The motion of censure that put an end to the Government of Mariano Rajoy in 2018 after the sentence that condemned the PP for profiting from the Gürtel plot should have been a turning point in the party. His successor as leader of the organization, Pablo Casado, wanted to champion the fight against corruption. This was ratified three years later, in his last speech as president of the PP before his European allies, still in shock at the way in which his colleagues had guillotined him after questioning the commissions charged by Isabel's brother Diaz Ayuso. Alberto Núñez Feijóo's turn has come, and as in Monterroso's story, the corruption is still there. And the Galician, as Casado did, has already defined his strategy: to point it out as a thing of the past. A past where his reference, Mariano Rajoy, ruled.
"If you want to bring up recordings from a decade ago, everyone is within their rights", Feijóo simply answered this Tuesday to journalists after a brief appearance before the media in Ceuta. The problem is that "a decade ago" refers to 2012, when Mariano Rajoy was released in the Government. And Rajoy is one of the declared referents of Feijóo.
He has said so on several occasions. And it was made clear in the XX National Congress (extraordinary) that elevated him without rivals at the head of the PP. "I claim the PP of the overwhelming majorities, the PP of the absolute majorities of José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy," he said in his speech on Friday, April 1, before the plenary of the conclave. "That is our PP", he clinched. He is just an example. There are many, even from a decade ago. In 2013, Feijóo said: "Rajoy is for me the reference of the democratic regeneration in the PP".
Feijóo even resorted to the old guard Marianist to lead the congress that raised it to the seventh floor of the headquarters at number 13 of Madrid's Calle de Génova. He has recovered for his current leadership some leaders who accompanied Rajoy on his journey. He has defended his legacy, although for this had to falsify the data. He even did it when it came to corruption. "I have no doubts about his honorability", said.
In the same sense that Feijóo expressed his number three, Elías Bendodo, last Monday. The general coordinator and also right-hand man of Juan Manuel Moreno in Andalusia said that it was "a very old issue" and pointed to a possible conspiracy theory by saying that the issues about Gürtel "appear or disappear depending on the interest of the one who moves it ", without specifying who he was referring to.
This Wednesday, the controversy has jumped to Congress. The general secretary of the PP, Cuca Gamarra, criticized during the control session on Wednesday that the CNI used the Pegasus espionage program against some Catalan independence leaders while Pedro Sánchez "negotiated the investiture." "Despite the Villarejos, the destruction of computers, they were convicted of corruption in the National High Court," replied Sánchez, who compared Feijóo's PP with Rajoy's: "They are more aware of stopping that little notebook".
The publication by El País of a series of recordings made by the former commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, accused in the National High Court in several dozen court cases, of his own conversations with the former general secretary of the PP, María Dolores de Cospedal, or the Former president of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, has taken the party led by Feijóo back to the darkest moments of its recent past.
In the audios it is clear, at least, that there was collusion between the PP and the allegedly corrupt police officer. But it is also that the two involved openly acknowledge some issues that until now they had denied or that they had said they knew only from the press. In the case of Cospedal, the conversation revolves around the preparation of what was later called Operation Kitchenin which high officials of the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police supposedly maneuvered to try to destroy the evidence that the former treasurer of the PP, Luis Bárcenas, could have about corruption within the PP.
As for Aguirre's conversation, the former president of the Community of Madrid speaks openly about the cases of corruption in which members of her government or leaders of the Madrid PP that she chaired participated. "Let me tell you one thing about this. That this man is a figurehead, that Cerezo has suggested it to him. [empresario y presidente del Atlético de Madrid]and all that, I'm sure it's like that", says Aguirre about who was his vice president and dolphin at the head of the regional Executive, Ignacio González. About who was his second vice president and Minister of Justice, Alfredo de Prada, he answers affirmatively when Villarejo says that he is "a choricete" and adds: "And there he continues, collecting bonuses in the PP."
Aguirre was forced to resign consecutively from her different institutional positions and in the PP precisely because of the corruption scandals that affected a good part of her trusted men. First, in 2012, as president of the Community of Madrid. In 2016, as president of the PP of Madrid. And in 2017, from the last of his charges: Councilor of the Madrid City Council.
Then, Aguirre said she felt "deceived and betrayed by Ignacio González." But already in 2014, when he had the conversation with Villarejo that the former commissioner himself recorded and archived, within his usual modus operandi, he was already sure that González had "a figurehead", in collusion with the president of Atlético de Madrid, Enrique cherry.
Despite the publication of the audios, the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has invited Esperanza Aguirre to the regional congress that will be held this weekend and that will elevate her as the leader of the regional PP. Aguirre's successor, a decade later.
Sources from Ayuso's team confirm that the invitation has been extended and assume that Aguirre will attend the conclave, although they do not confirm the acceptance by the former president.