"We ask the Government to be sensible, not to force us to prosecute an issue that, due to the pure common sense that the Spanish Executive should have, should lead it to withdraw the decree [de medidas de ahorro y eficiencia energética] and sit down to talk", assured this Tuesday, around 1:30 p.m., the Deputy Secretary of Organization of the Popular Party, Miguel Tellado, during a press conference at the national headquarters of the party. Barely a few minutes passed when the Minister for the Environment of the Community of Madrid, Paloma Martín, contradicted that strategy. In another press conference, she announced the intention of the Executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso to precisely prosecute the controversy over the energy saving measures that come into force this Wednesday, at 00.00. The regional Executive will appeal them before the Constitutional Court, as Vox tried in Castilla y Leónalthough the PP there, for now, has not paid attention to the pressure of its far-right partner.
What happened this Monday shows a way of acting that has been repeated within the PP since Pablo Casado was forced to leave the Presidency of the party four months ago, by losing the internal pulse with Ayuso. Now it is the Madrid president who sets the pace for the national leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo. And the dynamic has been evidenced, especially, before the aforementioned energy saving decree approved on Monday of last week by the Council of Ministers. As Ayuso wanted, the entire PP has ended up embarking on a total war against the Government for these saving measures, managing to focus media attention in the middle of August. And that the text includes some of the measures that the Feijóo came to ask two weeks ago.
The leader of the PP defended that, in solidarity with the EU partners, to face the economic consequences of the war and to reduce dependence on Russian gas, temperature limits on air conditioning and heating should be adopted. He also supported reducing public lighting by municipalities. But as soon as the text was approved by the Government, Ayuso not only contradicted the Executive but also the leader of his party, flatly rejecting all these measures. "On the part of the Community of Madrid, it will not be applied. Madrid does not go out. This generates insecurity and scares tourism and consumption. It causes darkness, poverty and sadness," he tweeted.
Then, the national direction of the PP of Feijóo was seen forced to balance so as not to contradict one of the regional leaders of the party with the most political weight and the one who helped the former Galician president to kick out Casado and lead the main opposition party. No regional president seconded the Madrid president in her call for her refusal, which forced her to back down and plead for the appeal before the courts confirmed this Monday by the counselor Paloma Martín.
The barons who, together with Ayuso, hold greater political power within the PP, the Galician president, Alfonso Rueda, and Andalusian president, Juan Manuel Moreno, assumed, instead, the royal decree. In fact, the Andalusian leader boasted during his first term of having saved a lot of money with the energy efficiency plan imposed on the Board by his Minister of the Treasury, Juan Bravo, which basically consisted of demanding that the lights be turned off in empty public buildings . Just what the government decree establishes. Now Bravo is Feijóo's main economic adviser.
Given this scenario, the leader of the popular had to adopt, once again, a doublespeak that blurs the image of moderation that he tries to lead since his arrival at the head of the PP. Last week, the general secretary of the PP, Cuca Gamarra, described Pedro Sánchez as "selfish", "unsupportive" and "egotistical". But, unlike Ayuso, she complained about the ways in which the royal decree law has been approved, and not about the measures themselves: "When things are imposed on people, they obviously rebel." In reality, the Government held meetings with the regional governments and the parliamentary groups before approving the decree, as reported this weekend by the newspaper The Spanish and the Executive has confirmed this Monday.
All in all, the PP has gone through all the possible scenarios in terms of energy saving in a few weeks, from rejection to refusal, passing through the flag of the measures, the request to the Government of different meetings or criticism of its inefficiency. This Monday, Tellado finally requested the withdrawal of the decree law and the convening of a Conference of Presidents to address a new one, also in terms of energy efficiency. And the Community of Madrid replied that "before the closure" of the Executive and "its non-rectification", the regional Executive announced "the presentation of an appeal of unconstitutionality, because they are calling into question powers that are their own".
The Third Vice President and Minister of Ecological Transition summarized this same Monday this dynamic installed in the PP, with the following words: "We were surprised that almost before the press conference was over there was a president of an autonomous community [en alusión a Ayuso] saying that it does not turn off, that the street lights do not turn off. In fact, he spoke before probably of being able to understand that there was no limitation of any kind. And he has surprised us that, throughout the week, the speech has been changing. First it is 'it doesn't go away', then 'we comply, but not as much', then 'we ask for the withdrawal', then 'we want a technical meeting', then 'we want a meeting of ministers', and 'then we want a meeting of presidents' . I don't think that helps reassure anything."
Faced with the request for the withdrawal of the PP leadership, Ribera settled: "The decree law is in force and some of the measures begin to be applied as of Wednesday. A postponement supposes a new royal decree law and, in effect, there is not going to be any type of postponement."
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, accused, for his part, the PP of making a "destructive, blocking and denying" opposition for his request to withdraw from the energy saving plan. "I would ask the PP for unity, responsibility and solidarity" to support the decree, Sánchez said on Monday, from Lanzarote, where he is spending a few days on vacation although he began the week meeting with the Canarian president, Ángel Víctor Torres.
Sánchez, in addition, also recalled that "the Government has been in contact with the autonomous communities and the parliamentary groups before the approval" of the royal decree law, and made mention of the sectoral conference held this Monday between the Executive and the autonomies. "I would ask the PP for unity, responsibility and solidarity," he insisted. "I understand that it is preaching in the desert because we have not seen that responsibility for two years. We are seeing the opposition that is always destructive, blocking, denialist," he denounced. Along the same lines, the Minister of Social Rights and General Secretary of Podemos, Ione Belarra, accused the PP of "working against his country" and of lacking the "lesser democratic commitment" to saving measures "essential to face the consequences of the war and very sensible in the fight against the climatic emergency".
Before any attempt of insurrection of the autonomies of the PP, Sánchez wanted to make it clear that "the laws are complied with" and that "that is what all the autonomous communities have to do."