase their popularity
The socialists were brooding over their fate and in need of a revulsive, and in Cártama (Málaga), the president has stood out for his government’s response to the crises he has had to face in his mandate as the best electoral argument. On this pitch, Sánchez has raised the flag of the welfare state. The response to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, anchored in social democratic values as he has said, has contrasted it with how the right wing reacted to the financial crisis. And he has made an announcement: in the next Council of Ministers a bill will be approved that “shields equity, cohesion and universality of public health and that is not privatized by any right-wing government of any autonomous community”, without give more details.
It has also advanced that the Government foresees the creation of 125,000 new jobs in the month of June, an “extraordinary” figure. “Either more rights or more rights, and the most rights always come from the hand of the Socialist Party in Andalusia and in Spain. We are showing that we can get out of crises in another way”. “In a very few days here we will resume the social democratic path to give a fair and supportive response to the crisis,” he predicted.
Faced with the transfer of resources from the Rajoy government to the autonomous communities to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis, “with interest to be repaid”, Sánchez highlighted the transfer of 8 billion euros “non-refundable” to deal with the health crisis and has announced an oral health plan endowed with 44 million euros. “That is the difference. With the financial crisis the welfare state was devalued, today we are strengthening it”.
The president has complained about the opposition, which he has accused of siding with Algeria in the open diplomatic and commercial conflict with Spain and the European Union. “What does the right do? We already see it, he says no to everything. He blocks any kind of social advancement. If the European Union endorses the gas price fixing mechanism, they do not support it. Given the good employment figures, they say they are made up. And if a third country puts pressure on Spain and the EU supports Spain, they support the third country. For this, there was no need to kick out their leader. They are the usual PP!”, denounced the president, who has also recalled some of the occasions in which the PP had predicted the failure of the current government’s measures: the vaccination of 70% before summer, the increase in the minimum wage or the revaluation of pensions.
“Others didn’t do anything in the opposition, and they don’t do anything in the government either”
The PSOE needs an injection of morale, or at least a rush of adrenaline, to breathe new energy into it for the last week of the Andalusian campaign. The polls place the PP not as the winner, but close to that “sufficient majority”, which is supposed to be something like a majority so loose that, without being absolute, it is close. Swords has to reverse that feeling, avoid discouragement, and that’s where he is. “This is the PSOE, this is the strength of the PSOE. This is only done by the PSOE”, he said to start the act, satisfied with the mobilization.
The one in Cártama was the central act of the campaign. The Socialists, aware of the stake, have mobilized all the power of their organic force, to gather some 2,500 supporters under the midday sun. Sánchez has addressed them, warning them of the differences that separate the prescriptions of social democracy and those of the right. Moreno and the PP have made the disenchanted socialist one of their electoral targets. The popular candidate presents himself as a “moderate radical” and has subscribed to the institutional profile, to the point that he borders on the PP brand. Socialists, on the other hand, are interested in highlighting the differences and denouncing the imposture. “The PP is trying to make the PSOE, but it doesn’t work because Moreno is very right-wing”, says the candidate Espadas today, in an interview with elDiario.es Andalucía.
Sánchez has lent him a hand, not only valuing his own government, but also encouraging him to show pride in what has been done in 37 years of socialist governments in Andalusia. “We have not done everything, but the best thing that has happened to Andalusia has been with PSOE governments. Others didn’t do anything in the opposition, and they don’t do anything in the government either.” Andalusian socialism, which is grouped in the most powerful federation in the State, is the vanguard of social achievements, said Sánchez. “Compared to those who say that we have not done everything, let’s say that all the best has come from the hand of the PSOE, that we are proud and that we are willing to resume it on June 19.”
Before, Juan Espadas had focused his electoral message on youth, the central axis of the act. On June 19, 365,000 Andalusians will be able to vote for the first time, and the socialist candidate knows that an important game is being played there. In Andalusia there is a youth unemployment rate of 40%, but there are also vacancies that are not filled, and Espadas has announced that it intends to identify, in collaboration with companies, where are the jobs that are not being filled due to lack of specialized professional training, and promote this training path. “But public, with equal opportunities, not the one promoted by the Government of Andalusia, training cycles for those who can pay for them, organized by those who already know.”
Cartama as a symbol
This weekend the socialists, the national leader and the PP candidate (Alberto Núñez Feijoo and Juan Manuel Moreno), the president of Ciudadanos and its candidate (Inés Arrimadas), Yolanda Díaz and the candidate of Por Andalucía (Inmaculada Nieto) and the president of Vox and his candidate (Santiago Abascal and Macarena Olona). The PSOE met at the Parque Santo Cristo auditorium (with capacity for 2,500 people, exceeded according to the organizers to 2,500 attendees) under a blazing sun, after changing the location, initially planned in Malaga capital. Everyone has been given a hat with a red ribbon. Some of the attendees were young people from all over Spain for the congress of the Socialist Youth.
Cártama is a symbolic square for Sánchez. In this same auditorium, his friend Jorge Gallardo, mayor of the municipality and one of the first sanchistas, organized one of those cathartic acts in which the current president of the Government appealed to the rebelliousness of the militancy to return to the general secretary of the party, of the one that had been ousted by the “notable” socialists, as he recalled that day. “I have some of the morals of Alcoyano,” he said. “Cártama has always brought me good vibes”, he released today.
Both have been placed in front of a huge Andalusian flag, which once waved at Malaga airport. Salvador Trujillo, secretary of the Churriana group, explains that they give it to the socialist presidents who pass through here to sign, and the lyrics of Rafael Escuredo, Olaf Scholz, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Susana Díaz are stamped there. Today it was the turn of Juan Espadas, who wrote: “If we vote, we win.”