Feijóo's PP insinuates that Sánchez wants to control the CIS, the INE and Indra to try to rig the elections

The Popular Party has insinuated this Monday that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has initiated an “assault” on the “State institutions” whose objective would be to avoid by all means losing the next electoral appointments. To do this, always according to the theory put forward by the party's deputy secretary of Institutional Affairs, Esteban González Pons, Sánchez would have launched himself into "control" of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the company Indra after being "angered" by the result. of the Andalusian elections on June 19. “The CIS does the electoral surveys, the INE the census and Indra counts the votes”, he has said, in a statement that is not correct since Indra does not count.

This is how Pons expressed himself in the usual press conference after the Management Committee that Alberto Núñez Feijóo presided over this Monday at the party's national headquarters. A body that, according to today's spokesman for the PP, "observes with disbelief and with great concern the institutional assault to which Sánchez has surrendered in recent times." “It gives the impression that after losing the electionsin four days of fury Sánchez has decided to control the Spaniards to ensure that they do not return to make a mistake when voting", has added. “It gives the impression that the more the Spaniards punish Sánchez at the polls, the greater his ambition is to control the State's resources as much as possible. As if he had really been angry about the result in Andalucía, and his furious response was 'now I'm going to control what I haven't controlled yet', he pointed out.

But Pons has not stopped there and has pointed directly to a conspiracy theory that has been reborn in recent days at the hands of far-right channels, and which indicate that the changes in the management of the Indra company are aimed at controlling those who supposedly they do the counting of votes, although it is not like that. “The vocation of control of the institutions of the State of the Government of Sánchez is wild. It could not be denied that the Government had control of the CIS, also of the CNI. But it is that it has been launched to the control of Indra, the Constitutional Court and the INE. Because he has lost the elections in Andalusia. President Sánchez does not know how to lose”, said Pons, one of the PP leaders closest to Feijóo.

"The CIS does the electoral surveys, the INE the census and Indra counts the votes," he said. A phrase that is not entirely correct, but that Pons has repeated later to questions from the journalists. “We trust the professionals of these institutions and we believe that our system is serious, that it deserves respect and can be trusted blindly. But not in the will of Sánchez ”, Pons assured, insinuating once again that the Prime Minister wants to interfere in these three tasks that the organizations he has named supposedly carry out.

Pons has insisted afterwards that the PP trusts "in the system and in the professionals", about which there is "no doubt". Expressly asked about his statement that Indra recounts the votes, when he does not, he has returned to the conspiracy theory: “We do not trust the intentions of those who, just as they control the CIS, want to control the INE and Indra. They would not trust in any European country a government that shows so much interest in controlling the institution that makes the statistics and the census, and the company that counts the votes”. He then clarified: "It is true that the votes go by record, but Indra gives the results the first night."

"Control" the INE to "control" the census

After releasing all these slanders, Pons has put the bandage: “We consider that there is no possibility of manipulation. None". But his insinuations have clearly indicated a concrete and direct intention of the Prime Minister to take the step of, according to the PP, "control the Spanish."

Pons has named three different organizations to support his suggestion. The first, the CIS, is headed by a questionable José Félix Tezanos, both because of the failures in his predictions and because of his proximity to the President of the Government. In fact, he has recently published a book on the figure of Pedro Sánchez and his rise to power, of which he was partly the protagonist. But the CIS conducts surveys and, even if it is wrong, it does not condition the vote, as was demonstrated in Madrid in May 2021 and in Andalusia this same month of June.

The attacks of the PP (and of good part of the demoscopy professionals) to Tezanos are not new. Yes, it is to include the National Institute of Statistics, whose president, Juan Manuel Rodríguez Poo, was appointed by the Council of Ministers in October 2018. That is, during the first term of Pedro Sánchez with a single-color government of the PSOE.

The law states that the president of the INE is appointed by the Council of Ministers at the proposal of the Ministry of Economy, in this case by the vice president Nadia Calviño. And so did Mariano Rajoy with the one before Rodríguez Poo. Feijóo's political reference did so on December 30, 2011, at the second meeting of his Cabinet and at the proposal of Luis de Guindos. The one designated by Gregorio Izquierdo, current director of the Institute of Economic Studies, one of the reference think tanks of the PP to put together its economic proposals. In fact, the CEOE, Funcas or the AEB are represented in their bodies. Precisely for the CEOE now works left.

In recent months there has been a major controversy over the way in which the INE is accounting for the country's wealth through GDP or by the calculations it makes of the CPI and the importance of the cost of energy when setting inflation. But for the PP, Pedro Sánchez wants to "control" the INE because it is the body that makes "the electoral census".

Indra, financier of the PP

According to the theory outlined by Pons, after the CIS and the INE, the third leg of the "control" that Sánchez wants to implement after "losing the elections" is Indra. In recent days there has been a change in the Board of Directors of the technology company, one of the most important in Spain and whose main shareholder is the State through SEPI.

Last week there was a change in your address. SEPI, together with the defense company SAPA and the investment fund Amber Capital, supported the replacement of four directors. A few days before, the president of the PRISA Group, Joseph Oughourlian, bought 4.1% of Indra's shares. Oughourlian is also CEO of Amber.

These shareholder movements, which have received criticism from the CNMV and have punished the company on the stock market, have led the PP to launch fully into the thesis that the Government wants to control Indra. And for what? Once again, with the elections in the spotlight. But, despite what González Pons said, Indra does not count the votes. This work is done at each polling station by a president and two members, in the presence of attorneys-in-fact and auditors from the different political parties. What Indra does is centralize the information and offer the results, but the parties, especially the big ones, keep a copy of each of the minutes that are filled out at each of the polling stations throughout Spain.

And who have been the previous presidents of Indra? One of the most prominent is Javier Monzón, who was at the helm of the technology company from 1992 to 2015. Director of Banco Santander, he was president of the subsidiary OpenBank and a close collaborator of its current president, Ana Botín. Monzón was appointed with a Government of Felipe González, remained in the mandates of José María Aznar and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and was dismissed in 2015, precisely during the first mandate of Mariano Rajoy.

Monzón was charged and investigated by the National High Court in the framework of the Púnica case, when it came to light that the company he headed had alleged payments to the PP of Madrid in exchange for contracts from the public company ICM, which brought together the IT services of the administration and the region and managed annual budgets of 155 million euros.

He was finally dismissed. But the investigation against Indra and other former directors continued at the hands of the titular judge, Manuel García Castellón, whom the Criminal Chamber of the National Court has forced to keep the case open. United Left, which exercises popular accusation, has asked to charge the PP in the case.

And who did the SEPI controlled by the Rajoy government appoint as a substitute? To Fernando Abril-Martorell, who had been CEO of PRISA in his immediately previous stage and, previously, of Telefónica.

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