The leader of the Popular Party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, arrived in Genoa with the flag of moderation. But nothing has changed with respect to the strategy of his predecessor, Pablo Casado, considered to be from the most right wing of the party. Two years after the Galician leader’s arrival in Madrid, the control sessions of Congress are a recital of insults, attacks and hoaxes against the Government.

This strategy of harassment and demolition, with Vox as a secondary actor, has intensified in recent weeks due to the news about the ‘Koldo case’ scandal. Cocaine, prostitutes, “Sanchista filth” or “Extorted government” are just a few verbatim words that came out just a week ago from the mouths of Feijóo’s PP deputies, who precisely promised not to insult Pedro Sánchez but to beat him.

“What a shameful and unedifying control session.” It was the summary of Aitor Esteban, spokesperson for the PNV, about the parliamentary spectacle that took place last Wednesday in the Congress of Deputies. The staging was one of many in recent weeks in which the Popular Party has activated all parliamentary resources to attack the Government. And the PSOE, which has decided to respond with more attacks, turned what until now was a training session on a punching bag into a hand-to-hand confrontation on the canvas.

First it was the amnesty, then the ‘Koldo case’ and now it is Sánchez’s wife, Begoña Gómez. The PP has mounted an offensive against Sánchez for the meetings that his partner held as part of his work at the Business Institute with a parent company of Air Europa, an airline that was later rescued by the Government in the midst of the pandemic, as happened with other companies. similar companies in other surrounding countries. On the 18th, the Conflict of Interest Office filed the complaint filed by the PP against Sánchez for this issue, but despite this, Feijóo’s party and the right-wing media terminals have maintained the attacks.

In that last session of control of the Government, the ten parliamentary questions of the Popular Party – and also those of the extreme right –, which included questions about the Spanish economy, child poverty or the disaffection of young people for equality, included accusations towards the Government for corruption.

The new escalation of tension in Congress occurs on the eve of three electoral campaigns: the Basque elections are on April 21, the Catalan elections are on May 12, and the European elections are on June 9. And all will have their echo in national politics. The scenario is reminiscent of what was experienced a little less than a year ago, just before the regional and municipal elections, when the PP flooded the public debate with allusions to ETA, the terrorist group that disappeared almost six years ago.

“Everything is a lie and so is her government”, “she is becoming the leaker of the Council of Ministers” [en alusión a la vicepresidenta primera, María Jesús Montero] or “they are a government riddled with corruption” were some of the phrases that came from the PP deputies directed at the socialist bench. All of them are headed by the reflections of their own leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who threatened Sánchez with a parliamentary and even judicial investigation if he did not give explanations about “the matters that affect his most immediate environment”, that is, the couple. of the.

The PP spokesperson, Borja Sémper, also warned this Monday that the popular party will continue to make an “implacable opposition.” “It’s what we have to do,” he said at a press conference. “The opposition has to ask the Government in the control sessions and sometimes it has to be tough and forceful,” he justified.

He then complained about how the Government and the PSOE treat his party and even himself. “Hey, they have made videos of me. This Government, this PSOE. I’m also a badass. We are all fachas as long as you disagree with Pedro Sánchez, we all polarize, as long as you disagree with Pedro Sánchez. And this cannot be,” he lamented.

Just one day before, the Madrid president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, had called the Government “Chavista” and “Putinist.” From Chile, where he was on an official trip, he spoke of “corruption, guns and wads of cash” in the ‘Koldo case’ and defended his chief of staff against the threats he made against journalists from this newspaper and El País just recently. few days.

The PSOE counterattacks

In the last control session of the Government and after the aforementioned accusations from Feijóo, Sánchez replied: “Governing is not living in the Moncloa nor in two apartments valued at two million euros paid with tax fraud to the Treasury.” He was referring to the homes of Alberto González Amador, Ayuso’s partner. “Are they going to hold Mrs. Ayuso accountable? Are they accomplices or is Feijóo afraid of ending up like Casado? “Is it true that Mr. Feijóo’s wife’s company received aid from the Xunta?” the first vice president of the Government, María Jesús Montero, continued later.

