The PSOE has erupted in Valencia with more force than the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma. A month after the eruption, this burning inferno has not yet claimed any lives, but its ravages have already left hundreds of hectares of lava, thousands of houses, businesses and churches buried, 7,000 people displaced and, in ruin and despair, thousands of Palmeños praying for a future blacker than the ashes of this 21st century Vesuvius. Our solidarity with our friends from the Canary Islands and our wish that the children who will resume their classes this Monday will overcome the fears that are still intertwined with COVID-19. Our appreciation to the scientists and especially to the Military Emergency Unit (UME), perhaps the best decision of Rodríguez Zapatero, although the idea must be attributed to the then Defence Minister José Bono.
All political congresses have the same components if they are held in the Mediterranean: kisses, applause and paella. A lot of paella. Pedro Sánchez's social democratic paella has fed the militancy until 2025. To the fanatics of the base and to the disinherited of fortune like Calvo, Ábalos and Susana Díaz. Even the patriarch Felipe González embraced the supposed unity with the "fucking master" as he watches how the coalition government with the communists (supported by secessionists and pro-terrorists) wants to destroy his contribution to the democratic transition. Ione Belarra, leader of Unidas Podemos and current Minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 of the Spanish Government has revealed in her "Compass to win an era", an internal document of her general secretariat, that her goal is simple: to overthrow Felipe VI and put an end to what she calls "democratic centralism" -proper of her communist principles- and to storm Madrid, the square that Isabel Díaz Ayuso defends in freedom.
The pandemic has left us orphans of hugs and kisses. And applauding, like paella, was totally free. Dr Sánchez was consecrated with the distinction of "honoris causa" as the Sun King; the world was opening up to give free rein to the new saviour's projects to abolish prostitution and Mariano Rajoy's labour reform. As if the mission were not enough, he has enthroned the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, to lead a reform of the Magna Carta that will take us seamlessly from federalism (asymmetrical - we Madrilenians have already noticed this in the PGE22) to confederalism via a plurinational Spain, or a Nation of nations. It doesn't matter. Tension and division: that is the end of the line.
This Sunday, 17 October, Peter the Great put an end to the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and Sanchismo was born, which loves Spain as no one else has ever loved it before and which will be very green, very feminist and very ecological. We will end up using the fan as a source of clean energy.
Solutions to the real problems of the Spanish people? None. There was no talk about unemployment (18%), youth unemployment (38%), the unemployed (almost 4 million), the ERTES (679. 9270), the self-employed, the electricity bill, the closure of companies due to the cost of energy, water, energy, the halt in construction because there are no materials, the debt and deficit at historic highs (123% and 1.94 trillion euros respectively); nor the PGE with another hole - and this is the 17th consecutive year - of more than 50,000 million between income and expenditure. Their mouths drop with social spending. But this is a lie. Most of it is waste. 214,000 more civil servants in two years. They call pensions social spending when they are a right. And they consider that the injection of 43,000 million euros into this area is not sufficient reason for the Toledo Pact to meet.
They urge a new Moncloa Pacts outside the European funds because at this rate, with an inflation rate of 4% - the highest ever seen in the last decade - we are heading for bankruptcy. And the ECB will have to raise the price of money.
The government comes out of this 40th Federal Congress "podemised" and moves towards ungovernability. To repeal the labour reform, as employers, the Bank of Spain, the self-employed and Brussels have told it, is to stop creating some 100,000 jobs a year. But Iglesias remains in the shadows. The 15 euro increase in the minimum wage does not dignify workers. What dignifies them is being able to work, not subsidies. The 100 euros for those who turn 18 next year is an advance purchase of the vote for the following year. Just as it is a poisoned gift if they pass the school year with a failing grade. Or the 300 euros for rent until the age of 35.
The Minister of Universities himself, Manuel Castells, whom I interviewed by telephone for Carta de España when he was teaching at Berkeley and whom we proclaimed "Spaniard of the Month" for his professional qualities, is today a fool who wants to appoint rectors who are not even doctors and is willing to allow access to the master's degree without having finished the degree. Tomorrow he will impose access to the doctorate without having completed the Bachelor's degree. And he will pardon those who copy and paste doctoral theses.
