Tuesday, September 26

Sánchez and Feijóo are seen today with the challenge of managing the war in the midst of a gap by Vox

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, during a meeting he held with the President of the Xunta, Alberto Nñez Feijóo, in La Moncloa. / ep

They share the summit of presidents, with Moncloa warning of the “reputational damage” to Spain of the pact with the extreme right

In a historical context as exceptional as the one convulsed by a war at the gates of the European Union and against the background of a global pandemic that has not yet been eradicated, the island of La Palma, which still breathes the tragic ashes of the volcano, is going to be the scene today of an anomalous Conference of Presidents. Anomalous because the agenda that was going to bring together the head of the Spanish Government and his regional counterparts to face the gradual ‘flu’ of covid has been dynamited by the management of the enormous challenge that the Russian invasion of Ukraine entails. And anomalous because the appointment will make Pedro Sánchez and Alberto Núñez Feijóo coincide when he continues to lead the Xunta de Galicia while becoming the ‘in pectore’ leader of the opposition without having been formally elected as the new president of the PP. And all under the thunderous drums of discord for the first government pact sealed by the popular with Vox.

These are the very unique circumstances under which those responsible for the State of Autonomies will meet today on the Canary Island that still festers from the wound of its own volcanic drama. They will do so summoned by the Government to “put their shoulders to the wheel” and activate a new “co-governance” in order to face, this time, the humanitarian tear of the thousands of Ukrainian refugees who are going to require reception; and, at the same time, the impact of the war on the pockets of Spanish citizens, shrunk by an almost unparalleled inflation due to the unstoppable escalation of energy costs.

Also Read  Jacob Zuma sought to hand state assets to allies, finds corruption report | south africa

La Moncloa trusts that “unity” prevails in this shared management of the war challenge and in having the loyalty and sense of State of Feijóo. A Feijóo who will in turn share the summit with Isabel Díaz Ayuso after the internal schism in the PP and with Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, to whom the Galician baron attributes the pact with Vox that has finished bursting the fragile understanding between socialists and popular in the response to Putin. Yesterday, and in his capacity as head of the Xunta, the popular leader anticipated the demands that he will transfer today in La Palma: “a general reduction in taxes in general until the end of the year” -especially, in electricity, gas and fuels- and aid, beyond “full support for the Government” in efforts at European level, to the sectors affected by “the escalation of prices and the lack of supplies”.


  • dual paper
    The Galician baron directs the Xunta while he is anointed as the future leader of the PP but not yet named

  • The conference
    The Government demands a loyal “co-governance” before the contest, for which Feijóo asks to lower taxes

In reality, the apparent ceasefire between the Government and the PP has barely exceeded the bar for sending weapons to the Ukrainian resistance, which did divide the Executive and, by extension, United We Can. On Wednesday, the control session in Congress resounded with a bitter exchange of words between Sánchez and Cuca Gamarra, a survivor of Pablo Casado’s team and established as coordinator of the PP in this complex interim period until Feijóo wins the presidency in the extraordinary congress of April 1 and 2 in Seville. The popular believe Gamarra’s harshness is justified in the face of the president’s assertion, false in his opinion, that high inflation is Putin’s “sole responsibility.” In the blue bench, what they consider outrageous is that the PP resorted to “such a spurious use of a war with massacred civilians” when throwing in the face of the head of the Government his alleged intention to obtain profits from the crisis.

Also Read  'I can't move my car': Americans struggle as vehicle expenses rise | usnews

Gamarra’s crude interpellation, which was followed by other PP deputies, surprised by the tone and the desire to set a profile, at a time when the opposite was expected due to the transitory nature of the conservative formation and the the one that Feijóo had tempered the messages of rivalry with Sánchez. However, and as confirmed by government sources, the conviction of the Socialists is that the attitude of the PP in Congress responded to “a strategy” and that “the only one who can coordinate it” is now the future leader of the Popular Party.

«The old PP of always»

A prominence that Moncloa extends to the unprecedented decision to coalesce with Vox in the Executive of Castilla y León, even though Feijóo circumscribes the step to Mañueco and his people. On Friday, in a framework as chosen as the informal summit of European heads of state and government in Versailles, Sánchez not only carried the weight of the inaugural agreement with the extreme right on the shoulders of the Galician baron. He went further by accusing that alliance -and, consequently, Feijóo- of a “critical” impact on Spanish democracy when it faces the destructive consequences of the war.

The Castilian-Leonese entente with Vox has provided the Socialists with the foot to try to dismantle the image of moderation of a Feijóo who, headed towards the leadership of the PP, distinguishes between the PSOE and “the sanchista party”. Linking to the extreme right constitutes – the government media conclude – “the letter of introduction” of who will soon lead the opposition; «The old PP of always», they finish.

The relevance acquired by Vox in the domestic scene is projected from doors outwards, and not only because of the reproach of European conservatives towards their Spanish peers in the face of “the capitulation”, in the expression of Donald Tusk, of colluding with Vox. The Government denounces the “reputational damage” that the institutional legitimacy of the extreme right inflicts on Spain, especially when international democracies are questioned by the destabilization that Putin’s invasion expands.

Sánchez and Feijóo attended yesterday afternoon the Tribute to the Exemplarity of the people of La Palma, in which the King condemned the “unacceptable” attitude of Russia. And both will face each other today with the challenge of coordinating, together with the rest of the leaders, the reaction to the war disaster. A summit that will elucidate if there is room for a minimum truce in the Spanish political war.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *