Protect yourself well from the virus, enjoy Christmas gifts and savor the last polvorón well because when these days of chicha calm pass, Spain will return to the electoral battle. Everything is ready. Again. The anticipated convocation of Castilla y León was in the script, yes, but it will redouble, for sure, the demographic rain, the partisan calculations and the political inflammation. Mañueco will set the course for other autonomous regions such as the Andalusians – it does not matter whether they will be held in spring or autumn – because Pablo Casado aspires to write with the result of both the prologue of a change of cycle that in La Moncloa they do not see on the horizon near or far.
Be that as it may, parties and candidates are already in electoral mode, as the last public appearances in 2021 showed. On the one hand, Pedro Sánchez, imbued with institutionalism and convinced that he had finished the exercise well thanks to a broad agreement for the labor reform – which in practice, it has more political value than labor value – and of having good economic prospects supported by data from Social Security and employment, the approval of the General State Budgets, the revaluation of pensions and the benefits that come from Europe to the reforms promoted by Spain. All this, watered with a rain of millions in Next Generation funds that will suppose a notable injection into the productive fabric of the country and that benefit the position of a left that, its leaders presume, has managed to stay the course in times of storm. Indeed, neither Spain went bankrupt nor its government jumped into the air, as some predicted.
Beyond the concern about the evolution of the health crisis that came into our lives without an instruction manual, the Government defends, despite the catastrophic vision of the right, that Spain is doing well and will be much better in Easter and summer, but on the fact that, nearing the end of the two years of mandate, he can boast of having fulfilled the committed objectives. And with that, having broken the framework that Casado wanted to install from a bankrupt Spain and in permanent general elections that they no longer defend more than tremendous and hyperventilated.
Sánchez also arrives in 2022 with an orderly and cohesive government because, unlike when Pablo Iglesias held a vice presidency, with Yolanda Díaz the differences and misgivings between partners are no longer fought as psychodrama in the media, but in the off the record, the offices and the strategies of each one. Not a minor issue considering the daily battle that the classical right maintains on account of its organic calendar and the weakness of its national leadership. The Prime Minister is the unquestionable leader of the PSOE while Casado is questioned by locals and strangers. Ayuso has made him a sparring partner on which to unload his hunger for the national ball every morning and other PP barons fear that his leadership will weigh down the party’s options.
What nobody already believes is that 2022 is going to be a year in which Sánchez dissolves the Cortes and anticipates general elections. This mantra has completely disappeared from the political-media agenda, not so that of the imminent reconfiguration of the three rights, after the discounted disappearance of Ciudadanos in two territories where today it governs in coalition with the PP and in which it is attributed little margin for survival. With the Arrimadas party out of the game, the electoral arithmetic will change and if the predictions that the pandemic has empowered the government parties are fulfilled, the PP will have to decide in case of being the first force in Castilla y León and Andalusia, if it allows Vox to become part of its governments and synchronize both projects. What the demoscópicos take for granted is that there is a serious risk that the extreme right will replace Rivera’s former party and that the time that Abascal supports the PP for free in regional and local governments has passed away.
Vox can break into Castilla y León with force, but the PSOE won the elections in that region in the regional elections of 2019 and has an armed party for the electoral contest that will undoubtedly put in value during the campaign the bet and the investment that the Government de Sánchez has done in depopulated Spain. In any case, it will not be the electoral agenda – or so they say in Moncloa – that will determine the government agenda for the next twelve months, but the management of European funds, the execution of large projects in terms of digitization, ecological transition and environment that will change the productive model of the next five years.
The Government, and therefore the PSOE, aspire to profit on one side from political stability and on the other, from the absence of a sense of state of a married man, who has failed to rise to the occasion with his comings and goings. come to Brussels to pierce the credibility of the country. The PP, for its part, awaits a victory in Castilla y León and Andalusia that it can translate the next day as a defeat for Sánchez and incidentally prop up its leader on Genova Street.
All movements in the brilliant leadership of Yolanda Díaz inside and outside the Government will also be scrutinized in the year that begins. Not in vain, if 2022 will be the year of the definitive reconfiguration of the right, it will also have to be clear whether or not the broad electoral front that the vice president has proposed to promote on the left to the left of the PSOE will take hold. Not an easy operation taking into account previous experiences and that leaderships without a political party behind have not always ended up being a success. At the moment, there is only a sketch and an excess of narrative bombast.
PS Remember, yes, Spain was not so long ago that country in which elections were repeated every six months, the same budgets were extended for years, public administrations savagely cut spending on health, education and dependency, workers lost a lot part of their rights, unemployment touched 6 million unemployed and the risk of poverty affected 20.6 percent of its inhabitants. It was the Spain of the 2008 financial crisis. In 2022, the outlook is not the same by any means, despite the economic, health and social consequences of the pandemic, the rise in electricity prices and runaway inflation. Something we have changed.