X-ray of Feijóo's PP in Congress: 'no' to economic measures and votes to crack the coalition

Alberto Núñez Feijóo was elected president of the PP on April 2. Almost three months in which Congress has held thirty legislative votes in plenary. Multiple issues have been resolved in them: from the decree law to try to alleviate the effects of the crisis derived from the war in Ukraine to the approval of the cap on the price of gas, passing through the reform of the requested vote, the creation of a public fund of pensions, the Audiovisual Law, a modification of the Penal Code to reinforce the judicialization of traffic accidents, the National Security Law or the one known as the law of only yes is yes. And the differences with the strategy followed by the parido when directed by Pablo Casado are minor, if not negligible.

Feijóo assumed the leadership of the opposition with the promise of turning the strategy outlined by his predecessor in office. The Galician leader has not hesitated to openly disqualify the old leadership, despite the fact that he has kept some of its protagonists, as is the case of the current secretary general and spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, or the spokesperson in the Senate, Javier Marotto.

"If I have to leave Galicia after 13 years, with the majority confidence of Galicians, it is not to present myself to a game. I come to make a serious policy," he said in his speech before the XX National Congress (extraordinary) that elevated him . "We are here to offer reliability, maturity, a sense of state and a clear direction," he also said.

The following week, the plenary session of Congress had a low activity. A popular legislative initiative was voted to protect the Mar Menor which had broad support: everyone except Vox. The extreme right had its own agenda with a law aimed at eliminating Inheritance and Gift taxes. The proposal was rejected, but the PP supported it, as well as the validation of the decree law that regulates the new Statute of the Artist.

In that Plenary there was another vote without a legislative character but with political interest. The Congress rejected Pedro Sánchez's turn in the Spanish position in Western Sahara. The PP supported the initiative of United We Can, Bildu and ERC. Feijóo thus took a step in one of his objectives: to point out the differences that exist in the coalition government and use his vote to leverage and prevent those cracks from being healed.

At the end of the month, on April 28, the validation of the royal decree law in response to the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine, known as the anti-crisis decree, was voted. Among many other measures, the text included the direct bonus of 20 cents for each liter of fuel refueled at gas stations.

The PP voted against, after presenting an alternative plan that it wanted to negotiate at the last minute with the coalition government, with an epistolary exchange that was settled in the media. The decree law went ahead and this Thursday, two months later, Feijóo acknowledged in Brussels that is in favor of the bonus of 20 cents.

Other decrees that had the almost total support of the Chamber were also validated: to "guarantee the security of electronic communications networks and services" and to "guarantee the security of electronic communications networks and services."

The PP also had time to endorse its ideological agenda in that plenary session at the end of April: it supported a Vox bill to increase the penalties for people who occupy empty homes, regardless of the circumstances of the owners or occupants.

The entry of May did not change the strategy. The PP maintained its ideological agenda by supporting a proposal by the Parliament of Cantabria to reform the Coastal Law and subsequently legalize constructions that had to be demolished, some by final judgment. The initiative was rejected.

The PP, however, helped to approve a coalition government project that did not have the support of the allies: the new National Security Law. Against both, amendments were presented to the totality by some of the usual supports of the Executive, but the Yes of those of Feijóo allowed to save the stumbling block and offer an image of "state party", as Cuca Gamarra said, which fits perfectly with the style that the party leader wants to offer, absent from these debates because he is in the Senate. The project is now being processed in committee.

In addition, the PP supported two other acts of the Government: another project of urgent measures to promote the activity of rehabilitation of buildings and a decree law to economically persecute the so-called Russian oligarchsas part of the response to the invasion of Ukraine.

A week later, legislative activity was light. But the PP was the protagonist with a proposal to set up a High Educational Inspection Body whose main foundation is to investigate the alleged persecution suffered by Castilian in Catalonia. An initiative that was rejected by the majority and that only received the support of Vox and Ciudadanos.

The debate took place while in Catalonia a reform of the law was closed to guarantee education in Catalanafter the high court of the community struck him down.

In addition, and with the Andalusian elections already on the horizon, the PP rejected a non-law proposal from Vox that related irregular migration to terrorism, and another motion that pointed to the Ministry of Equality as responsible for all inequalities apart from the one that exists between men and women.

In the plenary session from May 24 to 26, three weeks before the Andalusian elections, the ideological struggle accelerated. The PP put to the vote its bill that sought to reverse the ban on Iberian wolf hunting in certain areas approved by the Government. Vox, for its part, proposed a tightening of the Penal Code for theft crimes.

Both groups supported each other, but their initiatives were overthrown by the parliamentary majority.

But the PP took advantage of this week, and the following ones, to delve into the cracks that exist in the Government in one of the most sensitive matters for the coalition, and to use leverage to prevent them from being healed.

He rejected the so-called law of the only yes is yes of Irene Montero, who still passed the trance and continues its process in the Senate. But, at the same time, he supported the Zerolo law, on Equal Treatment, which the PSOE presented at the time apart from its partner, which caused a tough confrontation within the Executive.

The previous processing of the law of the only yes is yes was another example of how the PP knows that its options go through the fall of the coalition between the PSOE and IU. The PSOE brought an amendment to the Equality Commission of Congress to introduce in this project a slight modification of the Penal Code against pimping (and which was later transformed into a bill, as will be seen below). A move that was denounced not only from the ministry of Irene Montero or from United We Can, but all the groups allied with the Government. And not so much because of the fund, which in some cases too, but because of the way in which it had been managed.

The PP announced its support for the amendment, which made it possible to overcome the veto of the other groups. But PSOE was finally forced to withdraw itwhich allowed those of Feijóo to attack the socialists.

Those of Feijóo also solved a complicated ballot to the PSOE, which days before introduced an amendment to the Audiovisual Law that will allow the big producers of the Atresmedia and Mediaset conglomerates done with funding initially earmarked for independent production companies.

The change, which the Socialists added to the margin of the Government partner (as it was a bill, that is to say that it emanated directly from the Council of Ministers with another wording), caused the majority of the parliamentary allies of the PSOE to get off the law, including the deputies of United We Can who went to abstention. Just like the PP did, which allowed the law to come out. Of course, with fewer votes in favor than abstentions. In the senate repeated the scene and the law is already in force.

In June, the PP has influenced this same strategy. In the plenary session from 7 to 9, he rejected, together with the PSOE, the proposed law of United We Can to introduce, outside the Government, a tax on large fortunes. The same day, those of Feijóo supported a PSOE proposal to punish pimping. The socialists presented it by bypassing the trafficking law that is finalized by the Ministry of Equality.

In addition, the PP abstained from the royal decree law that has introduced a cap on the price of gas in the wholesale market, as well as a tightening of the procedure for drivers who cause accidents with personal consequences after committing serious infractions. He also rejected the new public pension fund, in whose processing in committee he also rejoiced in the differences between the PSOE and United We Can.

The last plenary session held so far, this week, left a majority rejection to allow in Congress the use of co-official languages ​​in certain communities. The PSOE, together with the PP, Vox and Ciudadanos, voted no. The same votes, and some more like the PNV, were added to the rejection of the proposed law of United We Can to modify the Mining Law. Much more majority was the support for the new Law of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The shaky majority that the coalition government has had throughout the legislature, with the comings and goings of some of its allies, has forced the Executive, and not only the socialist party, to sometimes seek the support of the right to carry out some measures. And the PP has learned to use it to its advantage.

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