Catalunya. Catalunya. Catalunya. It has been and is the great obsession of Pablo Casado since he acceded to the presidency of the PP. It does not matter if you are in Salamanca, in the Canary Islands or in Córdoba, the great theme is always Catalunya and it will continue to be so, although in electoral campaign just visit this community twice: one will be in Barcelona and one in Tarragona. Nothing else. Lleida and Girona, where he was already in February, will not see the popular leader.
Casado's commitment to having Catalonia as the thematic axis has already led her six times to visit her in the eight months she has been at the head of the party. Today will be the seventh, since Barcelona is the city chosen to present the electoral program with which the PP attends the elections of 28-A. All a gesture, because the program will shape its hard position towards you procés and the absence of concessions.
The popular leader will only stop in Barcelona and Tarragona during the electoral period
It is not the first action that Casado makes to make clear its position towards Catalonia. He did it with the designation of Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo as number one for Barcelona, a person from outside of Catalonia with a clear discourse in defense of the unity of Spain. Yesterday, the popular leader himself stressed that he will not allow in Spain "send neither terrorists nor independentistas".
Married will only be twice in Catalonia during the election campaign, but the PP heavyweights will go through it, all clear examples of intransigence towards independence. They have shown it from the number two of the PP in the list of Madrid, Adolfo Suárez Illana, to José María Aznar, who this Friday, the first official day of the electoral period, will be in Barcelona to express his support for Casado and Álvarez de Toledo.
Everything is perfectly thought out, as when Casado also chose Barcelona to make his first trip as president of the PP, three days after being elected, on July 26, when he met there, for the first time, his executive committee. He returned last August to pay tribute to the victims of the 17-A attack of 2017, and the following month, on the eve of the Diada, he convened in Barcelona the first meeting of his national board of directors, the highest organ of the party between congresses. And in December he returned to present the candidate for mayor of Barcelona, Josep Bou.
Aznar will participate on Friday, the first official campaign day, at an event in Barcelona
In February, Casado expanded its focus and, in addition to Barcelona, went to Girona and Lleida, just after the general elections were called for on April 28. Never to Tarragona, the other Catalan province that will visit now, as well as Barcelona, during the electoral campaign. And already in the pre-campaign presented Álvarez de Toledo as a candidate. And today, on the eve of the start of the campaign, Casado returns to Barcelona to present an electoral program that, in addition to the economic part, with the fiscal revolution proposed by the PP, has as its main protagonist the territorial debate, all on account of the process secessionist, where the PP returns to appear, as he likes to say to Casado, "without complexes".
Without complexes to say no to a constitutional reform. To affirm that the State of the autonomies has reached its ceiling, that there are no more powers to be transferred to the autonomous communities and that what must be done is to go to an institutional strengthening of the State, not autonomy. The PP will advocate for the promotion and strengthening of the delegations and sub-delegations of the Government in the autonomous communities, and promises "the moratorium on transfers of mismanaged competences", so that their compliance is audited and evaluated and the transfer of new ones can be paralyzed transfers "if they are being disloyal."
The popular program will include a language law, which will aim to shield Castilian as a vehicular language, not only in school, but also in the relationship between the Administration and citizens.
A difficult election
The PP recognizes that the general elections, in Catalonia, are very difficult for Pablo Casado, because since 2011 the PP has been losing support, and the first emergence of Citizens and after Vox is subtracting possibilities in a square that It has always been hostile territory. Of the 11 seats that the PP obtained in Catalonia in 2011, it dropped to six in 2016, four obtained in Barcelona, one in Lleida and another in Tarragona, remaining without representation in Girona. And that sharp decline in electoral expectations has not been only in general elections, also in regional elections. The Catalan PP has gone from having 11 seats in the Parliament in 2015 to the four that it achieved in 2017, just after the implementation of article 155. Now, with the emergence of Vox throughout Spain, and also in Catalonia, and With a Citizen who won the Catalan elections of 2017, Casado is aware that he runs the risk of obtaining even worse results and that he does not reach the six seats of 2016. Hence his bet on Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo.