“Let’s see how they do it”, they mock at the Vox dome when they talk about the PP and the next act of protest that will bring together both parties on June 13 in the Plaza de Colón. Leaders of the ultra party ironize by imitating the spasmodic movements of Chiquito de la Calzada that the leaders of Pablo Casado’s team will supposedly make while hiding from their Vox counterparts, who plan to go without hesitation. “We take many photos every day and that day we are going to take many photos,” remarked this week the parliamentary spokesman of the ultra formation, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, to contrast his disposition with the distance that they emit from the PP to allow themselves portray again together, like two years ago.
The leadership of both parties agree that the break made official in the fall between Pablo Casado and Santiago Abascal remains: “The photo of Colón does not change anything.”
In the vicinity of Casado they insist on defending that the “hypothetical” photo of Colón from June 13, 2021 has nothing to do with or is comparable to that of February 2019. The substantive claim is very similar: then, under the approach that the unity of Spain and the 1978 Constitution were in check because of Pedro Sánchez’s dialogue with the Catalan independence government, and now because of the granting of pardons to the imprisoned secessionist leaders. But that image, which was really difficult to frame even then, stigmatized the right and seemed to benefit only Vox.
Then the parties called the concentration, and now the Unión 78 Platform has done it, behind which are Rosa Díez (UPyD), the philosopher Fernando Savater and María San Gil (PP). “They have asked us for support, we have been told that we will be in the second row and that we could not not go even if Vox goes,” they hide behind the PP. “It is prejudiced that there will be another photo of Colón,” they argue in Casado’s surroundings, “and that remains to be seen.” The popular ones maintain, however, that this type of joint portraits with Vox “no longer harm because people are no longer waiting for 36, but eating tomorrow, they can’t stand pardons and they don’t care about a photo of Married to Abascal because those inventions of the factory of Iván Redondo [jefe de gabinete del presidente] about him trifachito they no longer strain ”.
“The important thing is not the photo or the non-photo, the important thing is why civil society is mobilizing. We do not summon. We will be in the square, people who have voted for different things, but who share that we do not want to go after a Pedro Sánchez who has decided to jump into a ravine ”, explained this week Cuca Gamarra, PP spokesperson in Congress, about the meaning of his participation in the act.
Gamarra later added that the non-existent relationship between the PP and Vox in Congress remains the same as when Casado told Abascal in the failed motion of censure last October: “We have come this far.” Then came the campaigns of the Catalan and Madrid elections (each party on its own with very unequal results), the episode of the motion of censure in Murcia and the always tense and complex relations in the governments of the communities with PP presidents supported since it was for Vox, like Andalusia, where the ultras press to force an electoral advance. In Madrid, the success of the popular Isabel Díaz Ayuso and her closeness to the absolute majority has left Vox’s claim to fit into the regional government in an attempt, although they intend to condition some policies.
Veto in Congress
Where PP and Vox have practically no bilateral contact is in Congress. Casado and Abascal have not spoken to coordinate on the act in Colón. Unlike. Iván Espinosa de los Monteros denounced this week that the PP had allied with the PSOE and United We Can in the Table of the Cortes to veto a member of his formation in the delegation of four people nominated to represent Spain in the Conference on the Future of Europe to be held in Brussels. Vox is with 52 deputies the third party of the Chamber, but the deputies who will attend will be from the PSOE, PP, Podemos and PNV.
Espinosa de los Monteros took advantage of his appearance before the press this week to attack the squeamishness of the PP to be photographed together, and for insisting Casado that he intends, in the future, to govern alone. “If you are so concerned about the photo, we do not want to photograph ourselves with those who are so lukewarm,” said Espinosa about the delay of the PP in joining the event and taking refuge behind civil society to explain why they are going.
But what made the Vox leader more nervous was the interview this week of Married in Financial Times where he remained a few seconds in silence when they asked him if Vox was a democratic party. And even worse when he ratified that his future intention is to govern alone: “The PP is not part of a bloc with Vox. We will be able to govern if we have a single seat more than Sánchez ”. Espinosa replied sarcastically: “Let Casado tell us who does the math for him, if in the next elections he gets 100 deputies and the other 99, how do you plan to govern and with whom?” The average of most of the latest polls published gives the PP about 120 minutes, that is, 56 less than the absolute majority, which would be a similar figure to the deputies that are now granted to Vox.
Showdown in the Kitchen commission
Last Wednesday, in the morning session of the Kitchen commission, there was another unfriendly confrontation between deputies from Vox and the PP. It was not the first. Ignacio López del Hierro, the husband of Dolores de Cospedal, and the spokesperson and general secretary of Vox, Macarena Olona, went to the end of the room for a moment. He carried his mobile in one hand and a popular deputy, Juan José Matarí, who is not a member of that commission, but had come to greet Del Hierro, reproached him in a bad tone: “You will not be taking a picture of us!” Olona interpreted that counterclaim as “a threat” and denounced it with surprise, for coming from that party, as well as the behavior in general in the committee of the PP spokesman, Luis Santamaría. Both ERC spokesperson Gabriel Rufián and another Republican parliamentarian clashed with Matarí in defense of Olona, who denied having ever threatened anyone.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.