The reaction of the parties attending the session was eloquent. “A bar fight”, “a boxing match”, some deputies lamented after attending the clash between PP and PSOE. The confrontation does not even end when the cameras are turned off and the politicians meet in environments that have usually left more room for cordiality. In one of the last meetings of the Board of Spokespersons, the socialist Patxi López and the popular Miguel Tellado starred in a very tense moment.

The PSOE has decided to directly confront the PP. Respond to their attacks with more attacks. “Last term we learned that we cannot remain silent in the face of lies,” reasoned this week one of the people closest to the president. “We saw that not confronting their attacks and lies takes a toll. And that is why we now respond. But the noise strategy is theirs, we only put them in front of the mirror,” maintains that same source.

The first person outraged by the PSOE’s new tactics is its government partner. Sumar believes that it is a mistake to enter the mud with the Popular Party because in that field the right always wins. “In that strategy of the and you more, we know well who wins. I’m not going to do it, don’t count on me for this,” the second vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, complained this Thursday in an interview on Onda Cero. “Politics turned into a quagmire, into insults, into noise, into him and you more,” she lamented.

“Today we had a bad control session, with bad forms and bad content. “Spanish politics cannot once again become a bipartisan quagmire, a cockfight between PP and PSOE,” said Sumar’s parliamentary spokesperson, Íñigo Errejón, that same Wednesday, a sentiment shared by the entire bench of the Government’s minority partner.

But not only Sumar is outraged by the spectacle of recent weeks. Virtually all of the Government’s partners have complained about the harsh tone that the right has installed in Parliament, which, although it is not new, does clash with the slogans that Feijóo launched after arriving in Genoa and also with the reaction of the socialists.

“Boxing match”

“Horror,” ERC deputy Teresa Jordà described in the halls of Congress. The Republican parliamentarian asked the “two parties of the ’78 regime” to look at each other and recognize that “this cannot continue like this.” “This can only lead to disaffection,” she said Thursday. His party colleague Francesc-Marc Vidal also criticized from the podium on Wednesday the “spectacle” of both parties, “a bar fight,” he said, which only leads to the image that politics “stinks” and that it favors the anti-system parties like Vox.

Junts deputy Pilar Calvo described the session as a “boxing match.” “Instead of taking drastic measures against the corrupt, and they have a few, left and right, they force us to watch an electoral fight, which uses the loudspeaker of scarf journalism,” she said.

“What is people’s conclusion about this? Well, this is a muddy mess, that politics is nothing more than mud, that everything is dirty in politics and that there is no distinction between one and the other,” Aitor Esteban lamented a day later, during the debate in Congress for the creation of the investigation commission on pandemic contracts, which went ahead thanks to the votes of the investiture bloc and with the abstention of the Popular Party. “They have no forgiveness, really,” he said.

The spokesperson for EH Bildu, Oskar Matute, also asked in that debate to “escape from the spectacle” of the 20th. “It is not very edifying because it seems more like a tennis match with an infinite tie than a search for the truth,” he considered.

Podemos deputy Javier Sánchez Serna said that he would not allow the PSOE and the PP to dedicate themselves to “and you more” while the Government renounces social measures with the extension of the budgets. Néstor Rego, the BNG deputy, spoke of an “embarrassing spectacle.” And Cristina Valido, from the Canarian Coalition, compared Congress to a “tavern.”

Although self-criticism in the main opposition party does not reach the microphones, it does circulate in some internal chats, which El País reported and to which has had access. “Yeah [Fejóo] came to change politics, what is changing is the way people perceive it. Before he felt sorry for him. Now it disgusts him,” maintain the private messages of PP deputies, which include comments such as “neighborhood bullies.”


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