Pedro Sanchez, Macron's Spanish mannequin? | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

ESpanish conundrum: how is it that after dropping 4 consecutive elections Pedro Sanchez continues to be in energy, sporting his everlasting smile of a stainless winner? In flip, his Socialist Party noticed itself outclassed by its nice right-wing rival, the People's Party (the PP), within the municipal, regional, basic legislative elections and, yesterday, within the European elections the place the conservatives gained by two seats aside. Certainly, the Socialists keep their electoral energy on the lowest degree and acquire greater than 30% of the vote, which lots of their alter egos within the EU see as an unattainable dream.

Why this Spanish anomaly? Certainly, largely, due to a double or nothing made final 12 months by the top of presidency Pedro Sanchez, in energy since 2018, of which maybe – who is aware of? – Emmanuel Macron was impressed when he selected Sunday night to dissolve the National Assembly.

An electoral rout reworked into political success

Although it’s too early to know whether or not the French president acted as a kamikaze or as a intelligent strategist, we will affirm (virtually a 12 months later) that the Spanish chief succeeded within the poker transfer of dissolving the Cortés – the decrease home of the Spanish parliament in Madrid – and the following holding of early elections. This election passed off in July 2023. A month earlier, a beleaguered Pedro Sanchez went all out. A priori, the outcomes don’t smile on him: the favored social gathering clearly wins this election. But it’s a Pyrrhic victory for the best, because the socialist chief will handle to remodel this electoral rout into political success.

Let us put ourselves within the context of the occasions. At the tip of the municipal and regional elections in May 2023, the Spanish socialists obtain a snub from the traditional proper, the People's Party, and the far proper, Vox. They lose a number of key cities and, above all, strategic areas, such because the Balearics, the Valencia area, Aragon and Extremadura. In dozens of municipalities, and in these 4 areas, these contradictory rights are inaugurating an unprecedented alliance and saying divisive adjustments: calling into query the official discourse on Francoism; finish of assist for ladies victims of home violence; household coverage on the antipodes; robust speech towards unlawful immigration, and so on.

Five years after his arrival at La Moncloa (the Matignon in Madrid), Pedro Sanchez sees himself really at risk. To its left, Podemos – the Iberian equal of La France insoumise – has ceased to be a dependable ally. “Everything indicated a backlash from the left and the socialists,” remembers Jesus Maraña, of the newspaper Newsletter. We all felt that the pendulum second had arrived for the best to return to enterprise in any respect ranges, native, regional, nationwide. And that was the shock. »

A twist in reality: he declares an early vote for the tip of July. Pedro Sanchez mainly says to the Spaniards: I’ve a document, we’ve obtained social achievements (enhance within the minimal wage, reform of the labor market, and so on.), I need to rely my individuals, know those that assist me. In different phrases, seeing that the tsunami of a conquering proper is within the strategy of overwhelming him, he calls elections in the course of the suffocating summer season (in France we don't prefer it, in Spain even much less) to attempt to overthrow the desk.

Pedro Sanchez sells his soul to the satan

Landed landing: on the finish of July, Pedro Sanchez's calculation paid off. Of course, he should give floor to the favored social gathering, which obtains 137 deputies and 33% of the votes (in comparison with 121 seats and 31% of the votes for his camp). But the conservatives who’ve linked their electoral fortunes to the rapprochement with Vox, and who due to this fact can not ally themselves with another group, don’t have a adequate majority within the Cortes to type a authorities. The socialist chief, for his half, will win after having misplaced: he units the broom automotive in movement and manages to rally an anthology of small teams, a brand new much less ideological radical left which has crushed Podemos (Sumar), and the events Basque, Galician and Catalan nationalists.

“At that moment,” explains analyst Ignacio Escolar, “Sanchez knows that this is the only way to break the parliamentary deadlock, which also ensures his perpetuation in power. There is only one obstacle for Pedro Sanchez, and a major one: the radical separatists of Junts per Catalunya led by Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalonia who took refuge in Belgium to flee the Spanish justice system which wants indict him for embezzlement of public funds and sedition – in the context of the illegal self-determination referendum of October 2017 punished by Madrid. However, without the seven deputies of this secessionist formation, it is impossible to achieve a majority and therefore to govern.

Traitor or not, Pedro Sanchez still in power

In November 2023, after months of political crisis, the socialist leader sold his soul to the devil: to win the support of these seven fateful deputies, he passed an amnesty law favorable to some 400 Catalan separatist leaders, including Carles Puigdemont. . “He acted without any scruple, to stay in power at all costs,” notes columnist Rafa Latorre. The spirit of this regulation will not be constitutional, as a result of it favors and whitewashes individuals who have violated Spanish legality. It's unfair of him. »

Moreover, since then, this amnesty regulation – very just lately in pressure – has divided the nation: on the best, but additionally generally on the left, many Spaniards are offended that an electoral marketing campaign was paid to a value so excessive, to the purpose of dividing and weakening the nation. “Sanchez, traitor to the country”, have since shouted in unison Alberto Nuñez Feijoo and Santiago Abascal, the leaders of the PP and Vox respectively.

Traitor or not, Pedro Sanchez stays in energy and, in line with basic opinion, shouldn’t be frightened till the tip of his mandate in 2027, as a result of the rights haven’t, at the very least for the second, the power to dethrone him through a movement of censure. For very completely different causes than in France, and in a non-comparable context, the dissolution of the Lower House and the early elections earned Pedro Sanchez the worst accusations of recklessness on the time. In gentle of the details a 12 months later, they had been his passport to getting him again within the saddle.