Juan-José López Burniol, 18 February 2023
Alberto Ortega / EP
Podemos has imposed its hardest line against Yolanda Díaz: it has blocked the fast track in the reform of the law of the ‘solo sí es sí’ and is putting pressure on the Socialist Party on the occasion of 8-M, even at the cost of delaying legal changes that are necessary and urgent. This irresponsible disloyalty, perpetrated by a party that forms part of the government, should be the cause of an immediate break-up of the coalition for at least three reasons: a) Because it shows that Podemos puts its electoral calculations before the general interest and, specifically, the interest of the victims harmed by a huge mistake for which they are the main – though not the only ones – responsible. b) Because it makes a clean sweep of the Government’s moral authority. c) Because it mocks President Sánchez, irreparably undermining his leadership capacity in the eyes of Spanish citizens, regardless of their political affiliation.
This should not be tolerated, so that if this situation is not stopped, the damage caused to the institutions will increase in an already unbearable way, precipitating the crisis of the “regime of ’78”, as those who aspire to its dismantling call it. If anyone doubts the truth of what I say, let them think of those who have supported Podemos in this feat, among whom stand out the pro-independence parties for whom – let’s be clear – the worse Spain goes, the better it is for them, many of whom have a manifest hatred of Spain as a nation and of the State that legally articulates it. And here we come to the crux of the matter.
The coalition government is radically harmful because it depends on the pro-independence parties.
I have always maintained that the current coalition government is a legitimate government. I do not need to be constantly reminded of this by its more or less devoted followers. I have never criticised any of its social policies, given that the urgency and seriousness of the people’s needs that they seek to alleviate far outweigh any mistakes that may have been made, if any. I also highly value the external action of President Sánchez, who has regained a position in Europe that a couple of previous presidencies, which it would be better to forget, had abandoned through non-appearance. I even admit that the decision taken on the Sahara, despite having been taken in the worst possible way, was inevitable. Finally, I do not forget that the opposition of the People’s Party over the years has not been in any way acceptable. Suffice it to say that its insane conduct in the renewal of the vacancies on the General Council of the Judiciary.
But all this positive baggage of the current Government does not prevent us from considering that this coalition is radically harmful to Spain for one reason: because its parliamentary viability depends on pro-independence parties whose main objective is the secession of Spain, which requires its prior erosion and consequent weakness. I have no objection to their pretensions, which they are quite free to uphold within the framework of the law; but there is a gulf between this and our making their task easier by allowing them to be decisive when it comes to ordering our coexistence.
I was a supporter of pardons as proof of the magnanimity of an aggrieved state that wants to order and share its future in peace and good harmony. But I maintain that the Penal Code should never have to be modified in exchange for anything. Because of course we have to make politics, negotiate and reach agreements, but not by being subjected to blackmail.
The coalition must be broken now. And then? I am reminded of a similar difficult situation in the past: when Presidents González and Pujol agreed to maintain the legislature, thus making it easier for Spain to hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union, which, as now, fell to Spain in 1995. This invites me to imagine the profound relief this country would feel if Sánchez and Feijóo were able to reach a similar agreement. And if, furthermore, they managed to lay the foundations for an income pact, a pensions pact and a territorial pact, without excluding anyone, but without allowing themselves to be blackmailed by anyone either, then almost all of us would levitate. Dreaming is free.