Spain: the strategy of the left, the bets of the right

 Know the strategies of part and part of the politicians in Spain.

In April, the Socialist Party is at stake for the government of Spain, facing a right divided between the classic Partido Popular, Ciudadanos and the extremists of Vox. What will happen to Podemos? What can the confluences of the left in the municipalities and the autonomous communities contribute? How will the Catalan crisis operate in the electoral framework? What are the "ideas of Spain" that are put into play? The analyst Joan Subirats analyzes the deepest cleavages of the Spanish political reality in this exclusive interview with Nueva Sociedad.

In recent weeks there have been various events in Spain. In the first place, a powerful right-wing demonstration was launched against Pedro Sánchez for his negotiations with the independentistas in Catalonia. Later, the president of the government was unable to get his budget approved. Finally, Sánchez had to call elections. What is the reason for the weakness of the Sánchez government? Why has the government of socialism, which replaced the Popular Party after the triumph of a motion of censure, not been able to sustain itself over time?

The situation of the Sánchez government has been very weak from the beginning. The amalgamation of support that he obtained for the motion of censure against Mariano Rajoy was almost miraculous. It was possible, in part, because Rajoy did not want to advance the motion. This allowed the different political groups to agree on removing Rajoy. However, they did not agree on the alternative proposal. The situation in Catalonia, the tensions in Podemos, and another series of conflicts, meant that the parliamentary groups only had one agreement: that of Rajoy's dismissal. In short, that was what it was about: dismissing Rajoy rather than supporting Sánchez. Therefore, the socialist president was always weakened.

However, with a Popular Party discredited by corruption and adjustment, in addition to its erratic management of the Catalan situation, it seemed that Sánchez (having gotten rid of Susana Díaz and the most right-wing sector of the PSOE) had some kind of possibility of building a larger consensus. What affected you along the way?

I think that, at this point, the conflict in Catalonia had a lot of weight. The position of Sánchez, who is in favor of dialogue, contrasts with the position of the territorial barons of the PSOE, who have an idea of ​​Spain that confuses equality with homogeneity. From the perspective of the barons, treating a reality that is very diverse in a different way is not part of the options to be evaluated or taken into account. The Popular Party has used the Catalan case for many years to strengthen its political position. In addition, it served to divert public attention from the acts of corruption that involved him. To all this, we must add the appearance of Ciudadanos, a party that was born in Catalonia in the fight against the sovereignist process. By forming a coalition between the Popular Party and Ciudadanos, they manage to take advantage of the weaknesses generated by the Catalan case by attacking the Socialist Party led by Sánchez, which is close to the idea of ​​a plurinational Spain, but without fully defining itself. In this sense, the Popular Party, together with Ciudadanos, has managed to manage that tension to erode the Socialist Party and use the weakness of Podemos. This also weakened Podemos, which points more clearly to a multinational model, and that also generates its own contradictions.

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