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CRUSHING VICTORY: Pablo Casado. CRUSHING VICTORY: Pablo Casado. Partido Popular

AT the time when Pedro Sanchez launched his Vote of No Confidence against Mariano Rajoy and his Partido Popular government, the PSOE would never have won a general election.

Sanchez is in the Moncloa only because the censure motion was supported by Cataluña’s pro-independence parties as all agreed that ousting Rajoy was more important at that moment than ideology.

But the PDeCat recently celebrated its Annual Conference, raising party president and Cataluña’s self-exiled ex-president Carles Puigdemont to still greater heights of sainthood.

No matter that only 15 per cent of PDeCat card-carriers bothered to vote and only 65 per cent of those who did vote, voted for Puigdemont.

The party’s new vice-president announced almost immediately that the PDeCat MPs in the national parliament in Madrid have been told to withdraw all support for Pedro Sanchez.

So two things are obvious:  PDeCat wants trouble, not dialogue, and Pedro Sanchez has learnt the hard way that you’re never safe when your survival depends on someone you can’t depend on.

 

Forward to the past

THERE’S no “back to the future” for the Partido Popular now that it has Pablo Casado as party president.

Confounding pundits, observers and soothsayers, the expected catfight between Soraya Saenz de Santamaria and Dolorers de Cospedal did not take place.

Instead there was an arm-wrestling contest between former vice-president Saenz de Santamaria and ex-communications chief Casado and the latter crushed the former’s tiny hand.

He has the air of an Albert Rivera clone but is a young fogey cast in the political mould of Jacob Rees Mogg.

He doesn’t want dialogue with Cataluña and does want to reform existing abortion laws as he does not regard termination as a right.  Ah yes, and he considers that “feminism is a social collectivism that the centre-right has to combat.”

All of which will endear him to the far-right who always vote PP come what may but will alienate the undecided who are the people Casado must woo. 

At least it’s good news for Pedro Sanchez.

 

A lighter shade of grey

JOSE MARIA AZNAR, president of the Spanish government between 1996 and 2004, grumbled beforehand that he was not invited to the recent PP party conference.

What did he expect?  Aznar would have been the spectre at yet another feast, following the dyspepsia he suffered years back when his protégé Mariano Rajoy lost the 2004 and 2008 elections and distanced himself from his mentor.

Aznar, who had expected to be Rajoy’s eminence grise, has more chance of being Pablo Casado’s, especially if he turns a lighter shade of grey.

Bitter harvest

PEDRO SANCHEZ has proposed a vote on a new Catalan Statute of Autonomy. 

All of Madrid’s problems stem from the 2006 Estatut.  It was approved by referendum in Cataluña and passed by the national parliament under Jose Luis Rodriguez.

The Partido Popular, led by an indignant Mariano Rajoy, appealed against it to the Constitutional Tribunal who annulled the sections that most mattered to the Catalans, especially the clause referring to the region as a nation. 

So why was that such a big deal? London doesn’t break out in a cold sweat because Scotland is regarded as a nation.

You reap what you sow and thanks to that emasculated Estatut, Rajoy reaped what he and others sowed on October 1.

Whether Sanchez can pull it off remains to be seen because the usual suspects – including Puigdemont’s puppets - will do everything possible to make a bad situation worse.

 

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