Politics Feijóo revives the photo of 'Soraya's pizzas': eight are already part of his team

It has taken him almost a year, but he has achieved it

Politics Feijóo revives the photo of 'Soraya's pizzas': eight are already part of his team

It has taken him almost a year, but he has achieved it. Alberto Núñez Feijóo has incorporated the former Minister of Employment Fátima Báñez into the orbit of the PP leadership. It is not a stricto sensu signing, because it will not have an employment relationship, but it is in the sense that the Huelva politician had so far refused to return to the day-to-day life of her party, even as an external adviser, within the economic team of the party foundation. A foundation that has completely renewed its composition, its tasks, its approach and even its name, and which is presented this Friday at noon.

By linking to Báñez Feijóo, not only does she score a personal goal -she is the former minister who has appeared in the most pools-, but she completes the rehabilitation process of Sorayismo. In other words, one of the main pillars of Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría's candidacy for the PP congress in 2018. In it, the former vice president lost against Pablo Casado and Teodoro García Egea, who precisely announced yesterday the resignation of his congressional act, something which further underscored the ideological changing of the guard in the Popular Party. Because? Because Báñez would have been the general secretary instead of García Egea if the vote had been different.

Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría was considered more moderate in the PP than Pablo Casado and Fátima Báñez was her right hand. She now joins other pro Sorayistas who have populated the national power orbit of the popular since Feijóo took command: the party's general coordinator, Elías Bendodo; the vice secretaries Carmen Fúnez and Borja Sémper -who would have been the parliamentary spokesperson-, the coordinator of the electoral program, Íñigo de la Serna; the deputy spokesman of the Senate Javier Arenas; Alejo Miranda, secretary of the Analysis area; Paula Gómez Angulo, in charge of the Campaigns and Public Events area; and the political consultant and manager of the party's digital campaign, Enrique Cocero.

Precisely, the latter was the one who devised the most iconic image of Sorayismo: the photo of the pizzas. It was a way of distancing himself from the support of seven ministers for Pablo Casado at the Jai Alai restaurant. To the seriousness of that image, Cocero wanted to contrast the informal reality of the Sáenz de Santamaría team, who had ordered some pizzas and works with their shirts rolled up.

Well, not one of the members of that image had a leading role in Casado's PP. Only Alfonso Alonso, but they replaced him to put Carlos Iturgaiz. The rest, nothing (Báñez was not number one for Huelva in Congress, but Juan José Cortés, the father of the girl Mariluz). And now no less than eight of them work for Feijóo or formally advise him. In addition, Antonio Sanz is the strong man of Juanma Moreno, the great political ticket of Feijóo.

From the photo of the pizzas, only Álvaro Nadal (Spain's chief economic and commercial adviser in London) and Sáenz de Santamaría herself do not enjoy their share of leadership in Feijóo's new PP.

In addition to Báñez, the other two names that will lead the economic team of the PP foundation will be, as EL MUNDO announced, Josep Piqué (former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Science and Technology in the Aznar years) and Román Escolano (who was minister of Economy very briefly, in the last three months of Rajoy's term). The director of all of them will be Pablo Vázquez, former president of Renfe who will act as "CEO" of the think tank.

Báñez, Piqué and Escolano will be accompanied in the economic team by five other experts in technology: the director of Alestis Aerospace, María Eugenia Clemente; the director of ASTI Mobile Rotics, Verónica Pascual; Alicia Richart, general director for Spain and Portugal of the artificial intelligence company Afiniti; Elena Pisonero, executive president of Taldig and José María Abad, ICADE professor and consultant, former adviser to the IMF.

In the new foundation of the PP, which will no longer be called Concordia y Libertad, will also be the uncle and former coach of Rafa Nadal, Toni Nadal, and the journalist Pilar García de la Granja, as well as the columnist for EL MUNDO and diplomat Juan Claudio de Ramón, last David Gistau Prize for Journalism. All of them will form part of the Advisory Council.

But the most important name is undoubtedly that of Báñez. The former minister was, together with Luis de Guindos, the author of the labor reform of 2012, which the PP claims so much. That is why Feijóo wanted me to be part of his Office of the President, a failed project to channel external contributions to the PP. In his speech at the Seville congress that exalted him, he said: "If we do it well there will be a Government, and in that Government and in those positions will be all those who have not been able to be on these lists."

Later, there was speculation about his possible return to active politics, but his environment always denied it - and still denies it - to this newspaper. In fact, Báñez will not abandon his work activity at CEOE and Iberdrola.

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