Just three weeks ago, in the political peace of the holidays, a fairly objective analysis should have concluded that Pedro Sánchez controlled the situation. Today the government seems overwhelmed by problems. Every day a new one appears without the previous ones having been solved. Some are disturbing and threaten to last. The formula with which the socialist leader seemed to be guaranteed success – growing control of the pandemic, economic recovery and European funds – seems to have been forgotten. And some doomsayers begin to speak of electoral advancement.
The latter is not going to happen. At least in a foreseeable time and as long as there is no disaster much greater than those recently recorded. Because despite the growing tensions between the PSOE and United We Can, everything indicates that the Government is going to hold out without breaking down yet for quite some time and because the parties that support the Executive from outside – and particularly the PNV – do not have the slightest interest in that elections are now being held that, according to what the polls say, could lead the right to the government.
But it is not said, far from it, that this respite, those months without elections – up to a year and a half or more – will necessarily be beneficial for Pedro Sánchez. If the negative sign of these last weeks does not change, the opposite can happen. And that the left reaches the electoral convocation defeated beforehand without palliative.
Because, beyond the fatality or bad luck, what has been evidenced in recent weeks is that this government makes one mistake after another and that the leadership of Pedro Sánchez suffers from clamorous failures. And if that doesn’t change, final disaster is guaranteed.
The failed motion of censure in Murcia, in March of this year, is a worrying precedent. Because there were palpable vices of political action that in no small measure have been repeated in recent days. The haste with which the PSOE carried out that tactical movement, without having firmly ensured the essential conditions to carry it out – and above all the loyalty of all the conspirators – was incomprehensible to political veterans.
José Luis Ábalos, responsible for the Murcian adventure, paid for that fiasco. But no one can believe that Pedro Sánchez was not aware of how his minister was doing things and that, in one way or another, he was not the one who gave the final placet to the assault. But no one in the government or in the socialist party expressed the slightest criticism in this regard, with which these practices can be repeated at any time.
And there are enough indications that this haste and lack of control of the movements are at the origin of some of the fiascos of the last few days. Undoubtedly, in relation to the false homophobic attack on the young man from Malasaña. The Government, and not only Minister Marlaska, bought without hesitation the political and ideological orchestration of the event. It was the extreme right that was ultimately responsible for the wave of violence in recent times.
And it is, sharing that responsibility with the deviation towards the more reactionary intolerance that is registered in a significant part of the Spanish public opinion, and European, not to mention the North American. Only in Malasaña there was no homophobic attack. And the police must have suspected him early on. If not, the total silence about their investigations for almost 48 hours is not understood. Were these doubts not communicated to Minister Marlaska? Why didn’t he ask about the reasons for that silence or about the status of the police investigation before making his insinuations about the extreme right? And why didn’t La Moncloa do it before calling a commission on hate crimes to be presided over by Pedro Sánchez?
The episode of investments for the expansion of the El Prat airport also has a lot of haste and a lack of procedural rigor on the part of the Government. How could the minister of the branch, and her chief executive officer, the Prime Minister, have been able to give the green light to the operation, if the other party, the Catalan government, was irreconcilably divided on the content of the plan? Simply because the initiative fitted in very well with Pedro Sánchez’s idea of leaving the Catalan conflict on hold for a long time in order to devote all efforts and, above all, all propaganda, to the success of vaccination and economic recovery?
This last issue is going very well, according to all the economic analyzes. And that it will continue well in the times to come, with a record number of economic growth, up to 9% of GDP in 2023. But that for most people is clouded by the incredible daily rises in the price of electricity and , to a lesser extent but also, of those of many other staple products, to begin with food. The government is now rushing to take action to curb the escalation of light. None are especially drastic, none break the privileged status quo of power companies. But, in any case, why were these measures not adopted many months ago when all the experts were predicting what is happening now?
The high price of electricity will continue to affect the credibility of the Government until at least the spring. The sapping action of the PP as well. Not because Pablo Casado hopes to achieve concrete results, but because it is the only thing he knows and can do and because he hopes that the unbearable noise that his party and the media that depend on him spread will drown out any message of hope that comes from La Moncloa. More or less everyone in the know assumes that there will be no renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary until the next elections are held. And Pedro Sánchez will have to bear the negative consequences that derive from it and will follow.
The situation is therefore not critical, but it is very disturbing. Pedro Sánchez has to react. And not just with good words and kind gestures. The situation has to be in your hands. Will it be up to the task?