Total offensive of the PP against the Government at the beginning of the course: 'no' to the decree and appearance of seven ministers
Feijóo does not give even a day of respite. The parliamentary course that starts this Wednesday in Congress will once again show that the opposition's political strategy does not go through anything other than a head-on clash with the Government in any field. The PP, which has already confirmed its vote against the energy saving decree which will be validated on Thursday, will not avoid any melee and will request the appearance of up to seven ministers to ask for explanations for the wave of fires, the employment data, the CNI or the drought, and even the incident of the train in Bejís, where several travelers who jumped out the window alerted by the proximity of the flames were injured.
Just before the holidays, the popular opted for refrain from approving another government decree that extended the original package of anti-crisis measures (which the PP had also opposed in its day) and which included novelties such as direct aid of 200 euros to vulnerable families or 50% reductions in the transport pass. A position that left the door ajar so that this time Feijóo's men did not try to knock down a Contingency Plan that Brussels endorses and that is in line with the set of measures adopted by most European partners.
But this week they cleared any doubt. "From the outset, our position is 'no' because we believe that it is an improvisation and that there has been no dialogue," said the general coordinator of the PP, Elías Bendodo, on Monday, slamming the door on that possibility. Bendodo warned the Executive that if he wanted to have the support of his group, he should first eliminate some measures that he described as frivolous: "Let's take off our ties, turn down the air, turn up the heating, turn off the windows... This is not serious," he said. despite the fact that some of the measures included in the decree had been demanded by the party leader weeks ago.
The PP's 'no' has been received in Moncloa as confirmation that the new leadership of Alberto Núñez Feijóo at the head of the main opposition party has not brought, in reality, any change with respect to Pablo Casado when it comes to seeking understandings. “If Feijóo votes no, he will have to explain to us whose side he is on, why he does not support the workers, why he does not agree with his colleague, the president of the European Commission,” said the Minister Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, at the press conference after the Council of Ministers.
Rodríguez recalled that the savings plan "is not an occurrence of the Government, it is an EU agreement because Putin wants to close gas to Europe and Europe has to defend itself against that threat," he insisted. And that is why he asked Feijóo to be "on the side of the decisions of the rest of the EU countries" or, otherwise, explain to the public the consequences of his vote. “I summon Mr. Feijóo to go right now to the Atocha Cercanías station, Sants or Valencia and talk to that worker and tell him that if it depended on him he would not have free public transport. That if it were for Feijóo, neither a scholarship nor a free subscription, ”he denounced.
The Government also believes that criticism of the lack of dialogue with the autonomous communities and parliamentary groups is unjustified, an argument repeated by the popular to defend their vote against. This same Tuesday, the PP's deputy secretary of Economy, Juan Bravo, insisted on that idea: "If the Government has a commitment to Brussels, the next step would be to talk with the communities, with the private sector." Something that, in reality, the Government did.
During the summer, Teresa Ribera's department has held up to seven working meetings with energy companies, consumer associations, autonomous communities and also with other political groups, including the PP. The first appointment took place on July 12, two weeks before the approval of the decree. That day the ministry teams met with representatives of the energy industry to share the details of the Contingency Plan with them, something they also did on July 14 and 15 with oil companies, social agents and consumer organizations. On a political level, on July 19 and 27, meetings were held with the parliamentary spokespersons of the different groups, and on both July 28 and August 8, the Energy and Trade Sectoral Conference was convened to discuss the content of the plan. with the representatives of all the regional governments.
According to the Government, in none of these meetings were alternatives proposed to some measures that Feijóo's PP now despises. Sources from the Ministry of Ecological Transition present at the sectoral conferences recall that only the Community of Madrid was openly critical of the text of the decree, but that the general tone of the rest of the representatives was the will to collaborate, including the autonomous communities governed by the P.P.
“They did not propose any alternative plan, neither the communities nor the PP parliamentary group itself. The only thing they have done is ask that we withdraw the decree and that we return to nuclear power,” these sources indicate. "If their proposal is to return to nuclear power, it is not that they are in the last century, it is that they are much further away," criticized Isabel Rodríguez.
Meanwhile, the PP's offensive against government action is intensifying in the parliamentary arena and the PP leadership is contemplating extending it to the courts. The Government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso continues with its threat to legally challenge the energy saving decree. The Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, assured this week that the work of the Madrid General Lawyer's Office is continuing and that the resource could be ready "in the coming weeks". A performance that Feijóo's team also validates. "We have given freedom from the PP so that, if they consider that their powers are invaded, as some autonomous community sees it, they have absolute freedom to be able to appeal," Juan Bravo announced this Tuesday during an interview on TVE.
In the Permanent Delegation of Congress convened for this Wednesday afternoon, the popular will also defend the extraordinary appearance of up to seven ministers of the Sánchez Executive. The First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, is required to explain "what emergency measures the Government is providing to avoid the chronification of inflation and the ineffectiveness of the measures adopted to date."
The Second Vice President and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, is also requested to appear to explain "the causes of the greatest job destruction in a month of July in the last 20 years and the worst unemployment figure in more than a decade", while the third vice president of the Government and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, is asked for up to three interventions: to account for the forest fires, the drought and "the reasons for the absence dialogue with Autonomous Communities and Local Entities” for the approval of the energy measures plan. In addition to the three vice presidents, those of Feijóo request the appearance of the ministers of Defense and Transport and of the holders of Presidency and Consumption.