The battle between the president of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, and the party’s national leadership to control the territory claimed the first victim last Monday. The regional deputy and deputy spokesman for the Popular Parliamentary Group, Salvador Cruz, presented his resignation early in the morning. Not only does he leave the Cortes, he leaves politics to work at Solaria, a Spanish multinational photovoltaic energy company that is listed on the Ibex. The departure of Cruz, with a long career in Salamanca politics and also in the regional one, leaves the parliamentary group touched, where he was part of several commissions, including the one that investigates the award of wind farms. Although he alleges “personal reasons” for leaving his seat in the middle of the legislature, party sources assume that they are “clearly political.”
Cruz, supported by Genoa, led, at least until this Monday, a group of critics who intend to take control of the PP of Salamanca, seriously damaged by the case of the primaries that a court instructs. What is being investigated is an alleged crime of illegal financing in which through “donations” assumed by senior PP officials, including Cruz himself, the quotas of hundreds of PP militants were updated so that they could regain their right to vote in the regional congress that nominated Mañueco to the candidacy for the Board. At that time, Salvador Cruz was secretary of the PP of Salamanca and it is one of the charges that he has declared before the judge as a witness. The critics’ movement involves assuming the provincial leadership of the party, in the hands of the president of the Salamanca Provincial Council, Javier Iglesias, for 13 years.
The national leadership, and specifically the party secretary, Teodoro García Egea, welcomed that group that could renew the party in Salamanca because its strategy is to subtract territorial power from Mañueco, who does not enjoy their sympathies. The plays between Genoa and Mañueco have been continuous. The most serious caused the opening of information that could end up on file. Last summer, in the middle of August, Genoa fired the manager of the PP of Castilla y León and Mañueco’s ‘political father’, Pedro Viñarás, with a generous severance pay. Mañueco struck back by hiring him as a consultant in the parliamentary group with a comfortable salary. The matter remains unresolved after months.
The Salamanca provincial congress remains undated and without candidates
Also in the provincial congresses of the Community there has been tension because both parties tried to impose candidates. But it is the one in Salamanca that would leave the president of Castilla y León ‘wounded’, because he is from Salamanca and the one that interests the national leadership. And that is the one that remains undated, despite the fact that García Egea even said that the national convention of the PP would not be held before the provincial ones. The truth is that the convention already has a date: it begins on September 27 in Santiago de Compostela but it will be itinerant. It will end on the weekend of October 2 and 3 in Valencia, after passing through Valladolid, Madrid, Córdoba and Cartagena. With the horizon set on presiding over the Government of Spain, Casado is not interested in disturbing any of his five barons, and the matter of Salamanca has been postponed. They will not impose anything because it is not the time to burn the ships. If the critics move token, there will be no chapter call. But it is that Mañueco continues to defoliate the daisy and has not convened the congress. He is concerned about this group that intends to take over the party in Salamanca, and also the development of the investigation of the ‘primary case’. If you let Iglesias run again, you take the risk of being charged, as some witnesses point to him as the person who devised the “donations.” If you don’t find another strong candidate, you could lose.
But, in any case, Salvador Cruz was already indicated, with or without the critics’ victory, his situation in the parliamentary group was unsustainable, and especially with the spokesman, Raúl de la Hoz, with whom he had a terrible relationship, according to PP sources. The same sources say that Cruz was “discreetly” looking for an occupation – he is a lawyer – that would allow him to get out of politics as soon as possible when Solaria asked him for a suitable person to take charge of corporate relations. He ended up offering himself. The salary, he has counted himself to people of his trust, triples that of the Cortes, and they put a house and company car at his disposal. However, also from the game it is suspected that the signing of Cruz has been ‘blessed’ by Mañueco and that it is nothing more than a “revolving door” beneficial to all parties.