Alberto Núñez Feijo took the helm of the PP five months ago with the mission to leave no trace of Pablo Casado’s failed phase as popular leader. The former junta president landed on Genova Street wrapped in a halo of political moderation and a sense of statesmanship that has not yet crystallized into an agreement with the government or the renewal of constitutional bodies such as the CGPJ. or to take shock measures against the economic consequences of war.
In fact, the so-called “Feiyo effect” is more about the challenge of turning the PP into a political machine that can compete to win general elections and, above all, still govern. In complete contrast to what the majority of popular cadres perceived under the leadership of Casado. In this arrangement, the Galician politician begins, more or less covertly, to touch on keys that were anathema not so long ago, such as the tension with the PNV, a party with a long tradition of making pacts with the popular in Congress. And the one who blew up the bridges with demands for censorship that ended with Mariano Rajoy outside Moncloa.
“On many issues it is easier to talk with PNV and Inigo Urculo than with Vox,” Feijoo said. The last interview was given to El País. This phrase goes beyond the simple winking of the Basque nationalists and contradicts this open-handed attempt to distance itself, at least dialectically, from the extreme right to meet a strategic ally of popularity in governments such as those of Castilla y León, Murcia or Madrid. society. The conclusion of the new popular direction is that this alliance only means weight in Feijo’s wings on the way to Moncloa, because, in practice, it isolates the PP from any possibility of collusion with other political forces. Or what is the same: the closer the PP is to VOX, the more reserved parliamentary alliances for Pedro Sánchez.
After years of absolute isolation, the new leader of the populace seems determined to rebuild bridges. As president of Galicia, he already maintained a fluid relationship with his Basque counterpart, Lehendakari Urqullus, with whom he came to Brussels to share the political cause of protecting Basque and Galician shipyards. Fayo also had a brief conversation this summer with Andón Ortúzar, president of the PNV, during a tribute to Miguel Ángel Blanco in Ermúa (Bizkaia). And from there came the meeting that the two would meet alone only after the summer.
This will be the first time that Feijo and Ortuzar will face each other, and it already marks a qualitative change from the Casado era, which has never had a meeting of this type. In fact, the stint of the former leader of the PP only served to deepen the gap between the two conservative formations with a constant exchange of accusations and reprimands. “The PNV is not center-right because it supports the most radical government,” Casado criticized during a campaign event for the last Basque elections. The former head of the popular party has never made any gestures of love for a traditional ally like the PNV, lamenting that in the Basque country “more than 70% of the parliamentary arch” is occupied by the PNV and Bildu, the two parties. In his opinion, “either they ask for prison relief, bypass ETA, or they don’t condemn 850 crimes.”
His political line, marked by competition with VOX, also led Casado to promise restrictions on the Basque Country’s self-government, such as the abolition of powers in prison matters. Andoni Ortúzar responded by calling some of the statements “bravado” which he believes “brings the PP closer to Orbán’s extreme right”. The dysfunctional political environment between the two formations led the PNV president to predict that Sánchez’s government would last “for a long time”.
In fact, it all blew up with the motion of knowledge that evicted Mariano Rajoy from Montcloi in June 2018 after the PP was convicted in the Gürtel case. Just a few weeks before this court decision, the People’s Party managed to pass the general state budget thanks to the PNV, which was committed to guaranteeing the stability of the remaining legislature. But that stability only lasted a few days, as Basque nationalists eventually backed a motion that would make Pedro Sánchez the president of the government. A “betrayal” from the point of view of the then PP leadership, which not only took away the close personal relationship between Andóni Ortúzar and Mariano Rajoy, but also any hint of political cooperation between the two formations in the medium term.
Before that, as well as periods of confrontation and distance, this relationship between the PP and the PNV was never uncommon, neither under Rajoy nor during the presidency of José María Aznar, who was inaugurated in 1996 thanks to Jordi’s support. Pujol’s CIU and Xabier Arzalluz’s PNV. These were the years of the PP’s strategic alliance with the Basque and Catalan nationalists, who provided Aznar with parliamentary stability for the large doses of self-governance he captured during his mandate. Specifically in the Basque case, Vice President Rodrigo Rami in 1997 agreed to the Vice Lehendacar, Juan José Ibarretxe, greater fiscal autonomy for the Basque Country, signing an economic agreement and quotas for the five-year period 1997-2001.
Now, Alberto Núñez Feijoo’s road map seems to be aimed at regaining the ability to understand. After taking the leadership of the opposition, the PP agreed to sign its first government coalition with VOX in Castilla y León and avoided this scenario thanks to Juan Moreno’s absolute majority in Andalucia, a scenario today unthinkable for popular people. general election.
Eager to find formulas that will distance him from the isolation of the extreme right, that will allow him to build alternative alliances to Abascal’s party and, among other things, reduce the support of the PSOE, Feijo is now on the path of rapprochement with the countries. The PNV has increasingly criticized the Sánchez government for its “lack of dialogue” every time it takes measures such as the energy decree, which requires parliamentary support from investment partners.
For now, Basque nationalists are cautious, insisting that the PNV “will have nothing to do with the PP” as long as Feijo “remains tied to the extreme right”. However, it is no secret that the Basques are nationalists. First interested in opening all possible avenues of agreement before the explosion of the PP in Madrid, which ended with the expulsion of Casado from the Genoa 13, Andoni Ortuzar himself said: “I hope that Feijo or whoever re-forms the PP, we need him, to be strong.” After the holidays, he’ll have a chance to tell her directly.
Source: El Diario