Four months ago, a few days after being sworn in as President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez predicted a “legislature of stability” and “institutional coexistence.” Two years ago, he promised to guarantee political durability and to “sweat every last drop” to carry out all of his initiatives, including the Budgets for 2024. And just a week ago, he boasted of stability after the the amnesty Today, in the Government, no one talks about balance or assured continuity. Just “optimism”. And that next May 12 will serve “so that people understand what we have done with the amnesty and what its purpose is.”

Catalonia has once again turned the political table upside down just when, with the approval of the amnesty in Congress at Moncloa, they were considering Budgets for 2024 that gave them some oxygen after the result of the Galician elections and the scandalous ‘Koldo case’. But the paths of politics are also inscrutable and the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonés, decided on Wednesday to do a Pedro Sánchez and call, by surprise, early elections after the comuns’ veto of the public accounts.

Even more wood for a legislature of surprises in which corruption in the purchase of masks during the pandemic has returned to the front pages of the newspapers and in which it remains to be seen how far the proverbial survival instinct of the President of the Government reaches.

For now, his first response after the advance payment from the Catalans has been to renounce approving the 2024 Budgets, a decision that has opened a new fissure in the government coalition and caused colossal anger among the socialists with the leader of Sumar, Yolanda. Díaz, who is accused of “irresponsibility” and “lack of authority” in the space he leads for not preventing En Común Podem from pressing the red button that has added uncertainty to the legislature. The criticism is pouring in after Sánchez’s supporters also accused the vice president of not having known how to manage the differences with Podemos that ended with the purple ones in the Mixed Group of Congress. “He doesn’t command his space. He has problems with Más Madrid, with the comuns and even with Compromis. He is incapable of reaching agreements. “Leader of what?” they ask the socialist part of the government.

For its part, Sumar does not understand the president’s decision to renounce the Budgets for 2024, much less announce it when the negotiation was very advanced. Even so, Ernest Urtasun, spokesperson for Yolanda Díaz’s brand, defends that relations with his government partner are “excellent”, that the coalition enjoys “very good health” and that the legislature is not at risk.

Sumar, “in waning phase”

“They haven’t understood anything. Did you think this would have no consequences? Do you think that the budgets could be promoted in the middle of an electoral campaign and that Junts and ERC were going to support them, which at this moment have to measure themselves against the PSC? Díaz has entered “a waning phase.” Neither one nor the other hides that the legislative calendar has been left in stand by and that it will have to be reduced to measures that do not generate disputes between the independence parties.

The second derivative of this new ceremony of the confusion that the Catalan elections have turned the national scene into will be how the result of 12M affects the cohesion of the majority of the investiture. And here there are answers for all tastes. There are those who believe that any result will be “cursed” and those who trust that a victory for Illa in Catalonia “will regenerate the atmosphere” and introduce serenity. Some and others agree that Catalonia is a portfolio “that is going well for the PSOE” after the amnesty pact, although the former fear that a PSC government – ​​whether alone or in coalition – could dissuade Junts from maintain support for Sánchez in Madrid and for the legislature to enter uncharted territory in that case. Be that as it may, Sánchez has already given instructions to work on the Budgets for 2025 with the idea that they can be approved, yes, at the end of the year without knowing whether or not the current parliamentary majority that supports him will be intact by then. .

Sánchez’s first pre-election rally

That Puigdemont has also begun to flirt with the possibility of returning to Spain immediately, even at the risk of being arrested since the amnesty will not be approved before March 12, is a possibility that the Government does not dare to determine if it will influence or not in his electoral expectations, although they are betting that he will not return. “He is not willing to spend a single day in jail. In fact, he already threatened that possibility in the previous campaign and never did it. Now, neither,” predicts a minister, who also does not contemplate the reissue of an independence government of ERC and Junts, such as the relations between the two are. The Republicans, for the moment, believe that their objective to beat at this moment is the PSC, although no one rules out that both could understand each other after the elections depending on how the correlation of forces turns out.

For now, Pedro Sánchez will offer his first pre-electoral rally this Sunday within the framework of the Catalan socialist congress, an event that was set on the calendar for a long time and, however, now with the advance of the elections it becomes more relevant. But everything that is not a campaign will go into pause mode until after 12M that will redraw the map of alliances again, and not only in Catalonia.

Given what may happen after 12M, but also in the Basque elections on April 21 and the European elections on June 9, the PP for its part is preparing for any scenario, including a hypothetical early election in Spain for after the summer. This is what the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, has said, who also drew a Sánchez “adrift”, “absolutely knocked out” and in the hands of the “voracity of the independence movement”.

The PP, without a candidate but with an upward trend

And this, despite the fact that the popular ones have been caught off guard by these Catalan elections because in no case did they imagine that they could be called before the European elections in June, an event with which they hoped to gain momentum since they take defeat for granted. to Sanchez. At the moment, they still have no candidate for the Generalitat because the option of Alberto Fernández is not to the liking of Genoa, although their expectations are high because they practically start from the irrelevance to which the polls relegated them in 2021 with only 3 seats. Now, they seek to absorb the entire Ciudadanos vote, take advantage of a declining Vox and capitalize on the national strength given to them by the polls to gain influence in Catalan politics.

However, they understand that Sánchez’s refusal to present the budgets for 2024 “is a symptom of a weakness that will increase, whether Illa governs Catalonia or not” and that there is nothing that can straighten the course of a legislature that was possible only “because of the surrender of the PSOE with the amnesty.”

Add to the succession of electoral appointments in April, May and June the news that comes out of the courts about the ‘Koldo case’ and about the crimes of tax fraud and document falsification for which Isabel Díaz Ayuso’s partner is being investigated and you will have the complete picture of the politics that will accompany us until the summer. Of course everything, as always, is susceptible to getting worse.


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