Monthly Archives: May 2008

Rajoy must change his ways

Today’s edition of Spanish daily paper El País carries a story in relation to the crisis in opposition party Popular Party, talking about yesterday’s public demonstration in front of PP headquarters, asking for the resignation of its president Mariano Rajoy. This newspaper states (my translation):

    Street demonstrations, very much used by Rajoy himself over the last four years –the PP supported up to eight such demonstrations against the antiterrorist policy of the PSOE– have turned against him […]

This sentence describes very nicely what’s going on within the PP. Certainly, those street demonstrations have turned against Rajoy, not because the demonstrations call for something different than what they used to when they criticized PSOE’s policies, but because this time Mariano Rajoy is the one to have changed his discourse, shifting away from those ideas he used to support during the past presidential term.

El País clearly tries to present these demonstrations as extremist and negative, but what is really bad is the Popular Party’s refusal to continue demanding that the PSOE should again apply the “antiterrorism pact”, as the PP used to demand up until March 9, 2008 (date of the general election lost by the PP). It is equally sad that the PP no longer demands the revocation of a parliamentary permit enjoyed by the Government to negotiate with the terrorists at ETA. This permit is still in force, even after the deadly ETA attacks in the last weeks.

More noticeable changes populate the change of policy in the PP, as the lack of action to denounce the abuse by political parties and regional governments in the autonomous regions of Spain, which are surreptitiously imposing the use of one or another language over the people. Another change is clear in the PP behaving more and more like the PSOE, defending rather regional, nationalist interests instead of maintaining its characteristic of a party which defends equally all citizens of Spain, irrespective of their residence.

The PSOE appears to have corrected some of their antiterrorism measures, approaching the strategy that the PP demanded of the Government during the last term. In parallel, the PP seems to have softened their opposition tasks, and it all smells of a pact between PSOE and PP, or between Rodríguez Zapatero and Rajoy, for each to change their stance to some extent, and get closer in antiterrorism strategy. As long as this agreement implies changes by the PSOE, it is absolutely correct and desirable. However, the PP should not give up on its demands. Or did Rajoy merely use as an electoral strategy those demands of returning to the antiterrorism pact (clearly abandoned by its original supporter, Rodríguez Zapatero), and of elimination of the parliamentary permit for negotiation with terrorists?. If this was the case, his performance his nothing but blameworthy. Those demands are needed and essential. To do away without them now is a mistake on the part of the PP.

These are the reasons which have discouraged PP followers, with a motive. It would be most beneficial if Mariano Rajoy would rectify now, before it’s too late, bringing back to the PP María San Gil, Ortega Lara, Ángel Acebes y Eduardo Zaplana. Unfortunately, this does seem unlikely.