The two majority opposition parties in Santander, PSOE and PRC, will not lift a finger to promote an alternative candidate for Mayor of Gema Igual (PP) even though the door has been opened from the partner of the popular ones to “talk about everything”, including a possible motion of censure. The lack of credibility that the Ciudadanos spokesman, Javier Ceruti, has for socialists and regionalists, and his refusal to break up the government team previously, have meant that the door that was opened on Tuesday to dislodge the PP from power in the City Council for the first time Perhaps it has not been cleared at the moment.
The numbers give for a historic motion of censure against the PP in Santander: the political alternation that never occurred
The opposition’s statements by the Ciudadanos spokesperson are not enough, even though on this occasion no one from the regional or national leadership has disavowed him as on previous occasions when he denounced the breach of the pact with the PP and did not hide his willingness to break . Ceruti has a credibility deficit for the rest of the parties, which have been listening to the criticism of the councilor of the orange formation towards his partners without there having been consequences in more than three years.
Despite everything, and in the current political context, the Executive of the Socialist Group of Santander, meeting this past Wednesday under the chairmanship of its general secretary and national deputy, Pedro Casares, studied whether to resort to the courts for the blockade that has been carried out since the Mayor’s Office to the garbage investigation commission that has caused the latest municipal crisis, and also addressed the possibility of dislodging the PP from power in the city after 43 uninterrupted years of right-wing governments.
For the Socialists, the news today is the possibility of going to court to defend a commission of inquiry that the PP has blocked. However, they have stepped up to the possibility of a change by putting a condition to Citizens before sitting down to talk about the motion of censure: they have to leave the government team and it is not enough for them to sign a motion (the proposal has to go endorsed with an absolute majority) and continue governing with the PP. That the Ciudadanos spokesman, Javier Ceruti, says now that he would be willing to negotiate a motion is not a sufficient guarantee for the Socialists, in light of past experiences.
In the PSOE they assume the approach that the other great protagonists have had from the beginning: the regionalists. If the municipal spokesman for the PRC, José María Fuentes-Pila, insisted this Wednesday that Ciudadanos, first of all, should leave the municipal government, the secretary of the PRC Organization, Paula Fernández, not only ratified this approach this Friday, but who has gone further and stated that the PRC “is not even thinking of a motion”, since what is substantial in his opinion at the moment is the commission of inquiry on the waste collection service.
Since Tuesday, no municipal group has held an official meeting to exchange views. Even the spokesman for Cs, who has been denouncing weekly to the media for years the ‘no one’ to which the PP submits him, said this Friday that “we are not going to have a public debate in the media because that is not what What do citizens expect of us? Neither in the media nor anywhere else, given the positions. The only thing that coincides with PSOE and PRC is that the municipal agenda is determined by the garbage commission and that deep down few are interested in talking about the motion of censure.
The only one who is clear that the parties have to sit down to talk and negotiate an agreement to reach an alternative candidate for mayor is the spokesman for United for Santander, Miguel Saro. He has said that anyone who thinks that an investigative commission in the Santander City Council is going to function normally with the PP in the government team would be naive. For Saro, it is not a sine qua non condition that Ceruti break the Executive beforehand, but rather that this break will occur as soon as the opposition negotiates an alternative candidate and has sufficient support to promote a motion of censure.
“The institutions are for the PP part of its organic body. To think that an investigation commission is going to be developed with the PP in the municipal government is unthinkable and naive. It would take a change in government and I think the PSOE should lead the initiative and I would support it. I don’t think it’s necessary for Ciudadanos to break up. For there to be an alternative, there must be an alternative candidate, not waiting for the government to break. It’s complex. There should be talk of an alternative candidate and a motion of censure should be presented”, he told elDiario.es. Everything, in his opinion, depends on the priorities that socialism has: “If it is to defend the regional government and the Government of Spain or the residents of Santander.”
