Sunday, election night. The PP candidate, Alejandro Fernández, says that the May 12 elections had “finished” the process. Tuesday, national headquarters of the PP. The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, disavows his, for now, man in Catalonia: “The process is not dead.” This radical change in the speech in 48 hours has caught his candidate on the wrong foot. But not only. Other regional leaders have had to modulate his message to adapt it to the electoral needs of their leader.

Feijóo launched this Tuesday the pre-campaign for the European elections before the National Executive Committee of the PP, where the leadership and the regional barons sit. The leader of the party harangued his people to achieve a “maximum mobilization” in elections in which his opposition project to Pedro Sánchez is at stake.

Genoa strategists are already preparing the discursive lines of the campaign. And the amnesty for the leaders of the process, unlike what happened in the recent Catalan elections, will be one of the main assets. “The sensitivity is different in Tarragona than in Segovia,” according to the arguments of management sources.

And for the amnesty to be a key element in the European campaign, the process has to remain in force. Despite the fact that for the first time in history a non-independence party has won the elections in votes and seats without an independentist alternative to add, as happened to Ciudadanos in 2017. And despite the fact that the first resignations have already occurred: the president outgoing, Pere Aragonès, has given way to Oriol Junqueras at the head of ERC.

“The process has not died because ‘sanchismo’ needs it alive to survive in Moncloa,” Feijóo said. The leader of the PP also maintained in his speech that “the improvement” of the PP led by Alejandro Fernández “is spectacular.” An increase that “is what really means the effective descent into the process,” in his own words.

And how are both ideas combined? For Feijóo, the process is still alive because Pedro Sánchez is the President of the Government. “For there to be a truly new stage in Catalonia, a new stage would also be essential in Spain. It is impossible to bury the process in Catalonia while it is maintained from Moncloa,” said the PP leader.

But in the PP there are those who think differently. Not only Alejandro Fernández, who this Tuesday, before his boss’s speech, insisted that “the verdict of the polls is final” and that the Catalans “have conveyed” the message that “the process is over.” “It has to end. And I want to be loyal to that unequivocal message,” he added, later qualifying: “I would like to think that the PSOE gets that message, but I fear that they will continue to deepen it with the help of Carles Puigdemont.”

Fernández and Feijóo were already on the edge of contradiction in the middle of the electoral campaign, when the candidate opened himself to conditional post-electoral support for Salvador Illa. The national leader of the PP rejected it. This same Tuesday, other PP barons supported Alejandro Fernández’s nuanced speech. Of course, before listening to his leader.

“Collectively, Catalonia has come to the conclusion that independence is a chimera that has no viability in a constitutional or European framework. And that is precisely what these elections have reflected, the plummet of independence,” said the Andalusian president, Juan Manuel Moreno. “Catalan citizens have come to the conclusion that independence is a utopia after the application of 155, after judicial and police action, after no one’s international recognition,” he said in statements to the press on the street. from Genoa.

“They have realized that it has clearly gone wrong. A lot of companies that left Catalonia, a lack of credibility of the institutions themselves, a discredit of Catalonia itself, and I think that all of this has served as a stimulus for many citizens to know that the independence option is not real,” he concluded. .

Moreno also entered into the issue of the governability of Catalonia to point out that Illa, as winner of the elections, should ask for the support of the PP for his investiture. And, then, it would be the PP’s turn to decide whether to give it to them. “If Mr. Illa wants an agreement, what he has to do is ask for it through official and normal channels. And the second thing, start respecting the PP and logically respecting the PP program, because if not, it will be practically impossible.”

In the PP there are leaders who believe it is a mistake to allow themselves to become entangled in the debate on governability in Catalonia because, they maintain, the 15 PP deputies alone cannot guarantee anything. The arithmetic outcome of the polls forces other groups to also be part of the equation to make Illa president and, for the moment, that scenario has not been considered.

Fernández’s continuity

The mess of statements motivated Alejandro Fernández to publish two tweets trying to qualify his own words. All during the meal that Feijóo usually celebrates with his barons at the conclusion of the executive councils. With the diners seated at the table, Fernández wrote: “The voters have voted to end the process, but the problem is still there.” Then, he insisted: “It’s okay to manipulate, please. We Catalans have voted to ‘end the process’. But it is evident that Sánchez, Illa and Puigdemont intend to continue it.”

Fernández thus supported the idea expressed by Feijóo a few minutes before that, after the European elections, Sánchez will make Puigdemont president of the Generalitat to remain in Moncloa.

The comings and goings of statements come when the national leadership of the PP has not resolved the continuity of Alejandro Fernández at the head of the party in Catalonia. Despite the success that, they say, was achieved on May 12, neither Cuca Gamarra on Sunday, nor Borja Sémper on Monday, nor Feijóo himself on Tuesday wanted to confirm in public that Fernández will be his bet to lead the Catalan PP, pending renovation for years.

The answer will come, at the very least, after the Europeans, to which Feijóo has launched a slaughter. “Having the leadership of the alternative to the process in Catalonia is a great step to lead the project of harmony, unity and equality of all Spaniards,” he said before his leaders. “We will do it at the polls and we will do it in the streets. In the demonstration on May 26 for the equality of all Spaniards,” he concluded. In the act, the amnesty will be key, but not as a hypothetical resolution of the process, but as a new element that cements it.


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