Cornered in the Senate, Alberto Núñez Feijóo demanded a general policy debate in the Upper House to which he had no right. Moncloa immediately accepted it with a version that he thought he could benefit Pedro Sánchez to nip the flight of the PP leader in the polls since they applied early retirement to Pablo Casado by way of urgency. Suddenly, the Conservative party leaders got into a funk, and they were quick to say that it was a trap that they were being granted what they themselves had asked for. As Saint Teresa is said to have said, "more tears are shed for answered prayers than for unanswered ones." The PP began to cry when he found out that they had listened to him.
The latest version of the PP consisted of lowering expectations. "You have to go out to tie"they said the day before. Morale of victory, they did not have. They knew that Sánchez could speak as long as he wanted – he did it in total for about two and a half hours in the duel between the two – and Feijóo added just over twenty minutes.
Sánchez went up to the podium on Tuesday with the speech papers, a chainsaw and a hammer, and looking like he had drunk two liters of Red Bull. In addition to defending his energy saving policies, he gave Feijóo a harsher treatment than the one he had given Casado in parliamentary debates in the pandemic. Concerned about the image of his rival as that of a politician with experience in managing a government and less addicted to low blows than Casado, the Prime Minister wanted to undress Feijóo to then proceed to dismember him. He took out of it enough chops to fill the entire window of a butcher's shop.
Sánchez accompanied a long list of errors or manipulations committed by Feijóo in recent months with the words: "Insolvency or bad faith?" Evidently he thought it was both and proceeded to start the chainsaw.
He went so far as to present him as a puppet of the energy companies for his rejection of the special tax approved by the Government to tax his extraordinary profits: "What is clear to me is that you do not forget who put him there, the big energy companies, the big corporations of this country".
With that thunder, he concluded his first retort. Never before had someone from the PSOE dared to say that it was Iberdrola or Repsol who placed Feijóo in Genoa. It is not known where he got that headline.
The PP cannot complain much. Germany is the last European country, and there are already eight, that has announced this special tax on electricity companies. Only if he were in a state of brain death, Sánchez would have wasted this trick, which we will also end up hearing in the next national election campaign. Another thing is the invention about the origin of Feijóo's arrival in Genoa. If you are going to take out the hammer, it is advisable to aim well.
The PP has decided to present itself as a great defender of these companies. Sometimes they even fall into the trap. "This government has no hostility towards the large electricity companies," Sánchez said. "Noooooo", they jokingly chanted in the seats of the PP. "You feel very concerned when you talk about electric companies," the president responded quickly.
The leader of the PP had to act worthy and complain about so much personal attack. But his offers of collaboration sounded so unfeasible that they seemed designed with the idea of being rejected, like the holding of the Senate debate itself. "Break with his allies," he told her, resign from your coalition partner and come to us to beg our support. Namely, put yourself in the hands of the PP, who believes that all the government's economic measures reflect its authoritarianism. Surely Sánchez is thinking about that.
There is no chance of agreement when the PP has decided that the energy situation in Europe caused by the war in Ukraine is not serious enough to ask people for sacrifices. As in recent weeks, Feijoo is not willing to accept "impositions or restrictions." People have the right to spend as much energy as they want because it will come from somewhere. In fact, with his request to lower taxes, which Sánchez has accepted in the case of VAT, what he is doing is promoting consumption, which is something that is no longer heard in any European country.
Feijóo did not present very specific proposals and insisted that the Government bet on nuclear energy, as if it were an urgent matter on which measures must be taken at this time. None of the nuclear power plants in Spain have to close this year, or the next or the following. The first facility that is scheduled to close is Almaraz I and will do so in 2027. The rest in 2028, 2030, 2032 and 2035. The dates come from a calendar agreed with the power companies. It is not necessary to prolong their life in the next few months, because they will continue to exist for several years.
The leader of the PP did not renounce the tremendousness that characterizes his party. "Most Spaniards have already exhausted the September payroll in the first week." He said it on September 6. Was he saying that at least 51% of Spaniards no longer have money to eat? That is what it seemed and it sounds as fake as it is flashy.
What is obvious is that Sánchez was comfortable, if anything with the risk of developing tennis elbow due to the constant movement of the arms to crush the rival. He will serve to mobilize his party and wake him up so that it is clear to him that it is not enough to wait for the electoral campaign to get into battle formation. Will it have any impact on public opinion? It is difficult to know, but the extreme aggressiveness that Casado dedicated to him from 2018 was not very profitable for the leader of the PP, nor was that of the entire PP against Zapatero in 2008.
Of course, the movement of the hammer blows was very showy. It seemed that he had done it all his life.