A few hours before the start of the National Executive Committee of the Popular Party, in which the leadership of Pablo Casado meets with the main barons of the party to assess the results of the Galician and Basque elections of 12J, the president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has acknowledged that “a problem “around the PP spokesman in Congress, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, because she has entered” into mediocrity and disqualification “which in her opinion are currently marking the Spanish political agenda.
The barons of the PP pressure Casado for a turn to the center
In a interview on Cadena Ser, Feijóo has ensured the following when asked about Álvarez de Toledo: “It is very difficult to act as a spokesperson in Congress, in this Congress where there is so much noise and so little politics. It is very difficult to express thoughts and proposals and ideas when there are so many disqualifications, so much insult and so much mediocrity. So sometimes one enters that mediocrity and that disqualification and automatically creates a problem around a spokesperson. ”
“It has happened to me,” he continued. “I was in the opposition in Galicia for four years and they have been tough. And sometimes I would say things when I finished saying ‘why have I said this if it doesn’t contribute anything’. But I have never seen a Congress of Deputies like this. I have never seen a government going to insult the opposition, “he said.
“Believe me, I do not like the national policy that my country has at the moment and I regret it because the spectacle that we are giving to the citizens is of a mediocrity improper from the last 40 years of democracy,” he added, acknowledging that the responsibility for that climate also has its own party, the PP.
About Álvarez de Toledo, Feijóo added that “they have never” worked together, but he considered it “necessary” in the task of “uniting the center right” around the PP. “We either manage to unite the center right or we will not govern and to unite the center right we need to have different sensibilities in a very broad party, which successfully united the right for a long time and the center. We have to do it again, because if no we are not going to be a government party. The figure of Cayetana is very necessary in this context, “he added.
The statements of the top Galician leader, who has once again appealed to the “moderation” and “centrality” of his party, come as different popular leaders press the Casado leadership to turn to the center after the Feijóo’s overwhelming triumph, which in Sunday’s elections achieved its fourth consecutive absolute majority with more seats than ever, and the blow suffered by the PP + Cs coalition in the Basque Country, led by Carlos Iturgaiz, which went from nine to just five seats out of the 75 in the race .
What happened in the Basque and Galician ballot boxes was a clear defeat of Casado’s strategy, which was fully involved in Euskadi, imposing the coalition with Ciudadanos – one of its great obsessions since winning the primaries -, striking down the leader of the popular Basques , Alfonso Alonso – from the more centrist wing – and placing a related candidate, Iturgaiz, from the party’s most conservative current. The PP leader, on the other hand, failed to export that alliance model to Galicia due to the weight of Feijóo, with a more moderate profile, than always maintained that in this territory the center right was already united in the PP.
That is why from the same electoral night the main popular barons – such as Feijóo himself, the president of the Andalusian Board, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla or the Castilian and Leon, Alfonso Fernández-Mañueco– pressure Casado to embrace the Galician president’s strategy, take a turn to the center, and leave aside the harsh and tense speech that has characterized him during his mandate at the head of the PP and to which Iturgaiz also joined since his appointment as a candidate.
Despite the failure of PP + Cs of 12J, Casado maintains his intention of naming Iturgaiz president of the popular Basques. The moderate sector of the party that continues to control the Basque PP is opposed to this maneuver, with Alonso’s successor, Amaya Fernández, at the head.