Citizens cling to the identity discourse to survive in the Andalusians

Juan Marín is playing this Sunday at the polls not only to be able to keep alive the initials of his party in Andalusia, a challenge that according to recent polls it is presented more than uphill. The Ciudadanos candidate has also put his political future in check. He himself has set the bar: if he does not obtain more than three deputies or the party survives by the minimum, with only one seat – his –, he will go to his house and abandon politics. He will not do like Francisco Igea, who, like Marín, held the vice presidency of an autonomous government and is now the only Citizens' Attorney in the Cortes of Castilla y León.

With this vertigo the candidate faces these decisive elections. And for moral reasons, it does not remain, because both Marín and Inés Arrimadas are convinced that part of the Andalusians who are still undecided will realize in the end that Ciudadanos is "the only guarantee" that Vox does not enter the PP Government, as its candidate, Macarena Olona, ​​intends at all costs, who in the last electoral debate warned Moreno Bonilla that he will have to make her vice president "if he only needs one seat" to be sworn in as new president of the Board. "It will not be if Vox is not within the Government," she stressed, also ruling out the abstention of her party.

Faced with this dilemma, the objective that Ciudadanos has set for itself is to try to reissue the pact with the PP at all costs, a party that According to the latest polls, he has won most of his electorate until he is close to the absolute majority.. Moreno Bonilla has said that, if so, he prefers to "govern alone." But Marín has not taken the hint and has devoted himself in this final stretch of the campaign to reminding his old voters, on the one hand, that they have been a co-participant in Andalusia being "the economic locomotive of Spain". And on the other, to warn of all the evils that have occurred and will mean that the PP has to depend on Vox. While Marín warned that with those of Abascal "he would not even go to collect 500-euro bills", Arrimadas herself assured that "no way" they would participate in a government in which the extreme right was present.

Despite his enthusiasm, the second electoral debate held last Monday has not served to give a boost to the candidacy of the orange leader, who was displaced by the rest of his rivals. Marín focused on Olona and warned that if he agrees with Moreno the autonomy of Andalusia will be put at risk, while accused the woman from Alicante of "distributing the armchairs before Andalusians vote".

However, according to all the polls, the PP –and not Vox– is going to be the great beneficiary of the fall of Ciudadanos, managing to keep almost all of its electorate. And in the party they already seem resigned to the fact that their government partner is going to 'phagocytize' them on 19J. So they have also focused on attracting votes from those same ranks, from those disenchanted with the PSOE and also from that Vox electorate that does not share some of their extremist positions. [como la negación de la violencia de género, o su intolerancia hacia la inmigración]but that he welcomes the discourse of the "unity of Spain" and the defense of "patriotic" values, as well as the "danger" posed by the nationalists, who, like Vox, believe that Pedro Sánchez is He has "delivered" only because of his desire to remain in La Moncloa.

Hence, the leader of the party, Inés Arrimadas, decided to adopt the same identity discourse of Spain that she already used in Catalonia and to insist on "territorial equality", taking the opportunity to distance herself on that flank from the PP, whose new leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, He opted as soon as he took office for a Spain of the autonomies that maintains "the political, cultural and linguistic identity of the territories". Shortly after, the general coordinator of this same party, Elías Bendodo, declared in an interview with the newspaper The world: "I believe that, effectively, Spain is a multinational State".

Although Bendodo later tried to qualify his statements, assuring that he was referring to "nationalities", not to Catalonia being "a nation", Ciudadanos took the opportunity to fight back. The Arrimadas party, which won the elections in Catalonia in 2017 precisely with a furious speech against nationalism, then launched to equate the PP with the PSOE. "The PP, like the nationalists, Podemos and Sánchez, says that Spain is 'a plurinational state'. That is to say, that it is not a nation and within it there are first and second territories. In the PP they have always acted as if such thing was like that and now they also publicly acknowledge it," Arrimadas said on Twitter.

His criticism was shared by the Vox candidate for the Andalusian Government, Macarena Olona, ​​who also used that social network to lament that "the Popular Party used to buy ideas from the PSOE. Now it buys them from racist separatism. This is the speech that has turned Andalusia into a second class region, just because of its loyalty to Spain, our only nation".

Shortly after, at an informative breakfast in which he presented Marín, Arrimadas surprised us by advancing in Seville, in the middle of the electoral campaign, the presentation of a Non-Law Proposal (PNL) of reform of the Constitution for its debate in Congress in which it is requested remove from article 2 of the Magna Carta the reference to "nationalities and regions", and so that all autonomous communities are recognized "on an equal footing". That is to say, that there are no "first and second class communities". Although Ciudadanos deny it, the proposal, which Marín has had no choice but to accept, goes against Andalusia's own Statute of Autonomy, approved by consensus, which consecrates the region as a "historical nationality".

This Tuesday the PP and the PSOE rejected a Citizens' motion in the Constitutional Commission of the Senate in which they asked to "replace the difference between 'nationalities' and 'regions' with the 'nation of free and equal citizens' that is Spain". Arrimadas's party lamented "the excuses of bipartisanship" for not shielding that distinction in the Constitution, and recalled that "for decades PSOE and PP have allowed the interested use of article 2 to justify systematic concessions to nationalism."

Although perhaps the best example that Ciudadanos has wanted to fully exploit this "identity" discourse as an electoral weapon in Andalusia was a recent intervention in Congress by the deputy for Malaga, Guillermo Díaz, who accused both the PP and the PSOE of "assuming the same frames" of the nationalists. "Nationalism is the lethal ideology that rots minds and annihilates coexistence. It defends that people are servants of languages, but the most worrying thing is that both PP and PSOE assume their frameworks," he said.

Díaz warned that "it is crucial never to enter the framework of nationalism because they consider nationalism servants of the language." "The PSOE is committed to nationalism. Spain is a means to an end, and that end is Pedro Sánchez, but is the Popular Party clear on this?" that "Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia have their own language". Does Andalusia have its own language or is it borrowed? And if they have it, of course, what is the cocoa from multinationality? "He snapped at them.

The deputy continued to ask those of Feijóo if they "are clear about how many nations Spain has." "Is it Andalusian nationality? Is it Extremadura nationality?" he asked them, later challenging both the PP and the PSOE to explain in this electoral campaign in Andalusia "what the thesis that some areas are nations and the others are regions.

Ciudadanos has also criticized the Sánchez government for its "passivity" in the face of the Generalitat's refusal to comply with the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC), endorsed by the Supreme Court, which requires guaranteeing 25% of Spanish in Catalan education. Both those of Arrimadas and those of Abascal have asked to reapply article 155 of the Constitution in autonomy for not complying with that sentence.

Both parties took advantage of one of the last control sessions of the Government to ask the Executive for explanations on this matter. Santiago Abascal addressed the President of the Government directly to know "until when it will allow the institutional contempt of court rulings in Catalonia carried out with the clear intention of persecuting the presence of the Spanish language in the classroom". And Edmundo Bal launched an almost identical question, but to the Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría: "Is the Government going to continue doing nothing to guarantee the right of families in Catalonia to also send their children to school in Spanish?"

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