Tuesday, August 9

The PP appropriates the memory of the victims of ETA to place itself “in front of the Government”

The Congress of Deputies has kept a minute of silence this Tuesday for Miguel Ángel Blanco, the Ermua councilor of the PP assassinated by ETA 25 years ago today. An act of homage that Parliament already celebrated on June 27, the day on which Congress has been celebrating the memory of the victims of terrorism for years. The difference with what usually happens, the minute of silence this Tuesday has not been proposed by the groups and approved by the Table, but has been promoted from the rostrum by the PP spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, taking advantage of her first turn of reply in the state of the nation debate.

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Gamarra has dedicated a large part of his speech, under the watchful eye of a silent Alberto Núñez Feijóo, to the terrorist group, which announced its dissolution almost 11 years ago. “On July 12, like today, at four in the afternoon like now, Migue Ángel Blanco appeared,” he began his speech. “All of us Spanish democrats held out the faint hope that ETA had not carried out its threat and that his life could be saved,” he recalled. “In his memory I want to begin my speech by keeping, in my time, a minute of silence”, he continued.

All those present, deputies and senators like Feijóo himself, have stood up to honor his memory. Immediately, Gamarra pointed out the agreements reached by the Government with EH Bildu, a coalition he pointed out for not “condemning” the terrorist act committed a quarter of a century ago.

The reference has allowed Gamarra to jump immediately to attack the Democratic Memory Law, which will finish its first process in Congress this week. “This is the history of democracy,” he has said. “It is the memory that we Democrats must honor and that we must never give up,” he continued. “In Spain, there were those who killed members of the security forces and bodies, women, children and Spaniards of type”, he has raised. “Because democratic memory is to remember that Miguel Ángel Blanco does not rest in the land where he was born because those who did not let him live did not let him rest either,” he concluded.

Gamarra has said that the PP “reaffirms its commitment to continue seeking memory, reparation and justice” for the victims. And he has settled that “the spirit of civic rebellion” that caused the kidnapping and murder of Blanco, the so-called Spirit of Ermua, “places them in front of his government.” “He chose the pact of the unworthy, turns Bildu into a notary of the Transition, spreads a cloak of ignominy over the governments of Calvo, Suárez and Felipe González”, he pointed out, to reiterate about the Law of Memory: “We will repeal it and recover the spirit of transition.

The leader of the extreme right has also taken advantage of the debate on the state of the nation to air the terrorist group. “This is a government sustained in the lie of whitewashing ETA using nothing more and nothing less than using the figure of Miguel Ángel Blanco, whose anniversary we are also celebrating today. They are the emulators of the old and criminal Popular Front those crimes that they want to erase. They are not going to get them to forget with any law that they approve in this House”, said Santiago Abascal.

In Moncloa they rub their hands with the strategy that the right has followed. “When they bring up terrorism, it means that it has little to contribute,” state government sources. “The PP has few arguments,” he adds. “After listening to PP and Vox, it is clear that the main concern of the right, the big problem, 10 years after its disappearance, is ETA”, Sánchez answered.

The PP spokeswoman has not only dedicated a good part of her speech to the memory of the victims of ETA. She has also mentioned at the start of her reply to Catalonia, on account of the meeting that Pedro Sánchez will hold with the President of the Government, Pere Aragonés, next Friday. “What new decisions will Pere Aragonés make on Friday?” Gamarra questioned himself, adding: “We can’t trust his answers. His achievement is the total devaluation of the word given”.

The President of the Government, in his first reply, has blamed Gamarra for the patrimonialization of the victims of terrorism. “He has made a speech that is very typical of the PP, the one of today that is the one of yesterday and the one of always. He has not changed”, he has stated, referring to the change of leadership after the forced resignation of Pablo Casado.

“Democratic memory has to commemorate the victims of terror. But also, despite you, the victims of the Franco dictatorship, “added Sánchez. “We can think that the interest they have is beyond their different and varied excuses, they have other interests that perhaps are very similar to those of the Republican Party in the United States,” he said in reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of that country. Against abortion. Sánchez has accused the PP of trying to modify “through the back door” reforms that the progressive government has launched, such as euthanasia.

Sánchez has also defended the legacy of the PSOE in the fight against terrorism. The President recalled that the Socialists tried to make the fight against terrorism a State policy, with the Pact for Liberties and against Terrorism. And he has taken the opportunity to remember that he was with a socialist government, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, when ETA stopped killing. Sánchez has settled: “Is that Rubalcaba they invoke in their speeches and homage tweets the same one they called an ETA accomplice and an ETA cover-up agent?”

No responses to Sanchez

Gamarra has continued his speech with the usual string of economic criticisms launched at the Executive. The PP spokeswoman has linked the coronavirus crisis, and the consequences it had, with the current one. The crisis arising from both, said the leader of the PP, were due to “their foresight errors” that “all Spaniards” are now paying for.

“The Spaniards have to do without the most basic to pay your government,” Gamarra said. “Are you not going to propose a measure to reduce productive spending, starting with your macro-government?”, he continued. “Doesn’t it make you shy to ask Spaniards to save on air conditioning in the heat of the heat while you don’t reduce your spending?” he questioned.

It has been one of the few mentions of Gamarra to Sánchez’s speech. The parliamentary spokeswoman has tiptoed, at best, because of the announcements that the president has made this morning. In fact, she has not even mentioned two of the most relevant ones: extraordinary taxes on banking and the energy sector.

Only in the reply, to questions from Pedro Sánchez, has he mentioned them. “Are you going to approve these measures or not? Will they validate them or not? Do you agree or not with making a tax on the energy and large financial companies of our country? This is what we still have to know”, the socialist asked the PP. “The problem is not that we have and suffer the consequences of this war, the great risk is that you govern a response like the one you did with the financial crisis and not like the one we are doing in light of the pandemic and now of the war,” he added.

“We will wait to know the fine print. Not even all the members of his Council of Ministers know the details of the taxes. It would be good for all the ministers to know about it”, Gamarra replied. It is the only thing he has said, without daring to position himself in a measure that, if it goes as the Government has said, will mean revenues of 7,000 million in two years.

The general secretary of the PP has insisted on the economic measures that Feijóo (whom he has continuously referred to as “the president of my party”) already proposed to Sánchez in April: deflate the VAT rate, reduce “superfluous spending” and “bureaucratic”, in addition to demanding that the EU give permission to member states to temporarily reduce or eliminate the Hydrocarbons tax.

Gamarra has followed the path of his party by accusing the Government of “make up” the INE and unemployment data, in addition to “assaulting institutions” or companies such as Indra. Of course, he has not dared to point out, as Feijóo did, a possible electoral rigging.

“The fundamentals of the economy are unbalanced,” Gamarra told him, who has also not mentioned an alleged imminent recession that Feijóo has invoked on several occasions. The leader of the PP has launched a new hypothesis: “What day is the Budget for 2023 going to be presented?” The spokeswoman has left it up in the air that the Government will reach the end of the year: “The Frankenstein Government does not give more than itself, it is a failed and exhausted Government.”

Before, Sánchez had already reproached him for not ruling on the taxes announced today by Sánchez or the royal decree on anti-crisis measures that will be voted on next Tuesday: “Are they going to approve them or not? Do you agree or disagree with a tax on energy companies and large financial companies in our country? The problem is not that Spain suffers a crisis derived from a war, the problem is not that we have and suffer the consequences of this war, the great risk is that you govern and give a response like the one you gave during the financial crisis”.

“It is not that we suffer the highest inflation in Europe, it is that we suffer the opposition that lies the most in Europe”, he settled.