Pablo Casado meets this Monday the Steering Committee of the PP. A regular appointment of the executive and daily management body closest to the party president. But this Monday is not just another meeting. It comes a day after thousands of people gathered at the gates of the national headquarters on Génova Street, on whose seventh floor Casado has his office, to demand his resignation. The total open war with Isabel Díaz Ayuso for payments to the brother of the president of Madrid have caused an unprecedented crisis in the PP that Casado tries to tackle, after backing down from Ayuso. The autonomous barons watch expectantly, with the option in the chamber of forcing a National Board of Directors that will lead to an extraordinary congress to relieve the president a few months before completing his first term.
Casado seeks a way out of the internal war between the pressures of the barons and the street
The situation in the PP is extremely serious. The images of Genoa Street this Sunday are unprecedented. The party’s national headquarters, on sale for a year, will today host the usual meeting of the executive of Married. The nucleus closest to the leader of the organization, where everyone is faithful to him. Or, at least, they are not declared enemies, because the drift of recent days has led some top-level figures to consider leaving the organ. This is the case of the mayor of Madrid and the party’s national spokesman, José Luis Martínez Almeida.
The organizational chart of the PP Steering Committee places as number two from party to General Secretary, Teodoro Garcia Egea. Born in Cieza (Murcia) in 1985, he is Casado’s right-hand man. The president of the party fully trusts him, even now that he has become the target of all the friendly fire shots that have been unleashed within the PP. Egea has led the organic movements of the Casado leadership to gain provincial control of the party and was the negotiator of most of the government agreements after the municipal and regional elections of 2019. It was also he who raised in the national convention of the past autumn the strategy of dripping victories in the elections until the general elections, scheduled for the end of 2023, but the narrow result in Castilla y León has cast doubt on his thesis.
All the deputy secretaries report to García Egea, who also make up the Management Committee
Ana Beltrán (Organization Secretary). He is one of the main figures of the party internally, although his public projection is less. By structure, she is number three of the PP. She was born in Zaragoza in 1966, she has been a member of the party in Navarra since 2008, which she has chaired since 2017. Between 2011 and 2019 she was a deputy in the Foral Parliament. Since then, she has been a deputy in Congress.
Posts such as the Electoral Secretary, Vicente Betorer, or the Organization Secretary, the recently famous Alberto Casero, depend on Beltrán.
Antonio González Terol (Territorial Secretariat). Former mayor of Boadilla, one of the richest municipalities in Madrid and the epicenter of some of the corruption plots that have plagued the PP in the region in recent years, is one of Pablo Casado’s unconditional supporters. Born in Cartagena (Murcia) in 1978, today he is a national deputy and has led the offensive of the PP mayors against the management of European funds that has crashed again and again against the indifference of the European Commission.
Elvira Rodríguez (Sectoral Secretariat). She is a veteran of the PP who has already held positions of responsibility in the governments of José María Aznar. Born in Madrid in 1949, she became Minister of the Environment in 2003. A brief culmination of a few months to a career that took her to the Presidency of the Madrid Assembly in the second legislature of Esperanza Aguirre, in whose Executive she was also a counselor of Transport for a year and replacing one of its main supporters, María Dolores de Cospedal. Before, she was president of the extinct CNMV, and Secretary of State for Budgets.
Ana Pastor (Social Secretary). He was one of the last additions to the direction of Pablo Casado. Born in Cubillos (Zamora) in 1957, she also has a long career that includes the positions of Minister of the Environment, Health or Development, both in the governments of José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy. In the last legislature of this she was president of the Congress. Pastor is one of the most respected figures within the PP and her appointment was also part of Casado’s attempt to show a more moderate image.
Pablo Montesinos (Secretariat of Communication). Personal signing of Pablo Casado in 2018, he has been a deputy for Malaga since the elections a year later. Before making the leap into politics, he worked as a journalist in digital freedom. Born in Almería in 1985, Montesinos is responsible for all the communication policy of the party, as well as the relationship with journalists.
Jaime de Olano (Participation Secretariat). Born in A Coruña in 1970, he has been a deputy for Lugo since 2011. He is part of the executive of Pablo Casado since 2019. He has been one of the most bellicose PP leaders since the total war with Ayuso finally broke out last week
In addition to the deputy secretaries, they are also part of the executive the different parliamentary spokesmen of the PP. Cuca Gamarra (Congress)was mayor of Logroño, the city where she was born in 1974, and has been part of the nucleus closest to Casado since he was elected president of the party in July 2018. She was in charge of replacing Cayetana Álvarez as spokesperson of Toledo.
Javier Maroto (Senate): Another relevant municipal figure of the PP, he was mayor of his hometown, Vitoria, from 2011 to 2015. Later he was a deputy and, since 2019, a senator by autonomous designation for Castilla y León. He was already deputy secretary with Mariano Rajoy, and Casado included him from the beginning in his Management Committee.
Dolors Monserrat (European Parliament): Born in Barcelona in 1973, she has had a long journey in the PP until becoming Minister of Health with Mariano Rajoy during his second legislature and until the motion of censure in 2018. That same year, after the summer, she was the first spokesperson Pablo Casado’s parliamentary position, but a year later he headed the PP’s list for the European elections.
The president of the Committee on Rights and Guarantees also has a seat at this table, Andrea Levi, and the president of the Electoral Committee. Levy is Councilor for Culture in the municipal government of the Madrid City Council. Before, she was one of the visible faces of the PP of Catalonia, being a deputy for Barcelona (where she was born in 1984) in the Parliament from 2015 to 2019. She was already part of Mariano Rajoy’s Steering Committee in the same period.
The figure of the spokesperson is not part of this organization chart from the first executive of Married. The president resorted to this figure in the summer of 2020, when the current composition of the Management Committee was approved. The rise of Martinez Almeida (Madrid, 1975) coincided with the end of the first wave of the pandemic, during which the figure of the mayor of Madrid was reinforced. Casado chose to appear moderate after breaking with Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo and part of the toughest wing of the PP. Almeida did not make the leap to the front line until 2019, when he was elected mayor despite losing the elections against Manuela Carmena. Before, he had various technical positions in the governments of Esperanza Aguirre.
In addition to the Steering Committee, the PP has two other statutory bodies between congresses. Next in size is National Executive Committee, an intermediate body that brings together the president, the general secretary and the deputy secretaries, in addition to the regional presidents; parliamentary spokesmen; the heads of New Generations; the treasurer, and a long etcetera.
Among the responsibilities of this body are those of resolving conflicts between the various territorial entities of its organization or urging the opening of disciplinary proceedings before the Rights and Guarantees Committee. In addition, it proposes the members of the leadership, including the president of the party.
The main body between congresses, due to its size and importance, is the National Board of Directors, which adds a good number of positions to those already mentioned. It is the weapon that the territorial barons have threatened to detonate in recent hours in the face of the drift of the confrontation between Casado and Ayuso. It is convened by the president, but it can also meet extraordinarily by agreement of the Executive Committee, or at the request of three-fifths of its members.
This body has the power to convene an extraordinary congress for the sole purpose of electing a new leadership, as happened in July 2018 after the resignation of Mariano Rajoy. To do this, it is necessary to specify in the agenda that said congress will be debated and the favorable vote of two thirds of its components, a number that may vary according to the circumstances but that, in any case, far exceeds 100 members.
This is what Casado will try to avoid, who, in any case, will have to face an ordinary congress next July after four years at the helm of a party that is now slipping through his fingers.