Alberto Núñez Feijóo is already a full senator. The president of the PP has promised (not sworn) his position this Wednesday at the beginning of the plenary session and thus ends the slow transition process that began last February, was confirmed in the extraordinary congress in April and the Galician leader has taken almost to the month of June. The Upper House, a place that usually goes unnoticed, where the presence of journalists is less, has seen its population increase exponentially. A prelude to what can happen from now on at least once a month, in the government control session that usually has the presence of the president, Pedro Sánchez. It will be the time for Feijóo to directly confront him and oppose "sanchismo".
Feijóo accelerates his landing in Madrid
The president of the PP has arrived punctually at the Hemicycle, accompanied by his, against all odds, recently confirmed spokesman, Javier Maroto. As he entered, his senators stood up and applauded him. He has greeted a socialist senator and has gone to take a seat... on the blue bench, reserved for the Government. Perhaps it was the force of habit of having occupied the place of the president of the Xunta in the Galician Parliament from 2009 until a few days ago, but Maroto was there to redirect him to his row, where he received hugs and handshakes from his senators, who continued to applaud him.
Immediately afterwards, the president of the Senate, Ander Gil, asked him if he "swears or promises to abide by the Constitution." “Yes, I promise”, he has said. Behind him, his right hand in the PP of Galicia and, now, in the headquarters of Génova Street, Miguel Tellado. “Yes, I swear”, said the deputy secretary of Territorial Organization of the party. Among the guests, the omnipresent president of the PP of Castilla-La Mancha, Paco Núñez.
The Plenary has recovered the order of the day with the debate on the bill of Telecommunications. Feijóo has remained in the Hemicycle for another half hour, before leaving it to start settling in what will be his new office. One at the level of an opposition leadership that, until now, had never moved to the Senate. None of those available seems to have convinced him because the fourth secretary of the Table, Senator Cristina Ayala, has given him hers, despite his institutional nature.
Opposition at press conference
Feijóo has remained a little over an hour in the exclusive rooms for senators. Later, he has offered a press conference: the first in Madrid since last March he presented the necessary endorsements, and a few thousand more, to be a candidate for the party's primaries. The already senator has reiterated the argument that the PP wields against the Government not since he was confirmed as president of the party, but almost from the beginning of the legislature: Pedro Sánchez has handed over the State to the independentistas to reach Moncloa, and he continues to do so every day to stay in power.
The leader of the opposition has confirmed that talks with the Government have been interrupted on the matters in which contacts had been resumed after that first three-hour meeting he had with Sánchez in Moncloa, namely: the modernization of the Crown, the reform of article 49 of the Spanish Constitution to eliminate the word “disability” and the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary.
Feijóo has been very upset with Sánchez by the president's tone in the control session last week. "I am surprised that the government wants to talk to a party of thugs," he said ironically, citing the words of the president under pressure from the PP spokeswoman in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, for the espionage scandal with Pegasus. “We are the antithesis to sanchismo”, he has said. Immediately after, he has assured that the coalition government questions the "rule of law" and has repeated the string of accusations against Sánchez. Without using the word “felon” that his predecessor, Pablo Casado, did use, he has traveled the same path in his criticism.
Feijóo has assured that that three-hour meeting in Moncloa was mainly dedicated to agreeing with Sánchez that both would try to recover the prestige of the institutions, damaged throughout the legislature. But the Galician leader believes that Sánchez has not fulfilled his part. “I am surprised and displeased”, he has assured, visibly upset.
But Feijóo's anger with Sánchez seems to have an expiration date: June 19. This is what he himself has pointed out when committing to journalists his intention to resume dialogue with the Executive after that date, which curiously coincides with the elections in Andalusia.
Feijóo has attacked the agreement signed in Catalonia between ERC, the PSC and En Comú Podem to reform the law and adjust it to the ruling that requires 25% of classes to be taught in Spanish and has tiptoed past the statements of the vice president of the Junta de Castilla y León, who assured yesterday that the defenders of abortion invite "parents to shredding disabled children in the womb”. "I do not comment on the comments of the vice president of an autonomous community," said Feijóo. "I do not know the statements," he added immediately. “They are surprising”, he has settled.
Later, Feijóo said goodbye to the journalists to go to an appointment with the president of the Senate, Ander Gil. In his team they recognize that the Upper House is not the best place to carry out a good opposition work. But the Galician does not have much more alternative. In the PP they have already given up the option of being allowed to be the speaker in the debate on the state of the nation scheduled for July in Congress, nor that it be transferred to the Senate. Knowing that a confrontation a month, in the best of cases, from September will have little impact, alternatives have been sought that do not exist since the presence of the Prime Minister is almost always optional. The strategy now involves lowering expectations. "We have to lose," they say from his team. The bandage is already on.