They have broken the culture of effort and the principle of equal opportunities. When Dr. Sánchez asked a militant at this 40th Congress about his son's education, the father was blunt: "Delighted, Secretary General; he knows he will be approved at the end of each course". Do you think that Ximo, Espada, Page or Lambán have worried about Spanish becoming the co-official language again in Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and Galicia? And about regional funding? And about the coming catastrazo? Nor has Fernández Vara asked for the replacement of the century-old sleepers in Cáceres and Badajoz so that the train can arrive on time. Problems? Herd immunity inherited from the pandemic. Silence and secrecy. It is easier to smile, hug, applaud and eat paella than to enumerate the problems and seek solutions and commitments. The macrobottles that generate street terrorism are the closest example. And rentals and squatters. All very radical and very progressive.
The actions of the first vice-president Nadia Calviño - displaced by the Minister of the Presidency and by Yolanda Díaz - and Carmen Calvo were pitiful. The former looking for shortcuts to avoid complying with EU requirements to access the "Next Generation" funds and the latter whining because queer feminism has been directly appropriated by Irene Montero. What a shame!
In this Bulgarian-style Congress with no internal controls, it was time to explain the payment Moncloa will make to push through the Budget with ERC, Just, PNV, Bildu, Teruel Existe and the PRC. The chameleon-like Revilla is no longer demanding the AVE to Santander but simply that the train tracks be buried as they pass through Torrelavega. It was the moment to explain to his people his most cowardly decision: why he pardoned the 1-O coup perpetrators. In the heat of the night, or in the moonlight of Valencia, it was necessary to clarify how far he is going to go in his Table of Shame with the Government of Catalonia. And it was the ideal place to deny, as ZP had said, "that there are already people working on solving the Puigdemont case". Will they pardon him without trying him? Will they allow him to come to Spain, pay him the honours of molt honorable, - the money is already given to him annually; 115,000 million, plus escort, secretary, press officer, office and escorts - and incorporate him into the Table of Treason so that he can lead the final coup and not the dream of the 17th as Marchena and associates signed up to?
And speaking of Zapatero, his inflammatory speech - in contrast to González's calm - shows that he has a parallel foreign agenda in Latin America and China, accepted by Moncloa. He was a bad president and is a lousy ex-president. Now, thanks to Pollo Carvajal, we know that he is paid by Venezuela and that he was the prince waiting for Delcy Rodríguez and her 40 suitcases that have not turned up anywhere. Isn't Zapatero responsible for appointing the corrupt ambassador Raúl Morodo in Caracas? Sánchez's assumption of Zapatero's and González's legacies confirms that unity is a sham, especially since he supports Maduro, a dictator disavowed by FG.
Our foreign relations with Morocco and Algeria have deteriorated after secretly welcoming Brahim Ghali, the Polisario leader who a few hours ago could not justify how he entered Spain only to end up in a hospital in Logroño. It is impossible to believe that former Foreign Minister González Laya would take the decision to bring the Polisario leader to Zaragoza. Clearly: Ghali's X is Sánchez. But the Sun King is untouchable. Inviolable. And let's not talk about Gibraltar or our estrangement from the US.
Everything is secret with this Government of "transparency" which the TC and the SC have already repeatedly condemned for governing outside the Magna Carta (COVID states of emergency) by hiding behind the Decree Law to circumvent and overrule Parliament. It is a state secret even to know the CO2 levels of the Falcon that Mr. President likes to enjoy so much.
The PSOE is just a power machine, even if it cloaks itself in 142 years of patriotism. Corruption is allowing its partners in Unidas Podemos to put people convicted of assaulting law enforcement officers, such as Isa Serra and other friends of Rita Maestre, on the payroll of the ministries. "They are condemned by "Francoist" judges because they defend the weak", these miserable progressives brazenly claim. The resistance to leave the seat of the podemite Alberto Rodríguez, condemned by the SC for kicking a policeman, is the latest example of these criminals paid with public money. Corruption such as that of Teresita Rodríguez, who paid for two flats in Seville for colleagues who received per diems and mileage for attending the Andalusian Parliament, at the expense of the parliamentary group. These friends, partners and cronies of the PSOE are the ones who talk about social justice. "Nothing is more dangerous than the truth in a world that lies", we learnt from Nawal El Saadawi. Or to put it better, we turn to the once powerful presidential Rasputin Iván Redondo: "Everything is a lie". When we analyse his lyrics we see that he is an impostor. A clever one, but an impostor. Just like his boss, but a friend.
After the parenthesis of the last progressive governmental corruptions, it should be stressed that parading the sculptural ghost of Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba in bronze, when he had not spoken to him for months and rehabilitating him to give fodder to the rank and file, confirms that the new Sanchismo has only one goal: to survive in La Moncloa with Tyrians and Trojans. Ferraz is dead, long live Moncloa! The new Executive (60% women) is a string of cronies to proclaim urbi et orbi the personal cult of the Secretary General's ego. There will be no room for internal criticism, Don Felipe González Márquez. Sánchez was only looking for his photo. Not his advice.
