May 29, 2020

Ana Pastor teaches a 'Politics for dummies' lesson to Citizens and Vox

And suddenly an important leader of the Popular Party gave a lesson on health and autonomy to the representatives of Citizens and Vox. It was a unique moment in the Spanish policy of the last year in which the block policy covers everything, including the ideas of each party and its management in institutions.

"There are people who notice that they have never managed anything," said Ana Pastor, former Minister of Health and Development in PP governments, in the televised debate on Thursday. It was the typical usual detail in these duels, where there is always someone who says that others do not know what they are talking about. But it turns out that he later explained what he meant. Not before Ines Arrimadas, who seemed to feel alluded to, interrupted him and said: "And they have not stolen anything." It was a direct imputation that the Citizens candidate was forced to withdraw immediately ("you know that I have a lot of respect for you"), but in a debate you have to wait for Arrimadas to speak first and then collect candles or get wrapped in them .

Pastor wanted to refer to the constant criticisms that Citizens and Vox make to the autonomies they present as a nest of waste and corruption. "The State of autonomies is the best thing that could have happened to the Spanish. Bringing the management substantially improves the lives of citizens," he said. He also referred to the years before autonomy – that is, the time of the centralized State – when health care outside the big cities was very bad or non-existent.

It was a unique moment, because the Popular Party does not cease to launch proposals for the central government to recover powers assigned to the autonomous communities. Citizens are on the same line and Vox simply wants to end all and return to the territorial organization that existed in Franco.

In the CIS surveys, we usually ask about "the territorial organization of the State". Those who respond in favor of the option of "a State with a single central Government without autonomies" are usually around 20%, a significant percentage, but a minority. Those who want less skills for autonomy are usually somewhat above 10%.

The usual message in the three right-wing parties and many media outlets suggests that most Spaniards want Madrid – not its inhabitants, but the central government – to tie the rest of Spain shortly. It gives the impression that it is not true and that Pastor knows it.

"We have 17 different markets. I defend the European single market," replied Rocío Monasterio, from Vox. Pastor's response was simple and effective: "You don't defend Europe."

Pastor had another opportunity to give the reason to those who bet on her for this debate, starring only women, instead of Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo. They asked about consent in sexual relations. Nor did he doubt: "When there is no consent, there is sexual assault and there is rape." The socialist Maria Jesús Montero reminded her of very different interventions by Toledo in other debates. Pastor said that his is the position of the PP "and of all people of good."

There was no space at this time for sarcastic references to consent in sexual relations that have made Álvarez de Toledo known. For some reason, the great signing of Pablo Casado for the April elections believes that this is a topic that can be made jokes ("Are you really saying 'yes, yes, yes' until the end?"). From what he said on Thursday, they didn't like Ana Pastor very much.

Inés Arrimadas during the debate.

Inés Arrimadas during the debate.

For the issue that really worries people, the debate was as wasteful as Monday. It was impossible to know if there will be a government after these elections. María Jesús Montero confirmed that the PSOE aspires to govern alone, although it remains 50 seats of the absolute majority. "When there is no absolute majority, the solution is the coalition," said Irene Montero of Podemos. The differences between the two Montero did not seem as deep as those seen between Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias a few days ago, but it is difficult to know if that will have any consequences.

The representative of the PSOE said that "of course" is in favor of a bank tax – something that does not appear in the socialist program – as Irene Montero had claimed. At home, Nadia Calviño, already appointed by Sanchez economic vice president of her future Government, must have raised an eyebrow. Technocrats don't usually get angry easily, although they take note.

María Jesús Montero distinguished herself from Sánchez in her aggressive attitude against the extreme right. From the first moment, he directly questioned Monasterio for the Vox vetoes to the media, for appearing before a reception center for immigrant minors in Seville to campaign against immigration, or for boycotting a minute of silence against sexist violence before the City of Madrid. Montero did have something personal against the ultras, a sensation that was never appreciated with Sánchez in the previous debate beyond using Vox to criticize the PP and Cs.

On the other side, there was no big news. It is already sealed that the three rights will agree if they reach the absolute majority. The bad thing for them is that no survey gives them that possibility. It is likely that we will remain without knowing how to reduce all taxes in a country with a debt close to 100% of GDP and maintain public investment. It was Monastery who raised the level of magic to extremes difficult to overcome. He said that with cuts in the "ineffective political spending" the funds needed to pay for education, health and pensions can be allocated. Coming from an architect who designed lofts that were sold illegally, it is a plan that is perfectly understood.

What has not yet been understood is why we must vote again and why it is not certain that there can be a government in November. No debate has served to explain that enigma and it was too much to ask that Thursday's appointment be of any use. Touch continue to suffer.

. (tagsToTranslate) Elections (t) debate

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