Thursday, May 19

The PSOE prepares for the internal revolution and rearmament for 2023

Sánchez silenced the PSOE with a deep operation that he had suspected for weeks but that he undertook in just a few hours, on the way back from his Baltic tour and after receiving Isabel Díaz Ayuso at Moncloa, between Friday afternoon and the next morning. Early on Saturday he telephoned his faithful Felix Bolaños, Secretary General of the Presidency, to go to Moncloa, detailed all the changes and that he would appoint him head of the Presidency, and both they worked at that time in the operation. Sánchez called the outgoing and incoming ministers, and communicated to the other pillar of his team, Iván Redondo, who would be removed as his Cabinet director. Redondo, who had “the entire party in front of him”, who was accused of having “de-ideologized and denatured” the PSOE, had asked to be minister of the Presidency, according to sources from both Ferraz and the Government. Having dismantled the hard core of the Cabinet (Calvo and Ábalos), he wanted to treasure more and more power. But Sanchez stood and stopped it. His ‘spin doctor’ told after his departure, received with euphoria in the party, it was “voluntary”, although few believe that version.

Redondo, they point out in the Executive and in Ferraz, asked to be minister of the Presidency to treasure more power, but Sánchez stood up and stopped him


His place, in any case, will be occupied by a historical like Óscar López, the man who perhaps best embodies the current of change that this restructuring of the Executive has meant. López, his old friend in Ferraz, from the time when they both worked for Pepe Blanco, and later Secretary of Organization with Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, it was re-fish. The two worked together in the Madrid’s first term, but they distanced themselves in the 2017 primaries – the Castilian-Leonese backed Patxi López and was the chief of staff for his candidacy – and was removed from the front line, although Sánchez placed him in a comfortable ‘stand by’ in the presidency of Tourism Paradores.

Trusted and in the municipalities

López’s recovery speaks for itself of the construction of that “new PSOE“Of which everyone is talking now, of that reinvention of Pedro Sánchez himself. That first-time sanchismo that helped him win back Ferraz against Susana diaz, and of which it was still a tribute in the 39th Congress (2017) and in the making of the first Government (2018) and the socialist wing of its second Cabinet (2020), has expired. The president sought “a revulsive, a very powerful change of gear “, condensed a minister, with a view to the new electoral period and to face the terrible wear and tear that the polls point to, and he also wanted to launch a message of internal reconciliation, of closing the cycle of that fratricidal war that bled the PSOE.

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The leader rewards leaders of his trust and seeks to tighten ranks with the rescue of López and the promotion of three women who supported Díaz


Only in this way can it be understood, the Cabinet and Ferraz agree, not only the rescue of López, but also the rise of three women that in that contest supported Díaz: Pilar Alegría, until now a government delegate in Aragon and new head of Education (she was in fact the spokesperson for the Andalusian candidacy and previously supported Eduardo Madina); Isabel Rodríguez, already a former mayor of Puertollano (Territorial Policy and spokesperson), and Diana Morant, ex-mayor of Gandia and very close to the Valencian ‘president’, Ximo Puig.

Sánchez has integrated people of his strict confidence (Félix Bolaños in Presidency and José Manuel Albares in Foreign Affairs), he has opted for young women and with management of the “close” and that he considers outstanding (Alegría, Rodríguez, Morant, Raquel Sánchez, and former first mayor in Gavà, in Transport, and Pilar Llop, president of the Senate, in Justice), and her pulse has not trembled at the time of drop heavy weights like Calvo, Ábalos and Redondo.

In the PSOE and in the Government the march of the Valencian political struggle generated astonishment. In addition to personal and family reasons, different sources argue, other possible reasons, although none are official or definitive: the wear suffered by his public exposure – he has been the face of the party and the Executive at critical moments – and his management (the stumbling blocks with the ‘Delcygate’ and the aid to the airline Plus Ultra), his friction with the Monclovita appliance and his lesser dedication to internal plumbing, a task that Sánchez delegated to Cerdán. The will to give a “greener” air to Transport would also have weighed.

The desire for generational renewal, to visualize an “end of stage” and to remove from power those who have participated, for different reasons, in internal disputes. Calvo’s march is offset by Ábalos’s and Redondo’s projects the victory of the PSOE over the structure set up by the ‘supergurú’ and the beginning of a “new stage” more politics and less technocratic. “Pedro has not tolerated tejemanejes of Iván against Carmen, or vice versa. It was consistant. It was the feeling that they were playing with their government, “reasons a source from Moncloa who knows the leader well. The Valencian’s departure from the ministry could be completed this week with his departure from the powerful Organization Secretariat. In that case, Cerdán could assume the portfolio on an interim basis The question, in any case, is what will happen in the 40th Congress and who will take over from Ábalos.

