Monday, May 16

The king is mine; and the CEOE and Spain, also

The Popular Party’s campaign against pardons to the Catalan independence prisoners granted by the Pedro Sánchez Government has not only resulted in a poor result for the main opposition party, but has also exposed once again many shames of the training directed by Pablo Casado.

The pardons, it is true, divided the traditional electorate of the Socialists in their first days of public debate. Many socialist voters did not understand why it was necessary to forgive some condemned by Justice who had not shown any repentance, nor awareness of having broken the law, nor how in these conditions the measure of grace could collaborate to find a way out of the labyrinth and the Catalan conflict. The exaggerated, loud and false opposition of the PP and Vox to the pardons – with lies as thick as calling them illegal or unconstitutional – and the fact that many sectors of society are not suspected of being dangerous extremists – from businessmen to bishops – understand or even support the measure has made many of those progressive citizens who initially distrusted the government’s strategy now doubt less or even nothing.

A month long after Pedro Sánchez launched the debate on pardons, the harvest of the PP campaign furiously opposing it is rather scarce. Not only has the government not fallen, but it seems more stable than then, and it has received support and understanding from very diverse sectors. The independentistas have given Sánchez some signs of détente, although still scarce. And the Popular Party has collected much fewer signatures against the grace measure than it expected, it has suffered two resounding defeats on this issue in the Congress of Deputies and has seen how, in the main mobilization, the concentration of Madrid’s Plaza de Colón On June 13, Vox took the main income, Casado some boos and Isabel Díaz Ayuso the protagonism, for a few words about the king that say a lot, and very badly, about his political thinking – and that of Casado, if like her He says he thinks the same – about the role of institutions. The campaign has given the PP results in the polls, where it is growing. But unfortunately, the legislature still has more than half left. General elections are not scheduled until the end of 2023, and it is highly unlikely that Pedro Sánchez, who is the only one who has the key to advance them, will end up using it. In Moncloa they believe that the worst of the legislature – the pandemic and the horribilis spring unleashed after the frustrated motion of no confidence in Murcia – has already passed, and that now comes the stage of the comeback, with the vaccine and the end of the health crisis on the one hand, European funds and economic recovery on the other, and the Catalan conflict entering a more encouraging stage.

Returning to the PP, the most worrying thing is the shamelessness with which time and again the hegemonic party of the Spanish right tries to appropriate the institutions and symbols, be it the flag or the name of Spain, be it the king and the Crown, let it be Justice – and they have been doing it for a long time in part; and there is no better proof of this than the blocking of the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary or the Constitutional Court -, be it like the CEOE these past days, whose leaders are denied even the power to comment on political matters. All these misappropriations together reveal a serious deficit of democratic convictions.

Too many times it gives the impression that part of the Spanish right – the self-described as “the good Spaniards”, to disqualify and demonize the rival – does not recognize more legitimacy than its own; nor is it granted to anyone, especially if it is considered related or close, the right to critical thinking and to one’s own criteria. That is indeed an attempt at regime change. Towards the single party.