The other obsession of the doctor and his cohort of advisors and sympathisers - all with official posts and official cars - is the opposition. The PP, VOX and even Ciudadanos are to blame for everything. The PP held their itinerant conference from Santiago to Valencia, passing through Valladolid, Madrid, Seville, and Murcia in the smell of crowds. Casado, in "praise of sanctity" obtained the backing of his tribe to be a candidate in the year 24 after Ayuso's unconditional loyalty. Of all the popular tour, Pablo Casado put Rajoy as an example of management - also in the 1-O and in the support for Bárcenas? -; he promised to rescue Spain from ruin - which irritated the Moncloa - and ended up in the Valencia Bullring assuring that "Sánchez is a dead politician and he doesn't know it yet, and that he is ready to win". OK. Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo did not go to avoid hugs, applause and possibly because she does not like paella very much. At congresses and conferences, optimism is the basis for inflaming the masses, masses that do not need to get excited too soon. Here, election campaigns last the whole legislature.
The PP paid tribute to euphoria, although it dodged VOX - its natural partner to reach Moncloa, govern in Madrid and Andalusia - and seems to be looking for a strong centre that includes Arrimadas' signings.
Abascal hit back at a rally in the heart of Madrid, accusing Casado of being a "crude replacement" of PSOE policies and denying that he will repeal the government's communist agenda. Meanwhile, Macarena Olona wants to disembark in Andalusia -give your body joy, Macarena-, in case Juanma Moreno brings forward the elections. Everyone thinks and acts in electoral terms.
The popular tour caught Moncloa, the Generalitat and Genoa, 13 with a changed foot when Puigdemont was arrested in Italy, who continues to laugh at everyone everywhere. The support of the Public Prosecutor's Office and the State Attorney's Office is no coincidence. The fact that neither President Sánchez nor the head of Foreign Affairs, nor our ambassadors to the EU have gone to explain to Parliament and the Council that Mr Carles is a coup-maker confirms that the judges and the governments (of Germany, France, Belgium and Italy) ignore us. And give credibility to a fugitive.
If the government has pardoned the other colleagues in the coup, it seems logical that no one will hand over this ghost who even negotiated with Putin's agents in exchange for recognising the annexation of Crimea. Nothing can ever be expected from Borrell because he obeys more to Zapatero (see elections in Venezuela) than to his conscience as a Catalan, when he let himself be spat in the face in the Hemicycle, without having the courage to denounce the ERC parliamentarian.
After the party rallies that the people pay for - the example of the president of La Rioja, Concepción Andreu, travelling at 156 kilometres per hour on her way to the city of Turia - it would be advisable to legislate so that parties and trade unions are assigned an X in the IRPF box and do not use public funds to attend party events. After the party, tomorrow we return to the blackmail of the PGE, Sánchez's lifeline, and to the marketing of cronies to fill the positions in the TC, the TC and the Ombudsman. There is already an agreement between Bolaños-García Egea to unblock these three institutions. The CJPJ is easier: comply with the Constitution, not the Felipist law of 1985 that distorts the independence of Justice. Sánchez, who on Wednesday called Casado an ultra-right-winger and said no, gave his blessing to Bolaños in the afternoon after the popular offer. He went to Valencia full of satisfaction. Now it is a matter of continuing to insult the PP, identifying it with VOX, in order to get a majority in the government of the judges. His Germanic dream of 33 is just around the corner. Sanchismo has no ideology: its social-democratic volcano is called authoritarianism. We will go back to the enabling laws.
The government - it must be said - had reflexes on the volcano on La Palma, even accompanying the monarch Felipe VI. The Council of Ministers approved emergency aid of 206 million euros. Sánchez came quickly because he was not to blame. The booing at the National Day parade was not an attack on institutions and democracy, but rather a widespread dissatisfaction with his administration. And freedom of expression. It is the exact distance between the real situation and the propaganda. It is increasingly difficult to make ends meet. That is the truth.
With this panorama and this rarefied climate there is no confidence in investors and, as the IMF points out, Spain will grow less than expected in 2020. Let's start by telling Spaniards the truth. The social-democratic volcano is advancing towards the abyss. The accounts of Ms Montoro and Ms Calviño do not add up. Our revenge as citizens and taxpayers will be to survive until the next elections, resist, denounce it and vote in self-defence.
Antonio Regalado directs BAHÍA DE ÍTACA at: