The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, and the former minister Ana Pastor will present on January 29 at the Congress of Deputies the last book of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current MEP of the PP, José Manuel García Margallo, entitled ‘Heterodox memoirs. Of a politician of extreme center ‘, that has published Editions Peninsula.
Margallo (Madrid, 1944) recounts in this book his beginnings in political activity, the crucial years of the Transition, the power struggles until the re-founding of the PP, his long stage in Europe as MEP or his management at the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs . In this section, he does not hide his disagreements with the then Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and also narrates some episodes that show his estrangement with Mariano Rajoy.
Thus, the former minister points out that after the June 2016 generals – the PP achieved 137 against the 85 of the PSOE – in the “business centers” began to speculate on the replacement of Rajoy by some other PP candidate. As he adds, there was talk of the then ministers Ana Pastor, Luis de Guindos or Feliz Sanz, director of the CNI.
WHEN RAJOY BEGAN TO LOOK AT HIM WITH “CERTAIN RECEL”
“My ‘friends’ took the opportunity to tell Rajoy that I was also running as a possible successor. The news circulated for some confidential and the president called me outraged,” says Margallo, who emphasizes that he denied “such an infusion” and then hence Rajoy began to look at him with “certain suspicion.” “I felt disappointed,” he confesses in the work.
Once the investiture agreement between PP and Cs is signed, Rajoy calls him to Moncloa before announcing his cabinet and informs him that he has to “make changes in the Government”. According to his version, Margallo takes the opportunity to tell him not to give up on three things: “Catalonia, Gibraltar and the reform of laws that have become old, starting with the Constitution.”
Rajoy listened to him “patiently” but, as he says, at one point he interrupted: “José Manuel, your problem is that you have a stratospheric ego.” He adds that he was somewhat surprised but reacted “jocular” by answering: “Well, look, it’s true that I’ve never had problems with self-esteem.”
RAJOY “THE VESSEL BREAKED” AFTER THE CHANGE OF THE PNV
The former minister recalls the presentation of the motion of censure shortly after the judgment of the ‘Gürtel case’ was known, and emphasizes that the Budgets had just been approved with the support of the PNV. “For me that the thing would not have happened to elders if the ministers in charge of discussing the budgets had not made the childish error of closing a budget pact with the PNV and not a legislature pact,” he said.
Margallo tells how he surprised the change of position of the Basque nationalists after having negotiated the public accounts. “One of the ministers told me that, when Soraya showed him a wasap that said that the PNV had passed over, Rajoy broke the glass in his hand,” he reveals.
He also mentions the so-called “bag scene”, when Santamaría decided to leave it in Rajoy’s seat during the afternoon of the motion debate. “Apparently, Soraya argued that Rajoy should resign, which would mean the expiration of the motion of censure and the opening of a new investiture process with her as a candidate. Soraya said she had the votes of the PNV. Cospedal opposed this maneuver I was not alone, “he says in his book, where he usually refers to the vice president by his first name.
THE PRIMARY OF THE PP
After Rajoy’s departure, he says that the “great consensus candidate” would have been the Galician Alberto Núñez Feijóo, but that he moved that at that time he could not leave the PP of Galicia and that it would only be presented if the congress of the party was more late.
“Alberto’s resignation left the road to Soraya expedited. José Ramón García Hernández and I decided to introduce ourselves to break this dynamic,” he acknowledges in the book, where he recalls the article defending Rajoy who wrote in The World under the title ‘Dear President and friend ‘with the objective that his candidacy not be interpreted as a movement against the former president of the Government.
Rajoy called him then to tell him that he had been told about that “very affectionate” article. “My son has asked me: But why did you throw him out? ‘, And I have explained to him what are the things that politics has,” the former president then told him. Margallo then adds: “I thought this call put an end to our disagreements, but I was wrong.” Rajoy also called him after losing the primaries and thought again that it could be another step “towards reconciliation” but says he was again “wrong.”
He also says that when he supported the candidacy of Pablo Casado in the second round against Santamaría, Rajoy sent him a critical message with that support. Then, the former minister replied: “You should reflect on why five of the six candidates that we have presented to these primaries consider that Soraya is no longer the right person to lead Spain or the party.” He confesses that this was the last time he spoke with Rajoy.
MARRIED ASKED MARGALLO IF THE PP SHOULD ABSTEN
After the April generals, in which the PP suffered an electoral coup by going from 137 to 66 deputies, he affirms that the dilemma was whether to abstain or not. And reveals that on his trip to Brussels Casado asked if they should refrain and facilitate a government of Sanchez.
“I don’t believe it at all. If you do that, you are dead. You could only abstain, in theory, if Sanchez swears by his deceased to never engage with separatists or with the Caribbean Bolsheviks, and even that does not guarantee that, once in the Moncloa, do what you see fit, without us being able to evict him in four years, “he says he answered the leader of the PP.
Margallo also refers to the PSOE pact with Podemos, supported by the independentistas, and recalls two precedents. The first, in France when François Mitterrand appointed four communist ministers in 1981 and the economy “collapsed”, the Government “was forced to turn right” and the “communists abandoned him”. The second appointment refers to the Second Republic and the alliance between socialists and communists.
The former minister believes that in the “not too distant” future there will be a coalition government PSOE, PP and Cs, and adds that now it touches in Spain a “second transition” with the agreement of the constitutional parties as was done in the day in the Covenants of the Moncloa. “If we do not do it for patriotism, let’s do it so that political instability and the division between the Spaniards does not take ahead what many years it has cost us to achieve,” he says. LAMENTA DO NOT HAVE THE CROSS OF CARLOS III
Margallo regrets not having among his decorations the Great Cross of Carlos III that “has always been granted to the ministers of Spain”, something that, as he reveals, also happens to the other ministers who left the Government before the motion of censure .
“They tell me that it was the vice president who argued that it was not convenient for the Council of Ministers to distinguish those who had been part of it. Of course, those who were part of the last Council of Ministers were decorated by Pedro Sánchez. So things , I remembered the phrase attributed to Fernández Ordóñez: ‘Body to earth that ours come!’ “, he proclaims in a new dart against Santamaría.