Alberto Núñez Feijo has insisted on attacking the coalition government for its economic management since he became head of the PP in April 2022. Despite the data, the opposition leader insists on GDP “stagnation”, blames Yolanda Díaz’s Ministry of Labor. “compiled” unemployment lists and highlights a hypothetical cataclysm in public accounts caused by debt and deficits ruled out by the EU. At the same time, he hides his economic project and who embodies it, in addition to rejecting the bet of “face-to-face” Pedro Sánchez: Nadia Calvino.
The PP released the lists for the July 23 election on Wednesday. Expectations for Feijoo’s number two on the Madrid ballot were very high. Historically, the party has sent a clear message with the “ticket” that accompanies its prime ministerial candidate: from Rodrigo Rato to José María Aznar and first to Mariano Rajoy, later to Manuel Pizarro or Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.
Names of great weight within PP. The first-order political assets were called the conduct of the government’s economic policy (or politics in general). After the Pablo Casado (first Adolfo Suarez Ilana, and later Ana Pastor) fiasco, the party trusted their new boss, who came from “the highlands,” as he defines it, to save them from disaster. , restores the path that gave the right-wing so much electoral success.
But Feijo broke the mold by choosing Marta Rivera de la Cruz, the former culture minister of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, behind the militancy of the PP, the former leader of Ciudadanos and a much-criticized party for many years that now shelters him. to return to Congress.
No signs of his economy minister
In the PP, they maintain that Feijoo’s intention was to “show his support for the world of culture” with Rivera de la Cruz and his spokesman and deputy branch secretary Borja Semper. In the same list for Madrid, in addition to his closest collaborators, the PP leader included Semper’s “number two” in Genoa and the writer Jaime de los Santos, as well as the writer and former citizen Aurora Nacarino.
On the same day they published the full lists, Feijoo was interviewed by Federico Jiménez Losantos, who asked about his economic team. A week earlier he had done the same at Onda Cero with Carlos Alsina. Both asked him about the person who was chosen to pilot a key issue in the following years and whose flag was always PP. And both were met with evasion in response.
Feijoo told Alsina that he would change the name “after the election”. Losantos, who did not question the PP leader, let him know that he already has a chosen person and that it will be “very solid” and “unquestionable from a technical and international point of view”. He gave the name: Pablo Vázquez, responsible for re-establishing the party Reformismo21.
But Vázquez is 13th on Madrid’s PP list. And although he has held relevant positions in Spain (from Ineco to Renfe or consultancies such as McKinsey), he has not held a relevant position beyond the borders, least of all in Brussels, where Spain gambles away tens of billions of European funds. in the following. years.
And the rest of the names? The person who will theoretically lead the PP’s economic policy is Juan Bravo, who will be Seville’s number one. Bravo was Juan Manuel Moreno’s economic adviser during his first term in Andalucia, and his profile fits the bill for the next cabinet, but perhaps even more so as the head of the treasury.
Bravo’s team includes several former advisors who have little or no 23J listings. This is the case of Miguel Corgos (who was part of Feijoo’s governments) but who will not attend the Congress; Paloma Martín (former Minister of Environment, Housing and Agriculture whom Ayuso sent to the Senate to anger some who see him ready for bigger challenges) or the former Minister of Economy of Murcia, Luis Alberto Marín and the Balearic Islands. , José Vicente Mari Bosso, and those who lead their respective bulletins. The group is completed by Javier Thibault, one of Fatima Bañez’s top staffers in the Labor Ministry during Rajoy’s governments, and who is also not aspiring to become an MP.
Opaque basis and external reporting
But these names do not contradict the international profile that Feijoo says his economic manager will have. Nor the vice-president and minister of economy, business and innovation, whom the PP leader removed from his successor in the junta. Francisco Conde, who will head Lugo’s list, is cited as one of Feijo’s main assets in the economic field, but with particular frequency in the industrial field.
And so far in the lists of PP. In Genoa, they deny the absence of a clear name that characterizes Feijo’s economic policy. Sources interviewed indicate that the party leader has significant assets beyond the nominations and even within the party’s organic structure.
“These lists are for winning elections,” they note from their national headquarters on Calle de Génova in Madrid. Thus, the purpose of Marta Rivera de la Cruz’s signature would be to attract what is left of the Ciudadanos vote, whose leadership has decided not to participate in the July 23 elections.
“Feyo did not want to identify his referee, he did not want to show it,” said the same sources. “He will tell later,” they note. Probably next Monday. The PP candidate participates in an information event, the New Economy Forum, sponsored by Asisa and Solaria. Perfect frame for advertising. If not, because Feijoo said about Onda Cero that he would solve the unknown after the election.
From the PP candidate team, they also defend that there should not be a strong economic name like Rato was or Calvino. “There is a chorus of economic issues,” they note from Genoa.
But the PP usually owns reports and documents that do not come out of the offices at 13 Calle Génova, but from the building opposite, where the Reformismo21 foundation was temporarily housed. or employer-related “think tanks” such as the IEE. or Fedea, headed by the president of Caixabank.
Pablo Vazquez and his team occupy the 15th mezzanine in Genoa, above one of Santander’s private banking offices. In recent months, the foundation has held only one semi-public act, focused on environmental policy and led by the branch’s former minister and now vice-president of the bank with whom they share an office, Isabelle Tocino.
And who works at Reformismo21? This is the secret. Genoa sometimes floats the name that Feijóo puts together in a team outside the PP organization that joins the advisory board he announced in March 2022 and of which there is no documentary trace.
Together with the foundation they will collaborate, always according to the PP, former Minister of Labor Fatima Bañez, today the leader of CEOE; former Ciudadanos leader Luis Garicano, recently announced signing but who continues to work in the US; Or the one who was the outgoing Minister of Economy, Roman Escolano. The latter has a little more international experience after being vice president of the European Investment Bank, but he is not part of the lists. He is currently working at Kunef, a private university of the Association of Major Banking Employers (ABA).
Feijo thus plays with time, looking for the perfect moment to announce his economic guidance, while attacking the current first vice president, Nadia Calvino. The PP has given up on the economic debate for the moment under the pretext that Calvino is not on the PSOE lists, even though Luis de Guindos was not on the PP lists either in 2011 or 2016. Or maybe because there won’t be any. He is now elected by the leader of the right.
And that the PP chose the economy as one of the main strikes against the government from the start. Twisting the data, sometimes lying, or at the same time saying that the war in Ukraine has an effect, and not, for example, the increase in prices. Or perhaps for this very reason: the lack of reference means that no one has to take responsibility in the first person when Feijo says that, for example, Spain’s economy is “stagnant” even though it is growing, or attacks employment policy when the social security figures are about There are 21 million people who contribute. Historical landmark.
Feijo insists on the spendthrift government mantra that has worked for his party and himself many times in the past. This indicates an increase in debt (which, however, has not stopped falling in relation to GDP since 2020) or likely uncertain government spending, which is not a problem for the European Commission. The government of PSOE and Unidas Podemos presented a bill to Brussels that increases costs and received approval. Even Europe admits a few tenths more. But the PP leader is laying the groundwork for future cuts to the 2024 budget, which some party leaders put at around 20,000 million euros.
Source: El Diario