The leadership of the Popular Party is enraged with the businessmen who both in Catalonia and at the state level have supported the pardons to the independence leaders granted by the Government and with that part of the employer’s association that has not seen those pardons of the convictions of prison. The conservative formation has always considered the business community as an ally in its fiscal, labor and economic policies. The PP has assumed the employers as part of its own and has also tried to link it to its political action, in which on many occasions both parties have agreed.
Casado asks Sánchez to resign and call elections to measure citizen support for pardons
However, Pablo Casado’s team is completely dislodged by the fact that a large part of the businessmen have not supported his very tough –although already exhausted– campaign against pardons, branded by the PP leader himself as illegal and unconstitutional despite to be fully protected by the Constitution. A strategy that is part of its plan to bring down the progressive government that Genoa 13 has considered illegitimate practically from the day it was constituted thanks to the parliamentary majority achieved by Pedro Sánchez at the inauguration.
The leadership of the PP, which feels betrayed by what until now it considered one of its main related sectors, has therefore decided to declare war on the bosses. Casado maintains that the businessmen who support pardons for the pro-independence leaders “do not represent anyone” and are “a subsidized audience.” This Wednesday, the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, went a step further and proposed that the Catalan employers “pay with their taxes and money” the “way to independence” by supporting the grace measure in the majority. And, early on Thursday, in an interview on Telecinco, the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, has considered that “there are many businessmen who can now defend the pardons but had to take their headquarters outside of Catalonia.” “The pardons are not going to make these companies return to Catalonia”, he has settled.
The campaign against Garamendi
One of the gestures that most bothered the PP of Casado was that of Antonio Garamendi, the president of the CEOE – the largest business organization in the country – who on Thursday of last week, during a interview on TVE, argued that, if the pardons to the Catalan independentistas served to normalize the situation, “welcome” they were. His words did not signify much less explicit support for those pardons, as Garamendi himself has tried to clarify since then in each of his public appearances. But they did stand very far from the apocalyptic messages of the three right-wing -PP, Vox and Ciudadanos-, which consider pardons as a kind of affront to the rule of law.
The conservative formations and their media terminals then deployed a whole campaign against Garamendi, which this Wednesday was, instead, unanimously supported by the General Assembly of his business organization with a long applause that made him emotional. “I have to admit that I have had some very bad days. I honestly say it, it is a genuinely unfair issue,” he said to his teammates.
His reflection on the pardons especially stung the PP because he made it on the same day that Casado was the main protagonist of the Cercle d’Economia meeting, in Barcelona. That last Thursday was a completely unfortunate day for the interests of the president of the popular. Garamendi’s words were joined, practically at the same time, by those of the Catalan businessmen who attended Casado’s conference.
The vice president of the aforementioned Cercle d’Economia that organized the event, Jordi Gual, demanded that the PP leader not consider the pardons as “shameful concessions” but as “the beginning of a dialogue that at some point could end in solutions.” “It is necessary to reach these agreements with an eye on the long term but with the courage to act on a day-to-day basis,” Gual insisted.
Casado then took the floor and not only rejected the pardons but also did not propose a single political measure for coexistence in Catalonia. The PP leader put forward five economic proposals, focused on lowering taxes, creating infrastructures or consolidating Barcelona as “the Spanish Silicon Valley”, before the astonished gaze of the Catalan business community, which has seen its expectations diminished as a result of the outbreak of the political conflict in Catalonia.
The “shareholders” of the PP
The leadership of the PP did not like anything either that on Monday, during the act of defense of the pardons that Pedro Sánchez starred in at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, many of the guests were prominent members of the Catalan employers’ association. That same Monday, Casado assured that those businessmen who attended the event called by the Government in the Catalan capital constituted “an audience subsidized by European funds.”
The next day, the PP leader was asked about those words during a Onda Cero interview, and replied the following: “What I am saying is that they did not represent anyone, them or anyone.” His disqualifications to the business community were linked to “a hollowing out of parliamentarism in Spain.” “If we want to improve the quality of democracy, let us trust the representatives of democracy,” said the PP leader before complaining that the Executive negotiates the laws with unions, employers, associations and civil society. “I am going to end up negotiating a law with Father Ángel,” he ironized.
Also denying the representativeness of business organizations, Casado assured that he is only due to their “shareholders”, who are “the Spanish.” “Millions of Spaniards feel identified with an alternative to normality, which is to comply with the law,” he added, alluding to his own party and his position on pardons.
This Wednesday, during the government control session in which the PP leader once again accused the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, of “trampling on the law and the Constitution” for the approval of the pardons and asked him to resign, the Chief Executive of Casado spoiled his war against the bosses. “You launch expressions against businessmen, who give you more laps in life than you have shown in your political career,” said Sánchez. “He has come to say that the PP is due to the Spanish, that its shareholders are the Spaniards, as if those of us who did not think like you came from Mars,” ironized the president, who reminded Casado that the two initiatives against pardons that has raised in the last week in Congress have crashed against the parliamentary majority that supports the Executive.
Ayuso: “Madrid is not there to pay for anyone’s party”
Casado’s disqualifications against businessmen were also joined on Wednesday by Ayuso, who competes with the leader of his party to achieve national media prominence after his overwhelming victory in the Madrid elections on May 4. During an appearance at the Zendal Hospital, the president of the Community of Madrid assured that the main proposal that will be made to Sánchez during the bilateral meeting that both leaders will hold on July 9 at Moncloa will be that Catalan businessmen finance “the way to the independence “of Catalonia, informs Fatima Knight.
“On July 9th I am going to take a proposal to Pedro Sánchez. Since the Catalan businessmen, the majority from what I see, are in favor of these pardons and of this path to independence, so that they pay for it with their taxes and with your money. That will be one of my priorities. Madrid is not there to pay this party to anyone and I do not intend to allow them to touch the fiscal policy of Madrid for this. I will defend the interests of Madrid, “he settled.