Salamanca, July 30. The umpteenth attempt by Pedro Sánchez to get closer to autonomous Spain. The President of the Government presides next Friday the 18th Conference of Presidents since the pandemic began. Mariano Rajoy summoned one by Legislature. The president of the Generalitat will not attend the appointment, despite the attempts of La Moncloa. Pere Aragonés prefers the framework of bilaterality. Nothing new. The presence of the lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, is in the air, who has not confirmed but neither excused, as he did at the summit a year ago in La Rioja, which he attended by surprise at the last minute. The conclave, of an extraordinary nature, will be chaired by Felipe IV and will, of course, have the corresponding agenda. A different matter is that the summit has an extraordinary and informative character and that no agreement is expected to emerge from it.
Among the issues on the table, the evolution of the pandemic and the vaccination program, the Demographic Challenge and the funds for economic recovery. None of them is trivial, which promises an intense debate and exchange of views between the Executive and the regional leaders, who will be accompanied by their competent advisers in the matters to be addressed.
The Minister of Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, has already spoken this week with all the regional presidents to inform them of the development of the meeting and what is expected of it, in the umpteenth attempt by La Moncloa to seek the coordination and complicity of the Autonomies before the distribution of European funds and the end of the pandemic. Two matters of State, without a doubt, with which the PP has not hesitated for a second to turn into a matter of constant confrontation against Sánchez.
So much so that one day before the Government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan was approved with a high note by the European Commission, the PP questioned the distribution mechanisms and promised a euro-to-euro audit – as if the government itself The plan and the European institutions did not already have supervision and surveillance mechanisms in place – of the 140,000 million that Spain has allocated to lift the economy after the ravages caused by the pandemic. Pablo Casado has insisted without any evidence to warn that the funds from Brussels will serve to fuel corruption, an attitude that hints at the fear that the economic recovery will benefit, in addition to companies, also the Government. Hence the right put all kinds of obstacles to decree for the processing of funds in Congress, which was saved with the vote of Vox. Just a few days ago from Brussels, the opposition leader accused the Executive of deceiving the European Union to receive European funds without conditionality. It was the message that he transmitted to his popular European colleagues, also to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Casado’s speech about the funds is very far from that of the PP barons, who need these funds for the economic reconstruction of their respective territories. Except, of course, for Isabel Díaz Ayuso from Madrid. Any excuse is good for the regional president with aspirations to be a national leader to attack Sánchez. The vaccines, the recovery plan, the pardons to the leaders of the you process, regional financing, the Constitution, government partners….
Ayuso is all critical and the appointment of the Conference of Presidents was not going to be less. In Moncloa they hope that in his intervention he will unfold his own agenda, this will be the unity of Spain, Catalonia, which is third to conquer the headline the next day. In fact, he has already announced that, after Friday, he will not attend any more regional summits. And it is that he has found in it a new reason for confrontation against Sánchez after defending that he does not respect the regulations of the conclave, which establishes that the order of the day must be known 20 days in advance. He forgets that it is the deadline set for an ordinary appointment and, in any case, it does not seem a compelling reason with which to leave seven million Madrilenians without representation. Or if. It depends. Not even his own, they argue, sources from his own party, “will miss her.”
The role played by Ayuso in the more than a dozen telematic conferences held during the toughest months of the pandemic is still in the memory of some PP barons, and actually in that of all regional presidents. Or was he lateEither he left early, or he wielded a mass to skip the order of intervention or he dislodged his co-religionists with disconnected interventions that had nothing to do with what was being discussed. In any case, in his conversation with Minister Rodríguez this week, he did not issue the slightest complaint about the agenda or about the issues to be discussed at the summit, government sources say. It will be because when the conversation took place they had not yet made the headline.
The Galician Alberto Núñez Feijóo has also complained that the conference will have the format of a simple meeting, although he clarified that the problem is not current, but one that, under the heading of Conference of Presidents, Sánchez maintained with the barons during the first months of the pandemic. Despite the discomfort, Galicia will be represented in Salamanca “due to institutional responsibility and loyalty,” he clarified before making explicit his fear that the head of government would use the meeting to influence the balance of the political and economic course and expose the degree of compliance with the Executive’s commitments, which he will present at a press conference the day before. Feijóo, together with the presidents of Extremadura, Castilla y León and Asturias, is one of the most interested in the issue of the demographic challenge and depopulation. Not in vain, So far in the 21st century, three out of every four municipalities in Spain have lost population in the last decade.
Thus, at the end of the summit, do not expect much more than a succession of 17 appearances by regional presidents for each to speak about their book, regardless of the issues discussed within. The course will end, then, in line with the falton and destructive opposition that the right has exhibited since Sánchez lives in La Moncloa.