The government has avoided censuring the meeting that will be held this Friday in the prison of Lledoners (Barcelona), the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, and the president of ERC, Oriol Junqueras, but he has completely disassociated himself from the initiative of this visit, from the matters that are going to be treated in it and the image that this appointment can offer in the face of public opinion.
In the press conference after the Council of Ministers, the spokesperson of the Executive and Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Isabel Celaá, has not expressed any discomfort at the meeting and the consequences it may have for the negotiation of the draft General State Budgets that the Government wants to take to Congress after the December bridge.
"I suppose (that Iglesias) will talk about the benefits" of the Budget agreement signed with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, Celaá has said. Yes, the spokesperson has made it clear that in no case does Iglesias act as a "delegate of the Government" for the negotiation of budgets and that he will be solely responsible for the image that may cause among the citizens the holding of this working meeting in a prison.
Celaá has taken care to issue an assessment on behalf of the Government on the convenience of holding this meeting in prison between the two leaders, although different voices in the PSOE, including those of the presidents of Andalusia, Susana Díaz, and Castilla- La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, have publicly shown their disagreement with the "overacting" of Iglesias.
The spokeswoman has not even said, as did the Finance Minister, María Jesús Montero, this week, that she would not go to negotiate the Budgets to a prison. "The views (of the Government) are not usually on the table" of the Council of Ministers, Celaá has responded by trying to get rid of a question in this regard.
Celaá has nevertheless tried to frame in a certain normality the appointment between Junqueras and Iglesias when remembering that the president of ERC has received in prison other "leaders of different political forces and people within the regime of visits that he has".
THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT ENTER THE VISITS OF JUNCARES
And the government "does not enter at all in that matter", in the visits that the prisoner receives or does not receive, and of whom it is, has insisted. "He is the leader of Podemos and he is responsible for his own image and his own political strength, so we do not link him to the Budget or to the Government of which, as I have told you, the Government itself responds," he said.
Questioned by the statements made by the president of Asturias, the socialist Javier Fernandez, very distanced from Pedro Sanchez and who has recommended to make it very clear that Iglesias is not his ambassador, Celaá has pointed out that the chief executive was on Thursday "taxativo" from Brussels to make it clear that the Government is only represented by the Government and that the negotiation to approve its Budget project is only carried out by the Executive.
DEMARK SUFFICIENT OF SÁNCHEZ
"It was a sufficient separation (of the Government) of the visit of Churches to Junqueras", in opinion of the spokesman, who has influenced that if both speak in that quotation of the Budgets "is a question of Churches and Junqueras".
Beyond the declarations of the "Barons" mentioned of the PSOE, all of them distanced from Sanchez, in the direction of the party and in the Government, it is avoided criticizing Iglesias not to dynamite the new collaborative relationship premiered with this party since the triumph of the motion of censure that overthrew Mariano Rajoy and that has had its maximum exponent in the agreement on the Budgets.
So, although the meeting between the Churches and Junqueras does not seem right to the party leadership and the government, especially because of the ways in which it is produced, giving it publicity and presenting it as a real working meeting, they understand that we can try to set a different profile to the PSOE so that your image is not blurred after your support to Sanchez and certainly do not want to confront your priority partner for this matter.
It is worth remembering that the first reaction that the Government had when leaking to public opinion the appointment between Junqueras and Iglesias – of which Sánchez was informed by the Churches – was through the mouth of the Executive Vice President, Carmen Calvo, who pointed that "in principle" it seemed "right" that "everyone can talk to everyone", although he indicated that he was unaware of the work schedule that Iglesias was going to carry.