Already exhausted the reserve of the most terrifying adjectives to disqualify the pardons to the leaders of the process, Pablo Casado has climbed one more step and has placed himself at the level of demands. The leader of the PP has appeared this Wednesday in the control session to the Government in Congress with a categorical claim: that the president resign and call early elections to see if the citizens support the measure. Casado has demanded it of Pedro Sánchez after having predicted the darkest expectations: “You are electorally dead.” The president has ignored the request, has tiptoed past Casado’s attacks to “not enter into his provocations” and has focused on the debate with the independentists, whom he has invited to an “exercise of reflection.”
The claques of socialists and popular were preparing for a day of great duels in Congress. The noise was already guessed from the arrival at the hemicycle of Sánchez and Casado, welcomed in both cases with great ovations from theirs, waiting for the dialectical clash. This unusual excitement has given the leader of the PP the pretext to start his question to the Prime Minister with an admonition to the Socialists: “You are applauding an unfortunate day for the history of democracy in Spain.” And immediately, fire at will: Sánchez came to power lying, he has “disarmed” the State, he “nailed it from the back” to the Spaniards, he has “betrayed his oath to defend national unity” … ” Who do you think you are to speak of a new Spain with 120 seats? ”, The leader of the PP has snapped.
Already in the previous control session, the president showed that his tactic now is not to get too entangled in the reply to the spiral of disqualifications from the right. And this Wednesday he has shown it even more clearly, starting with the initial sarcasm: “I appreciate your constructive tone, Mr. Casado …”. Then he called him a “faltón” and went on to his own list of reproaches: “You insult everyone: the Catalan bishops, the Catalan businessmen who give you many turns in life, the unions … And he says they don’t represent anyone! ” The president also recalled that the Chamber, twice, the last on Tuesday, has endorsed the grace measures with the support of more than 190 of the 350 deputies.
The leader of the PP has left until the end the headline that he brought prepared from home and that his press services immediately spread: “You should resign today and submit this decision to the judgment of the Spaniards, because you have deceived them.” Sánchez had run out of time in the first reply and has not even bothered to answer.
And then the independentistas. ERC spokesman Gabriel Rufián began by limiting himself to one question: what plans does he have for after the pardons? Sánchez has reacted immediately by returning the question: “And what plans does ERC have? What about the Generalitat?” The president has instructed the Esquerra spokesman: “We cannot continue to fracture Catalan society.” And he added: “I am not going to convince you that the best way out is not independence. But what I am going to ask of him is the defense of the constitutional pact, democratic legality and the Statute of autonomy ”. Rufián has been conciliatory and has even thanked him “for his courage in the face of the pack.”
In the public discussion about pardons, Sánchez carries a cross on his shoulders that he will hardly be able to get rid of: his long list of statements, between 2014 and 2019, against the grace measures for convicted politicians and in favor of full compliance with the penalties imposed on the leaders of the process. There is no right-wing deputy who will speak in Congress without having statements from the socialist leader at hand that are contradictory to his decisions today. This time, the independentistas had also rummaged through the newspaper library. Rufián has done it to probe, without obtaining a clear answer, the true intentions of the president: “Is what you do is will or is it necessity?”
Junts’ spokesperson, Miriam Nogueras, has gone down a similar path, with a certain hint of irony: “It would be good for us to know who the real Pedro Sánchez is, the one who says he esteems us or the one who wants to stop Puigdemont.” The real Sánchez did not have much interest in letting himself be dragged into those slippery areas and has opted for friendly messages, while continuing to make requests to the Junts spokeswoman. At one point he has agreed with Nogueras. “The grace measures are not going to solve what is happening in Catalonia,” he admitted, but there must be an “exercise in reflection” which he has invited to join the independence movement.
At the end of the turn of the questions to the president, the arrows on the right have been directed to other members of the Government. The vice president, Carmen Calvo, has tried to get rid of the Vox spokesperson, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, calling this party a “philosophical fascist.” The PP has once again seen its hopes of opening a fissure in the Government with regard to pardons with the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, who had not made a clear statement before the Chamber for two weeks and this time has been very forceful.
The temperature has risen especially with the questions of the deputy of Vox Ignacio Gil-Lázaro to the Minister of Territorial Policy and first secretary of the Catalan Socialists, Miquel Iceta. Gil-Lázaro has managed to, in an intervention lasting two and a half minutes, machine-gunning the Government with an impressive display of denunciations: shameless, betrayal, insult, contempt, vile, disgusting, danger to democracy, cowardly, miserable, hoax , indignity … Iceta has responded with a vibrant intervention that has lifted the Socialists from their seats. “No one has been born to humiliate me and even less to humiliate Spain”, he replied loudly, before concluding: “There will be no amnesty, there will be no self-determination, what there will be is politics , dialogue and consensus ”.