The party gave way to the reflection of Felipe González. It was the most anticipated moment of the 40th Congress of the PSOE and in which Pedro Sánchez had previously worked: the reunion with the former president. And the former leaders of the party have been noted in the reception with a long standing ovation. Despite previous contacts, at the top of the party they were aware that the socialist’s totem is uncontrollable, but it gave Sánchez a break, the first in many years. “I am available, I do not interfere,” the current Prime Minister was offered with a few words that also carried a message for José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, with whom the current socialist leader rebuilt the relationship much earlier and has a greater presence in his day to day .
Sánchez exploits the unity of the PSOE in a congress marked by the festive atmosphere
“I believe that the Secretary General and President of the Government knows that I am available, he knows that I say what I think and that I think what I say and that I do not interfere [ha dicho el expresidente al acabar su intervención de media hora larga en la inauguración del cónclave en Valencia]. My loyalty is to a political project that I headed for 23 years as Secretary General and for thirteen and a half as President of the Government and that you now lead, Pedro Sánchez. Ahead”.
But, before showing his availability for the party and the president, González had claimed his right to express his opinion freely. After years of criticism and distancing from the former president, who even said that he is “orphaned of political representation,” the former socialist president has asked Sánchez to “stimulate” internal reflection, which in recent years has been conspicuous by its absence. “I am going to expressly ask the Secretary General and President of the Government to stimulate the freedom to express critically, to stimulate the freedom to say what one thinks,” he has asked in front of more than a thousand people who attend the congress as delegates. or guests. “This is how the PSOE is built,” he warned.
“I believe in democratic socialism. I believe it and I practice it and it is the foundation of freedom. I feel free because I say what I think,” said González, who also stressed that he is responsible for his words. “That does not guarantee that I am not wrong,” he acknowledged before admitting that the circumstances in which Sánchez had to govern are even more complicated than those he faced. “I have never had to live or govern a situation as complex as this one,” he said.
González has thus vindicated the current leader of the PSOE and has launched a message to the PP, whom he has accused of defending the Constitution without complying with it – in reference to the blockade that persists in the Judiciary. He has also reviewed the legacy he left. “I am proud to be one of the few that remain of the generation of what is called the regime of 78”, he began: “When they talk about the regime of 78 they perfectly define what happened: a regime that ended and a regime that it started”. “I am not struck by the fact that there are political forces against the Constitution, because in the Constitution that fits,” he explained to an attentive public. “Accept any type of ideological position, even those who are against the Constitution or the regime of 78 that now everyone would do much better, including me,” he ironized. However, González has warned that “the building of coexistence must have a good foundation and that the changes are in accordance with the law without endangering it.”
Public health, universal education up to the age of 16 or IMSERSO trips are some of the achievements that González has claimed, which from the mandate of his socialist successor, José Luis Rodríguez, to whom he has barely referred, has praised the creation of the Military Emergency Unit (UME). The relationship between the two is tense and with distant positions in almost everything, although they have ignored it. “I have always been moderate except in one thing: I cannot stand tyranny,” he said in a message that is interpreted as his crusade against the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro: “I don’t care if they dress up with one flag or another, the tyranny is a permanent violation of human rights. ” Zapatero, on the contrary, is committed to mediation in Venezuela.
He did have words of appreciation for the former president. “Today is a good day to recognize the enormous, transformative task of Felipe González for Spain,” said his socialist successor in Moncloa. In addition to acknowledging his contribution, Zapatero recalled the attack he received from José María Aznar when he demanded European funds: “No one from the PSOE has ever called a right-wing leader a begging.”
The speeches of the former presidents were the highlight of the morning in which the 40th Congress was formally constituted and in which the management of the executive in these four years has been endorsed by “absolute unanimity”, as announced by the president of the conclave, Ximo Puig.
Ferraz has made an effort in the liturgy of a few days in which he wants to turn the page of the internal troubles that have starred in the internal life of the party in recent years and take heart from the management of the past, with which Sánchez had a gap in the last congress. The projection of images of former socialist leaders, such as Alfonso Perales, Carme Chacón or Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, has caused the audience to cheer on several occasions.
“From this congress we are going to go out to win the next electoral cycles in Spain, because it is a congress of unity, of the future, of advanced, renewed, strong, young, dynamic social democracy. And because we have a government, a president and a general secretary who only thinks about the future of Spain and the decency of this country, “exclaimed Zapatero before giving way to González, who warned as soon as he started that he was going to” lower the decibels. ”
And that is the main idea that Sánchez wants to convey in this congress, that of the unity of the party around the Government and the autonomous powers, which he already launched with the remodeling of the Government a few months ago; But the president did not even want to speak today before the cameras that followed him out of the building so as not to cloud the messages of support he received before the delegates began to debate the amendments to update the party’s ideology, that goes from claiming itself as the left four years ago to reinforcing itself in the social democracy.