The proximity of the Christmas holidays offered this Wednesday, in the last control session to the Government of the year in Congress, a trompe l’oeil of false congratulations among the main political leaders of the country. The president of the PP, Pablo Casado, began there to reproach the president, Pedro Sánchez, for not recognizing the religious symbolism of these moments and to relate that to the pacts that, he said, the Executive maintains with parties such as Podemos, ERC or EH Bildu. Next, Casado attacked the president for not contributing “anything” to the solution of the sixth wave of covid before a Spain that observes “shocked” because it does not know if grandparents and parents will be able to celebrate these holidays with their children and grandchildren. Sánchez replied: “Don’t worry, families will be able to celebrate Christmas, Spain has resisted, it has not defeated and is moving forward.”
“Merry Christmas because we do congratulate Christmas and not the winter solstice,” Pablo Casado began. Then he reproached Sánchez for his political pacts and, ignoring the terms of his question, which officially dealt with the balance of the two years of the legislature, he launched into highlighting the general concern about the sixth wave of the pandemic and its repercussions on the Christmas holidays. . The leader of the PP thus threw in the face of the president who has “encountered the same virus six times” and who, in the face of this new pandemic storm, cannot “contribute anything to the solution” by not bringing any specific proposal to the meeting of the Conference of Presidents that begins this afternoon in the Senate. “Use the autonomous communities as human shields,” he said.
Casado collected the thread of most of his interventions related to the covid-19 virus and its variants since it broke out almost two years ago. The leader of the PP required the president to present a pandemic law to better coordinate possible solutions with the autonomies. This time he avoided rude expressions, like the one he used last week in the same chamber, and limited himself to asking rhetorically: “What else has to happen for you to do something and stop playing the lottery with the future of the Spanish? ? ”.
“All his interventions are based on lies,” replied Pedro Sánchez after also congratulating Casado on Christmas. And he stressed that “fathers and mothers, grandparents and grandmothers, will be able to meet with their children and grandchildren” and celebrate the holidays. “Contrary to their black predictions of a year ago that Spain would take four years to be vaccinated, the reality is that it has been achieved that this vaccination rate has exceeded 91% in just 12 months,” he remarked. The president also classified as a lie that unemployment is runaway, as Casado had said, and recalled that there are already 20 million employed. And he added the prospect that the country will also be the first to receive European funds for recovery.
It was there when the chief executive gave his conclusion to Casado’s invectives: “The reality is that, in the face of the greatest calamity, Spain has resisted, has not been defeated and is moving forward.” Sánchez took advantage of the fact that he was facing his last dialectical duel of the year with Casado to ask him to “reflect, meditate and abandon insult and tension and take the path of education and respect” during his Christmas break. Casado thus understood that the president was not going to provide him with any measure and ended: “Do something that is what they pay you for.” Sánchez replied: “Reflect and lend a hand.”
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‘Gag Law’ and Juan Carlos I
In the rest of the session, with many absences in all the Parliament groups due to the incidence of the omicron variant of the coronavirus ―this week the Chamber will resume the telematic votes―, the President of the Executive reiterated before the spokesperson of EH Bildu, Mertxe Aizpurua , which has the determination to comply with the points of the investiture agreement in which it promised to repeal the labor reform and the so-called gag law. According to him, the degree of compliance with those pacts is now at 50%.
The CUP spokesperson in Congress, Mireia Vehí, asked in a very obvious but indirect way if Patrimonio Nacional, which depends on the Ministry of the Presidency, “is seeking residency for a Spanish citizen now residing abroad”, alluding to the situation of King Emeritus Juan Carlos I in the United Arab Emirates. Sánchez answered bluntly that no, and then used his turn to respond to the mentions by Vehí of the scandals that affect the former head of State to emphasize again that these information disturbed him and he did not like them, but also that there is none indictment against him. The president recalled that the presumption of innocence must prevail for now and that the PSOE and he as head of the Government comply with and respect all the articles of the Constitution that imply that Spain is a full state of law, with its defects, and also a monarchy Parliament in which he praised “the transparency efforts” of the current King.
The other spokespersons of the PP who intervened before the plenary session reformulated their planned questions about the situation and economic prospects of the country to the first vice president, Nadia Calviño, to measure themselves in a kind of internal competition to defend their leader. Last week, Casado had a private encounter with the government’s economic manager and some information pointed out that she had called the popular president “unbalanced” and had said that she felt “disgusted” with Casado’s political strategy (which she had alluded to in the plenary session of Congress to lurid sexual scandals related to sheltered minors’ homes both in the Valencian Community and in the Balearic Islands, under socialist governments). The issue was recovered again this week and both the popular spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, as well as other deputies of that party, such as Marga Prohens or Belén Hoyo, condemned that Calviño was not more “disgusted” by those cases and tried to provoke her dialectically by calling her “Unbalanced” and “failed”.
Nadia Calviño did not enter the rag. He avoided the melee, but he did not rectify or corroborate his private words against Casado, of whom he remembered, yes, that he had said that Spain is bankrupt. The vice president used her own data, forecasts and forecasts to ensure that there are signs of recovery, that the country is going from less to more, that it will shortly receive the first European funds; and he raised almost as a Christmas wish that the PP “get out of its self-destructive thread of noise, insults and tension” to row in favor of a more hopeful future.
The general secretary of the Vox group, Macarena Olona, asked the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, whom she always calls the “communist unemployment minister”, about the use of a State Falcón plane for her recent trip to Rome to visit the Pope. in what Olona considered a private displacement. And in his string of attacks, he included that the vice president enjoyed an official 500-meter home in Madrid and announced that he wanted to hand over the Vox electoral program with a dedication that he read: “For Yoli, who aspired to be a world leader and did not exceed fashionaria”. Olona was pleased to show every week “the ugliness that hides” the vice president, and insisted: “You have to be very ugly to dare to threaten millions of Spaniards in the temple of the word.”
Díaz indicated in his response that the visit to the Pope appeared both on the official government agenda and in the Vatican Bulletin and therefore it was not a private but an official visit, and recalled, about the electoral program of Vox, which in some points he proposes build a wall in Ceuta and Melilla, repeal the Equality law, leave the World Health Organization and leave the Schengen area.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.