"I understand the restlessness due to the internal division and the external weakness of my country"

The president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, addressed this Wednesday his first speech as leader of the party before the representatives of the European PP. A brief speech that could perfectly have been written by his predecessor in office, Pablo Casado, who for years used the European institutions to oppose the coalition government. “I understand the uneasiness due to the internal division and external weakness of my country”, said Feijóo, who has also shown his desire to recover the strict fiscal rules of the euro, raised by the EU to fight against the crisis caused by the pandemic. A decision that seems to last at least a year due to the war in Ukraine.

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"The PP symbolizes the stability of constitutional Spain that the current government is not capable of guaranteeing", Feijóo started, congratulated by the speaker of the EPP congress that is being held in Rotterdam for its "beautiful name". "The Spanish PP represents the hope of many compatriots who do not want a country without direction", he added.

Feijóo has maintained in his speech that supposedly many of his colleagues from the European PP have shown him their doubts about Spain. Especially what happens in Spain. "Many have moved me and asked these days about economic, social, institutional and territorial issues that we live", he said.

Some doubts that he shares. “I understand your misgivings about the opacity and the low execution of European funds”, he stated. “I understand the uneasiness due to the internal division and the external weakness of my country”, she has continued. “I share your uneasiness about the position towards NATO of a part of the Spanish Executive, and the consequent distrust of our international partners”, he added. "I am aware of your surprise at the extremely high indebtedness of the Spanish economy," he conceded. “I am aware of your concern about an inflation that is above the EU average", has said. "And I agree that we must know immediately inside and outside Spain the reforms announced in Brussels, especially the one that has to do with the future of pensions on which they have committed structural changes that we still do not know about", he concluded.

“I want to ask for the trust that Spain deserves, which is much higher than that which the Spanish Government deserves”, he clarified, after speaking of the weakness “of the country”. He has even found a hole to launch a veiled criticism of Vox, without daring to mention them, and to the anti-war positions of United We Can: "The PP is not the eurosceptic opposition nor do we doubt the permanence in the Atlantic Alliance."

The only applause that Feijóo has received from the plenary of the EPP congress has come when the president of the PP has said: “We are the party that introduced the euro in Spain, and there is no doubt that we will continue to be the party that guarantees compliance of the euro rules.

Some rules that mean a control of public spending and that complying with them now would mean making budget cuts not only in Spain, but in most of the euro countries.

The European Union lifted these regulations to be able to face the public outlay that all countries had to make to face the triple health, economic and social crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But just when the institutions thought of returning to the path of budgetary rigidity, came the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the serious problems of inflation and increased public spending that it has entailed. For this reason, the European Commission itself, chaired by the leader of the EPP Ursula Von der Leyen, has opted for extend this exemption for at least one year.

At the end of his speech, Feijóo recalled the former secretary general of the European PP, the Spaniard Antonio López-Istúriz, who had held the position for two decades. The PP has lost one of the key positions in the European organization and has placed Esteban González Pons in one of the many newly created vice-presidencies. “What a beautiful language” [“qué bonito idioma”]the presenter of the congress fired Feijóo after her speech, entirely in Spanish.

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