Politics The territorial power of the PP takes shape: twelve autonomies stand against Sánchez's "betrayal"

This Thursday in the Senate, the Popular Party raised the wall of its territorial power against Pedro Sánchez and its aspiration to once again preside over the Government of Spain following an agreement with the pro-independence parties and the nationalist left

Politics The territorial power of the PP takes shape: twelve autonomies stand against Sánchez's "betrayal"

This Thursday in the Senate, the Popular Party raised the wall of its territorial power against Pedro Sánchez and its aspiration to once again preside over the Government of Spain following an agreement with the pro-independence parties and the nationalist left. Eleven regional presidents, one vice president and the leaders of the two autonomous cities, representing 70% of the population, exhibited their diversity and multilingualism to oppose the negotiation undertaken by the socialist candidate for the investiture, understanding that it will imply a « betrayal" to the State, to the Constitution, to Justice and to the Spanish people in exchange for a handful of votes that would guarantee him remaining in Moncloa.

The session of the General Commission of the Autonomous Communities was not actually a debate. It was a succession of interventions that barely deviated from a common line of argument: no, to the amnesty that Sánchez designed for those involved in the 2017 attempt against the State; no, to contemplate, neither in the short nor in the medium nor in the long term, the possibility of a self-determination referendum in Catalonia; and not to accept a bilateral negotiation of financing and debt forgiveness with the Generalitat.

Madrid, Aragón, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Cantabria, Galicia, Murcia, Valencian Community, Andalusia, La Rioja, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla. They all formed a common front, an accusatory court against the candidate for the investiture for being willing to surrender to the independence "blackmail" "what belongs to everyone", for being determined to "break equality among Spaniards", "grant impunity and privileges" and "humiliate the State" to satisfy "their personal interests." And, furthermore, do it "clandestinely" and with "opacity."

No representative of the acting Government attended the session, nor did any of the three socialist regional presidents. Neither did Lehendakari Íñigo Urkullu. The justification of all of them was that the PP "instrumentalized" the Senate by imposing a debate in which its position is overwhelming.

The lone socialist voice was assumed by Juan Espadas, who accused the PP of engaging in politics of "confrontation" and "frontism" with the sole objective of "avoiding a progressive government."

In the last general elections, the Popular Party obtained an absolute majority in the Upper House and in the municipal and regional elections they increased their power - in several cases by agreeing with Vox - in up to 12 of the 17 communities and in the two autonomous cities. The rules of democracy grant them control of the Senate in the same way that Sánchez and his possible allies could be allowed control of Congress. The absence of the Government was widely described as "shocked" and "cowardice."

At this Thursday's meeting, there was only one dissenting voice: that of the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, who did not want to waste the speaker provided by the Chamber of Territorial Representative to launch his proclamation again. «The amnesty is essential but it is only the starting point; "The destiny is that the citizens of Catalonia vote on independence." A vote that, he said, "must be done in a recognized and agreed manner."

With this last precision, Aragonès qualified to a large extent the challenge of "unilaterality" launched by his close enemy Carles Puigdemont, the fugitive from Justice who, from Waterloo, manages seven decisive votes for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez.

The president of the Generalitat made a brief intervention and when he finished he left the old plenary hall without staying to listen to the arguments of the remaining regional presidents. His attitude was criticized as "contempt."

The harshest intervention was the one delivered by the president of the Community of Madrid. Isabel Díaz Ayuso displayed her spearhead status against the acting president, openly accusing him of perpetrating "the greatest betrayal that can be done to a country." For Ayuso, the socialist candidate "is auctioning off the country and the institutions in exchange for a few more months or years in the easy chair" and wants "Spain to apologize in exchange for her investiture."

The Madrid native maintains that, with Sánchez, "the system is moving to the side of betrayal and crime." And he finished by calling on the historical socialists to "defend their own party." "What are we going to ask of those who have signed a pact with the blood and freedom of their companions?" He shot. According to Díaz Ayuso, if the "felony" of the amnesty is consummated "there will soon be no Spaniards."

The president of Galicia, Alfonso Rueda, stressed that with Sánchez "we are risking the future of Spain." He was the first to bring up the Catalan intention to "mutualize its supposed historical debt" and demanded, to avoid it, "multilaterality" in budget negotiations and regional financing.

Also the Andalusian, Juanma Moreno, insisted that he will not allow his citizens to "pay the bills of others." For him, Sánchez's negotiations with the independentists will cause "some Spaniards to lose and others to win" and the amnesty will mean "apologizing and granting recognition as victims" to those who attacked the State.

His Murcian counterpart, Fernando López Miras, went one step further by ensuring that "granting privileges to criminals threatens a society of free and equal citizens." The Murcian president and the Aragonese president, Jorge Azcón, announced the presentation of an appeal for unconstitutionality as soon as an amnesty law is approved. The second assured that what Sánchez negotiates with secessionism "is illegal, immoral and a direct attack on the equality of Spaniards and the unity of Spain." For Azcón, the presumed amnesty is an "infamous transaction."

The president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Carlos Mazón, claimed "unity from plurality" and regretted that "disloyalty is amnestied since those who are of good sense do not have the capacity to influence decisions." Mazón warned Sánchez that "blackmail never ends if the person being blackmailed does not stand up" and assured, with an eye toward a new regional financing model, that Valencians "will not accept the crumbs of the banquet received by those who put a price on their vows to satisfy the vanity of a single person.

The presidents of Extremadura and the Balearic Islands conspired to be "resistance", as the first, María Guardiola, assured. And that of Cantabria, María José Sáenz de Buruaga, rebelled against the socialist's intention to "trample the dignity of the Spanish people." The point of equality and dignity was also influenced by the Riojan, Gonzalo Capellán and the Castilian from Leon, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, for whom the pacts with the independence movement "are not reconciliation or concord, but rather a commercial contract of amnesty for votes."

It was during the groups' turn that the voice of the PSOE was heard for the first and only time. "It is not time to dig trenches or even one, large and free one, but to build bridges and coexistence," Espadas said. The Andalusian socialist reproached the popular for their "manual of preventive attacks" against Sánchez and for "shooting" against his party "just in case." "The PSOE has been, is and will be the guarantor of unity, plurality and constitutionality," he defended.