There has been no winner in a debate that so much Pedro Sanchez What Alberto Nunez Feijoo They left feeling victorious. The beginning of the political course, marked by the current context of inflation and energy crisis, took place this Tuesday in the Senatewhere the President of the Government and the leader of the opposition have starred in the first face-to-face that inaugurates a long race towards Moncloa before the general elections scheduled for the end of 2023. That set the background, and above all, the tone.
The face-to-face meeting between Sánchez and Feijóo lasted around two hours: three speeches by the President of the Government without a time limit and two responses by the leader of the opposition, lasting 15 and 5 minutes, respectively. For little more than sixty minutes, the duration of his first speech, Sánchez took pride in managing his cabinet without denying the “uncertainty” caused by the future of energy reserves in the face of a possible supply cut by Russia. The President of the Government underlined that, since the energy saving measures came into force, it has been reduced by more than 4.6%, “without the citizens’ standards of living having suffered”, and that the Iberian exception is achieving contain the cost of the electricity bill by more than 15% since it was launched.
Until the only announcement of the day arrived: the Government will approve that the large industry that uses cogeneration may also benefit from the Iberian exception. While Sánchez continued to speak from the rostrum, PP sources were quick to take advantage of the measure. “He finds inspiration again in the proposals of the PP. His big announcement on Tuesday was requested this weekend and the president of the PP reiterated it yesterday,” they assured. It is true that other countries such as Portugal have also applied it. “Delighted to help the Government,” the popular ones pointed out when Feijóo was still waiting for his turn.
The opposition leader had a quarter of an hour – according to him, an unfair format that benefited Sánchez – and he took advantage of it to show Sánchez a document with the PP’s energy plan. It will be sent in the next few days, according to the Genoa leadership, and it contains eight blocks of proposals that will be a total amendment to the Government’s strategy. So far the energy debate. The face to face between the president of the Executive and the aspiring to be it was later played in the field of personal attacks.
“Insolvency or bad faith?”
Sánchez came ready to snatch the slogan of “good manager” from Feijóo. “The months have passed and I have to tell you that as the leader of the PP, the things he says do not support that image of a good manager that you claim to have,” he snapped. It was only the beginning of more than the more than 50 minutes that Sánchez dedicated to denying the “solvency” of which he presumes his main political rival.
The President of the Government recalled all the errors with Feijóo’s figures, repeated one by one the attacks that he has launched in recent months and listed the measures that the PP has voted against. “Insolvency or bad faith?” He asked her meanwhile. He accused him of prolonging “the kidnapping of the judiciary” and, above all, of being due to the economic powers: “You don’t forget who put you there, the big energy companies and the country’s big corporations.”
“To say that the companies have put me in is an insult to democracies and to all the militants and sympathizers of the PP,” Feijóo replied in his second round of reply. The opposition leader assured that Sánchez’s words were not “typical of a president” and pointed out what they would later transmit from his hard core: “To oppose you just have to wait for the next elections.”
For the popular ones, Sánchez’s tone tasted like victory because, they say, it is more typical of someone in the opposition than of a president of the Executive. Among the socialists, on the other hand, they boasted of having dismantled Feijóo. After the face to face, everyone seemed to have fulfilled their objectives, whatever they were.
Minority groups, spectators
Apart from this exchange of reproaches, other spokesmen for the Upper House have criticized the format of the debate. Among them, the ERC senator, Mirella Cortès, has made Sánchez ugly that she has not come to talk about the “situation of the territories” as she should do on an annual basis in the Upper House. “The Spanish state continues to have a serious territorial problem, but it is here to hold an electoral debate, take the pulse of the right, but not to talk about territories,” she added.
Also, the PNV spokesperson, Beltrán de Heredia, has referred to the duel between Sánchez and Feijóo to warn that the problems are not resolved “by throwing themselves in the face and recriminating actions or generating more uneasiness and anger”, much less in an economic context. full of uncertainties for which society asks for “solutions”.