Sánchez-Iglesias, story of a brief marriage of convenience | Spain

Pedro Sánchez hugs Pablo Iglesias after being inaugurated President of the Government.Juan Carlos Rojas / GTRES

The candidacy of Pablo Iglesias for the presidency of the Community of Madrid puts an end to his stage in the coalition government, a brief (less than 15 months) marriage of convenience with Pedro Sánchez that has been dominated by conflicts and suspicions between his respective political families. The tension has been constant, although more than once both leaders have been in charge of burying the hatchet between representatives of their parties. In its Resistance manual, Sánchez explained that at the beginning he understood “better” with Albert Rivera than with Iglesias and that he had always separated them, above all, his different vision of the situation in Catalonia. “I told Iglesias: ‘Be careful because in the end these people are going to declare independence and in the end you are going to be involved,” he remembers that he told him before 1-O. Catalonia has been one of the areas of friction, but not the only one. These have been the main milestones in their relationship, a battle for the story, for the times and political spaces, which has concluded with Iglesias pointing out to the Prime Minister who should replace him.

September 2019. “Sánchez:“ I couldn’t sleep at night ”

In September 2019, Pedro Sánchez, acting president, strongly ruled out forming a coalition executive with Podemos. “He would be a Prime Minister who would not sleep at night, like 95% of the citizens of this country, also voters of Podemos, who would not feel calm either.” The leader of the PSOE argued, to reject that alliance, “the lack of management experience” of Podemos and “serious discrepancies” on fundamental issues, such as Catalonia. “If something has been shown in recent months, it is that the coalition government with United We Can is unfeasible,” he declared less than three months before sealing the bipartisan agreement.

Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias, at the gates of Congress in September 2019. On video, Sánchez’s statements in that same month in which he affirms that “he would not sleep at night” if he had agreed with United We Can.(PHOTO: LUIS SEVILLANO | VIDEO: EPV)

September 2019. Iglesias: “Pedro lied to me”

The leader of Podemos did not take long to reply to Sánchez. “Pedro [Sánchez] she lied to me. He told me before and after the general elections that we would do a coalition government and I trusted him … If I made a mistake, it was to take his word for it. The problem is that Pedro Sánchez wants all the power to sleep well ”. In November, after the electoral repetition and the rise of Abascal’s party, Iglesias reminded him: “It is clear that one sleeps worse with more than 50 far-right deputies than with ministers of United We Can in the Government.”

November 2019. Express reconciliation. The covenant of embrace

The PSOE and Podemos signed a coalition agreement just 48 after the November 2019 electoral repetition, in which the former lost three seats compared to the previous elections, and the latter seven, while the PP rose 23 and Vox, 28. “It is time to leave any reproach behind,” Iglesias declared then, a few days after proclaiming that “Pedro Sánchez of the left is over. “The Spanish have spoken and it is up to us to overcome the blockade”, justified Sánchez. “We could not reach this agreement [en julio], although we were very close. We are aware of the disappointment that this caused among progressives, ”he added. The embrace with which both staged the beginning of a new era – and which was received with a mocking “ohhh” from those present – showed the vertiginous change in their relationship, but the creation of a commission to monitor the agreement showed that both parties they continued to fear and watch each other.

The hug between Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias after the signing of the coalition government agreement, in November 2019. On video, the act of signing the agreement. (PHOTO: ANDREA COMAS | VIDEO: EPV)

March 2020. Iglesias insinuates that the Minister of Justice is a “frustrated macho”

The law against Sexual Violence, promoted by the ministry led by Irene Montero, caused one of the first clashes in the coalition government. The day the procedure began, Iglesias launched a harsh criticism of those who disagreed with certain aspects of the law in the halls of Congress: “In technical excuses I think there is a lot of frustrated macho.” He did not directly mention the Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, but the question they asked him did quote him and Podemos had repeatedly insisted that it was his department that blocked the rule, claiming “technical excuses.” These confrontations have subsequently been reproduced with Vice President Carmen Calvo.

August 2020. Iglesias learns from the press of the departure of the King Emeritus from Spain

The Monarchy has been another of the main fronts of dispute between the two government parties. Iglesias learned from the press that King Juan Carlos had decided to leave Spain so as not to harm his son. “It is not a decision made by the coalition government,” said Irene Montero after clarifying that she was unaware of the negotiations between the president and the Casa del Rey. Since then, the socialist area of ​​the Executive with Sánchez at the head has tried to differentiate the emeritus king of the institution and Felipe VI, and Iglesias has not resigned in any of his public appearances to rely on the successive scandals of Don Juan Carlos to stand openly in favor of the Republic. “It is difficult to ignore that the Monarchy is a hereditary institution in which legitimacy rests precisely on filiation,” insisted the leader of Podemos.

January 2021. Puigdemont and “the true exile”

Another of the declarations of Iglesias that ignited the socialist area of ​​the Government was his comparison between Carles Puigdemont and the exiles of the Franco regime. “Do you really consider Puigdemont an exile, as many Republicans were exiled during the Franco dictatorship? Can you compare them? ”They asked him in La Sexta. “Well I say it clearly, I think so. And that does not mean that I share what I did, “replied the leader of Podemos. Sánchez replied, without quoting him, before the Federal Committee of the PSOE when he referred to “true exile”, alluding to the Spaniards who had to flee from the Civil War and fascism.

February 2021. Back with “democratic normality”

One of the penultimate controversies between the coalition partners was provoked by the words of Pablo Iglesias when he declared that “as vice president of the Spanish Government” he had to recognize that “there is no situation of full political and democratic normality in Spain when the leaders of the two parties that govern Catalonia, one is in prison and the other in Brussels ”, referring to Oriol Junqueras and Carles Puigdemont. The Number Three The Executive thus contradicted the response that the Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, had given to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov after he compared the situation of the opposition Alexei Navalni, imprisoned upon his return to Russia and victim of poisoning last summer , with that of the Catalan independence politicians condemned by the you process. Iglesias later reaffirmed himself in his words despite criticism from various members of the Government and the PSOE. “To say that there is no full democratic normality is true,” he insisted on RAC1. When the interviewer told him that Sánchez was the only leader of the main parties who had rejected an interview during the Catalan electoral campaign, the leader of Podemos replied: “You know what democratic normality is like.” Later Sánchez responded, without citing him, to Iglesias. He defended territorial integration as the “basis for the legitimation of the democratic system” and highlighted the “enormous luck” of the Spanish to “have been born and live in a great country.”

Pablo Iglesias, during the first control session to the Government of 2021, in February. On video, his statements about the lack of “democratic normality” in Spain.(PHOTO: EP | VIDEO: EPV)

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