The PSOE needs “unequivocal signals”
However, the Municipal Socialist Group of Santander lowers spirits and has announced this Friday that it is only willing to lead the change in the city and evict the PP from the local government if its government partner, Ciudadanos, breaks the pact, resigns its two councilors and go to the opposition, and receive authorization from the party leadership in Madrid. The socialist spokesman, Daniel Fernández, has appeared at a press conference and has defended that the PSOE is always in favor of change, but this can happen now or in the elections of May 2023.
“After so many times that the Ciudadanos leadership has slowed down the change in the City Council, they have to understand that we need unequivocal signs that the same party is now determined to support that change for which its spokesperson seems to bet on in his statements” , Fernández pointed out in reference to Javier Ceruti.
But, he insisted, as long as there is no “unequivocal gesture” from Cs, “there is no change in the circumstances” so “the technical conditions for that change continue to not exist.” A change that, according to Fernández, the citizenry wants “more than ever”. “We are the first to see the reasons, and to denounce them, for that political change in Santander, but today they do not give the numbers, because the two Citizens councilors are on the PP government team”, he pointed out. .
In addition, he recalled that the PSOE “has always been willing to assert a majority of change that may exist in the Santander City Council”, but “we have to be serious and responsible.” “We are a government party, a democratic party, a party that respects the institutions in which it is represented, such as this City Council, and that does not work on assumptions or calculations but on facts”, he stressed. “The minute I leave the government team, I will pick up the phone to lead the talks for a political change in Santander. But as long as that is not the case, it is not possible”, concluded the socialist spokesman.
The PRC does not think about motions
The PRC Organization Secretary, Paula Fernández, who until now had remained silent and who, to questions from the press, has assured that her formation “is not thinking at this time” of a motion of censure also lowers the expectations created in recent days. in the Santander City Council to evict the PP from the local government after the popular have temporarily suspended the creation of the garbage investigation commission, whose implementation is the regionalist “priority”.
In addition to the fact that “many things would have to happen beforehand”, among them, the breaking of the pact by Ciudadanos, his partner in the local Executive. “We know the total and absolute disaster that exists in the Santander government team, but we are also fully aware that the first thing that has to happen is for Ciudadanos to break that government pact,” Fernández pointed out. For the regionalist leader, in Ciudadanos “they realized late” that agreeing with the PP was a “terrible mistake.”
The commission, the “truly important”
“We reiterate our offer to sit down and seek political solutions to the issue of garbage”, said the spokesman for Ciudadanos in the Santander City Council, Javier Ceruti, in this cataract of statements in the last few hours, who considered that the demonstrations by the socialist spokesman , along the lines of those carried out by the PRC, “feed speculation and cover up what is truly important, such as the need to seek political solutions to the suspension of the garbage investigation commission by the Popular Party.”
“We are not going to have a public debate in the media because that is not what citizens expect of us,” Ceruti stressed, who considers that “before going out to the media to tell us what we have to do, that they pick up the phone, arrange a meeting with us and with the parties they want, and we talk about everything we have to talk about”.
The mayor, calm down
And the main protagonist, the mayor of Santander, Gema Igual (PP), has also spoken about it and has assured that “she is not worried” about a possible motion of censure by the opposition to evict her from the Mayor’s Office but because “she is not commit any illegality” in the City Council, and in this sense she has affirmed that she “wants” an investigation commission of the garbage contract “but it is not” because “it is badly done”.
“That we do not want an investigation commission is not true. We do not want this commission of inquiry because we believe it is poorly done. And we have had transparency and reaction: no one who has ever asked me about this issue has refused to answer, we have never refused to answer a motion or questions in plenary, and always at our proposal, every month in the committee we have presented absolutely all the documentation”, he underlined.
On the possible motion of censure, the councilor has indicated that it is “a threat or an announcement” that she has been hearing since the beginning of the legislature and that until now she has had the intention of “destabilizing the government team.” And in this sense, she has stated that “if you worry more about defending yourself or being frightened by what may come, then he doesn’t work.”
He has insisted that what the Popular Party is doing in the Santander City Council is “comply with the law scrupulously”, as has happened with the garbage contract, whose irregularities “saw” the PP and the Intervention, and that “reacted by resolving it ”.