In his most difficult federal committee since he arrived at La Moncloa, Pedro Sánchez has worked this Saturday to inject the 300 components of the main decision-making body of the PSOE the conviction that "victory is possible" in the general elections of July 23, despite the very hard blow that the municipal and regional elections of 28-M have supposed, A fateful night for the socialists in which, without expecting it, they lost almost all their institutional power. The party was still digesting that result — it will retain only three of the nine communities it presided over — when the modification of the electoral lists of the territories for the general elections, in which Ferraz intervened on Friday without prior notice, ignited the spirits. "The history of the PSOE is a collective task where the general interest must prevail," Sánchez emphasized to quell the internal noise, in a speech in which he has not made the slightest self-criticism for the electoral results and has claimed without nuances the work of his Government: "We have done what had to be done. We have an exceptional balance on the table," he said in an open speech.
In his final argument, already behind closed doors, Sánchez has transmitted a message of confidence in the triumph that has put the entire federal committee on its feet, according to several of the attendees consulted by EL PAÍS: "We have climbed the 8,000 meters every day in these five years and I do not see an environment of change. Someday I will stop being president of the Government, but not on July 23," he said. "Things are said here," he also said, alluding to the reproaches of some of the barons.
The two most critical territorial leaders of the PSOE – Emiliano García-Page, president of Castilla-La Mancha, and Javier Lambán, of Aragon, one of the great defeaters on 28-M – have not attended the federal committee, which despite the previous storm has approved the lists, by show of hands, unanimously. Lambán has shown his anger on social networks: "The Socialists of Zaragoza and Teruel democratically elaborated magnificent candidacies to the Congress and the Senate. I am very sorry that citizens will not have the opportunity to vote for them." García-Page, the only one of the barons who revalidated the absolute majority on 28-M, did not rule out attending, but has finally decided to leave. García-Page forced the PSOE on Friday to rectify the change that the federal list commission intended to make in the province of Toledo, where it was going to relegate Sergio Gutiérrez, secretary of Organization of the PSOE of Castilla-La Mancha, to second place and put Milagros Tolón, mayor of Toledo, as head of the list.
The discomfort over the modification of the electoral lists also reigned among declared sanchistas such as Luis Tudanca, secretary general of the PSOE of Castilla y León, or the still mayor of Valladolid, Óscar Puente, who has not attended the conclave either. Finally, all these outstanding absences – Adrián Barbón, the president of Asturias, had reserved the date for months for the wedding of a friend – have greatly reduced the tension that preceded the federal committee, where, in the debate behind closed doors, 21 leaders have asked for the floor. All have appealed to the closing of ranks and to throw the rest on 23-J. Toulon, president of the federal committee, has given way to Sánchez asking for unity and that "nobody lends himself to make a useful fool of the right", in a reference that many present have understood that it was addressed to the critical barons. The federal committee, despite the expectation that preceded it, has only lasted three hours, another test of the closing of ranks despite the turbulence and internal discrepancies on account of the lists.
Ximo Puig (right), leader of the PSPV, and Luis Tudanca, leader of the PSOE of Castilla y León, at the meeting of the PSOE federal committee, at the party's headquarters in Madrid. Andrea Comas
"Once again, the decisive hour has arrived. And Spain's progress will depend on our electoral victory. The first thing I want to tell you is that victory is possible, "Sanchez has turned to lift spirits in the midst of a rather dismal atmosphere. "The great responsibility for what happens on July 23 lies with us, with the socialists." To reinforce this message that nothing is written, the secretary general of the PSOE has celebrated that the agreement between Sumar and Podemos has been fulfilled, the first condition that was necessary, according to all the polls, so as not to rule out in advance the reissue of the left-wing Executive in La Moncloa. "On May 28 there was a concentration of the conservative vote around only two forces and a strong dispersion of the vote to our left. That is why, precisely for this reason, the agreement announced yesterday is more than positive news. Unity is a first sign of responsibility because it avoids uselessly dispersing energies. And responsibility is the condition to leave behind the sterile noise and to concentrate on what really matters to citizens, "Sánchez stressed in an intervention in which he pointed out other people's errors but did not mention the result of the PSOE, which lost 400,000 votes and its main communities and municipalities.
In the same line, the socialist leader has claimed the leading role of the PSOE and has remarked that the responsibility of not allowing Spain to have a government of PP and Vox is "non-transferable" of the Socialists. And at all times he has addressed not so much the left-wing electorate as a "social majority" that, "vote what you vote", supports, in his opinion, the great bets of the PSOE to "improve Spain", from the fight against climate change to economic measures.
The flag of an economy "that goes like a motorcycle" and that is not "stagnant" – as Alberto Núñez Feijóo says – and the "impeccable" management in a legislature marked by the pandemic and the rise in prices due to the war in Ukraine has been and will be the trump card that Sánchez will play to try for re-election on 23-J. "We have done what had to be done, We have literally left our skin, this record of service we have to claim, today more than ever, "he reiterated. "We have an exceptional balance on the table, we have everything. [PP and Vox] They don't want to talk about economics because they don't know what to say. All they can think of is babbling old recipes. We have a plan and they have nothing. We have Nadia and they have no one," he riveted, vindicating the first vice president. "When time proves us right, it is clear that the only unreal and phantasmagorical thing is the economic alternative of the PP. As unreal as it does not exist," he added, valuing the growth forecast of 2.1% for this year, one of the lowest inflations in the EU or the 20.8 million affiliated to Social Security.
The discordant voice has been put by Luis Tudanca, one of the territorial leaders most related to Sánchez. The secretary general of the PSOE of Castilla y León, who has been much harder on arrival than inside according to sources present, has manifested himself at the doors of Ferraz "enormously disappointed and indignant" with the changes in the lists of Valladolid and Ávila that the federal commission of lists approved on Friday without taking into account the criterion of the second federation that gave more deputies to the PSOE in 2019. "I'm disappointed, but this country has a lot at stake. The most important thing is that and we are going to use ourselves with force to prevent a government like that of the PP and Vox in Castilla y León from happening again, "said Tudanca who later, in the federal committee, has closed his intervention with his unequivocal support for Sánchez: "We are going to leave the skin to win the next elections with the lists that are approved in this federal committee. " . Óscar Puente, mayor of Valladolid, who planned to speak, did not attend the meeting. Sources of the regional leadership explain that "it was the best" given their anger. Puente is one of the leaders who has always been by Sánchez's side.
Ximo Puig, who on May 28 lost the Government of the Valencian Community although the number of votes and seats increased, has been much more temperate than Tudanca, despite the discomfort that the changes introduced by Ferraz in the lists to the Congress and the Senate have also caused in his federation. "Whoever makes the decision of the lists has to explain it," Puig has limited himself to saying at the entrance of the federal committee, in which he has stressed, however, that he has attended the conclave to "support Pedro Sánchez to be president of the Government in decisive elections. " "I come in a positive mood. Who is going to decide my future are the Valencians. I have a very clear conscience having fulfilled the values of socialism, linked to humility and not to arrogance, to solidarity and not to narcissism," he concluded in terms that some have interpreted as a message to his internal adversaries. Then, already in the federal committee, he has supported Sánchez and his candidacy on 23-J without acrimony: "This is a majority project that should aspire to be a majority where appropriate. We have only one way out: to be the first party in the country." "The question is not so much how to defeat the right, but how to convince the Spaniards. That said, our adversaries would do well not to underestimate us: we are a party that does not take a step back, "said the first secretary of the PSC, Salvador Illa.
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