The composition of the final table of the Executive is the product of Sánchez’s decision and also of his work as a consultation with collaborators and senior officials in his environment, some of whom he commissioned weeks ago to look at profiles and speeches. That movement was the one that revealed, in June, that it was preparing a government crisis. The president decided midweek to launch the operation: while he was touring the Baltics, he canceled the presentation of the presentation that was scheduled for Saturday the 10th. His trusted commanders had fragmentary information, but not the complete list . The leader led the rollover practically alone.

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“More to himself than to the boss”

In Ferraz they hope that the tsunami will reach the party, already submerged in the pre-congress process. It had a deep renovation and a cut of the current executive -of 47 members, two less than he had when he was born due to the resignations of Beatriz Corredor and José Félix Tezanos-, but the shock caused in the Government confirms, for many, that little will remain standing after the 40th Congress. “There will be a total change“, foresees a leader. The incorporation of Bolaños, the new strong man of the Executive, and also of other ministers is taken for granted to give more weight to the top. The reading shared by all the leaders consulted by this newspaper is that Lastra and Cerdán will survive. Both are loyal to the boss, discreet and loyal and, in the opinion of their colleagues, they do not accumulate as much erosion. Hardly any important votes have been lost in Congress – the responsibility of the parliamentary spokesperson – and the party lives in calm, even more so after the political death of Díaz in his last fight with Sánchez. Sánchez has already opened the way to the future by appointing the coordinators of the framework presentation. Of all of them, three (Bolaños, Alegría and Albares) are already ministers.

The management does not intend to move the regional presidents, but Sánchez does choose to “put people to roll”, move the bench for the future


Another message, they warn in the headquarters, is that Sánchez has rewarded leaders who “they don’t have their own agenda“That explains the defenestration of Redondo.” It was a matter of time before he fell. I was looking for sell yourself more than his boss “, he wanted to be” an encore president “,” when there are more problems and you stop being useful, you leave “,” his ambition blinded him “, they analyze with relief from the socialist leadership and veteran leaders. However, there are those in the leadership who believe that the new government loses “political weight“, when Calvo and Ábalos, leaders with a long career and a defined personality, were dismissed.

Sánchez has played with the territorial variable. It has placed in the window three women -Alegría, Rodríguez and Morant- who could become future values ​​in their federations, perhaps as a replacement for the current presidents, Javier Lambán (Aragon), Emiliano García-Page (Castilla-La Mancha) and Ximo Puig (Valencia). The federal leadership does not foresee moving the chair to the current barons and the maxim is not to risk governments, but the president, interpreted in Ferraz, wants to “put people to roll“, “think ahead“, generate bench. Pilar Llop and Reyes Maroto are seen as possible references in Madrid, federation currently beheaded, after the fiasco of the bet by the dismissed head of Culture, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes.

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Photo still incomplete

The true dimension of the earthquake caused by Sánchez remains to be known. The photo is not complete. Now the second and third steps of the Administration, and is expected in a total redesign of the The President’s Cabinet in Moncloa after Redondo’s departure, since a good part of the senior positions were trusted. In the Senate, the PSOE must elect a new spokesperson, since the head of the group, Burgos Ander Gil, he becomes president of the upper house this Monday after the passage of Llop to Justice. It is also not known whether the leader will seek accommodation for Calvo – notice: there are no positions as permanent adviser on the Council of State – and Ábalos. She could be the new president of the PSOE, replacing Cristina Narbona, although that role is more institutional than executive.

The analysis is that “the PSOE is back”, the victory of the party over the Monclovita apparatus necessary to face the wear and tear predicted by the polls


With the new structure and the election of Óscar López, a return to the orthodoxy. That “the PSOE returns“That various leaders sing with joy. The belts between the government and the party will be, predictably, more oiled. Sánchez will lead a more cohesive Executive, without banners or, ‘a priori’, internal imbalances, and very focused on recovery, which is why that it has not touched its economic ministers and has reinforced Nadia Calviño, crowned as first vice president.

But Sanchez think about 2023. He has designed a more political team, prepared to fight the fight with the right at a time when the electoral deterioration had to be stopped. The president seeks the ideological rearmament facing the cycle to come, with the pandemic behind us and the emphasis on management. Catalonia will remain in the foreground, but without monopolizing all the action of the Executive. It is a “new stage”. A new PSOE. A new sanchismo. A return to Sánchez’s origins and internal fraternity.

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