It didn’t take Pedro Sánchez even a week to return to Catalonia and take advantage of Salvador Illa’s victory to catapult Teresa Ribera’s candidacy to the European Championships on June 9. From Barcelona, ​​the President of the Government has presented the current Third Vice President as the one who can confront the “far-right international” that threatens the continent.

The meeting of the socialists at the Palau de Congressos, together with some 1,500 militants, has served them at the same time to celebrate the victory of Illa, whom everyone already hailed as “president”, and to give themselves a boost of self-esteem. ahead of the European Parliament elections. The victory would be his long-awaited “four in a row”, as they defined it during the rally, after managing to maintain the presidency of the Government, becoming the mayor of Barcelona and having the Palau de la Generalitat within reach.

During their interventions, Sánchez and Illa have used the results of Catalonia last 12M as an example of endorsement of a discourse of “coexistence” that Europe also needs. “We need more progressives at the head of community institutions,” Sánchez claimed.

The President of the Government has pointed out the “surrender of the traditional right to the speeches and ideology of the extreme right” as one of the factors that “breaks democracies and societies.” And immediately afterwards he mentioned the visit to Madrid of the Argentine president Javier Milei along with other extreme right leaders. “The far-right international,” as he has called them, is a current that assures that it denies science, women’s rights and social justice and that it must be fought, he has stressed.

Sánchez has placed Ribera in front of these politicians. “I don’t want the scissors of the men in black or the extreme right with their chainsaw to return, but rather more coexistence and social justice,” he insisted.

Ribera herself has referred to far-right ideology as the main threat to European democracies. “The imagery of fascism, verbal aggressiveness, distortion of words and contempt for people returns to the streets. That cannot be tolerated,” she cried.

The vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition recalled that the best years in the history of Spain are “directly linked” to Brussels. And she has also used the Catalan case for her interests. “In the same way that we have overcome a lost decade of tension in the streets,” she started in reference to the process, “this same thing must be taken care of on all fronts,” she pointed out about European politics.

Illa, hailed as “president”

The socialist meeting was attended by the mayor of Barcelona, ​​Jaume Collboni, and also by four other ministers: María Jesús Montero, Félix Bolaños, Pilar Alegría and Jordi Hereu.

Illa, amid shouts of “president”, welcomed the attendees to “a Catalonia that has opened a new stage”. And both he and Sánchez have subsequently not hesitated to attribute their good results to the granting of pardons and amnesty. “Those of us who defended that in politics, as in life, forgiveness is more powerful than resentment, and coexistence than confrontation,” the president celebrated.

In this sense, Sánchez has accused the PP and Vox of looking at the past of the process with “longing.” “When coexistence wins,” he insisted, “they are left without speech.” Likewise, he has blamed them for fueling a “catastrophism” about the economic and social reality that he has described as the “biggest hoax.”

Sánchez has assumed in his speech that Illa will be the next president of the Generalitat, and neither of the two wanted to give prominence this Saturday to the negotiations that he will have to undertake to achieve this. There have been no messages, neither direct nor veiled, for Carles Puigdemont, whom the Socialists have already ruled out investing, nor for ERC, in low hours after their setback.


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