The plenary session that will end this Thursday, expectedly with the investiture of Pedro Sánchez with 179 votes from eight parliamentary groups against 171 from the PP, Vox and UPN, will allow the formation of a new Government four months after the 23J elections. It was time because it is appropriate to face Spain’s serious problems in a world convulsed by the failures of democracies (even those with a great tradition such as the United States and Great Britain), the social imbalances after the 2008 crisis and the climate emergency. Nevertheless, The debate was disappointing because it showed a climate that indicates that everything will be difficult.
Pedro Sánchez, who will be re-elected, outlined the main lines of the new Government that will continue with the previous legislature in the task of consolidating and increasing the advantages of the welfare State and underlined Spain’s new role in Europe. But the key point, which has generated doubts about its constitutionality and great political tension, was the future amnesty lawwhose project has just been made known and which is the result of the pact with the nationalist and independence parties, including Puigdemont’s, which had to be negotiated in Brussels.
The amnesty can serve to further normalize the Catalan situation and it is true that the Catalonia of 2023, thanks in part to the pardons, is less tense than that of 2017. And it is backed by the first four Catalan parties (PSC, En Comú Podem, ERC and JxCat) who have 80% of the Catalan Chamber. But there are three objections. One, it’s just a bet, not a certainty. Two, it has less legitimacy because it is not the result of a broad consensus – in Italy the favorable vote of two-thirds of the Congress and the Senate would be needed – but rather of an investiture negotiation that has forced a controversial pact document between the PSOE and JxCat. Three, it is causing a strong social division and large contrary demonstrations in the rest of Spain. Normalize Catalonia and further tense Spain?
The text of the project seems correct and in any case it will be applied by the judiciary and in the end the Constitutional Court will have to rule, but the fracture that is emerging forced the candidate to mark, yes, his differences with the PP, but also to seek some meeting points because Spain cannot function without some consensus between the two major parties. The president did not do it, but rather he recreated himself by highlighting the pacts of the PP with Vox and amalgamating both in the “retrograde right.” Imprudence because with 171 deputies and the first parliamentary group against, it is not intelligent to encourage polarization. AND Harassing Feijóo was not the most advisable thing either.
The leader of Vox increases tension by leaving the chamber after accusing the PSOE and the independentistas of carrying out a coup d’état and making a comparison with Hitler
But Feijóo’s reply did not fix things at all. Of course, the unity of the PP must be maintained, the amnesty is the result of an obscure negotiation and until very recently it was not defended, but attacked, by Sánchez and PSOE ministers. But the total disqualification of the president (“you have made the greatest attack on the rule of law in our recent history”) was excessive. And it doesn’t make much sense to insist on the alleged “electoral fraud” and remove all legitimacy (it is another thing to discuss its constitutionality) from the amnesty. And to end up saying that “Spain does not surrender”, when the real Spain is represented by the 350 deputies, is to fall into a dangerous frenzy. Denying the current PSOE is as foolish as denying the current PP because both are reality.
And the tremendousness made it easier for Abascalin an insulting intervention, accused the PSOE and its allies of giving a coupcompared him to Hitler and, most seriously, asked with what authority the authors of a coup d’état (the PSOE) could oppose those who rebel against tyranny.
Sánchez’s Government will be constitutional – even Feijóo admitted it – but the lack of dialogue between the two leaders will not help anything and may pave the way for the ‘abascals’. The analysis of the important debate between Sánchez and the nationalists – the key to the future – will have to await a future article.