There is a new story that did not even remotely feature in the last 23-J elections. No mention. What was black before is now white and if cars drove on the right they must now drive on the left. It is reminiscent of the children’s song that said ‘the hares run through the sea, the sardines run through the mountains, they will fly’. The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, now defends that the unilateral and illegal referendum organized by Catalan nationalism among its acolytes or the proclamation of independence in parliament should never have been prosecuted. To correct the error, the Chief Executive believes that he should offer amnesty to the members of Junts in exchange for their 7 votes for the investiture.
At the same time, the mantra of “the economy goes like a motorcycle” that Sánchez proclaimed before 23-J has become a somewhat less propagandistic and moderate message that recognizes that the panorama ahead is not talented. The truth is that the economy has also helped to rewrite its recent history after the changes in the calculation of national accounting from 2020 to now. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) has revealed 20,000 million euros of nominal GDP that also serve to reduce the debt/GDP ratio to below 110%, the metric used to measure debt sustainability or repayment capacity.
According to the new statistical x-ray, the Spanish economy advanced its recovery to pre-pandemic levels at the end of last year and presents a much healthier appearance at the current time (first half of 2023). The reality is that the result does not change either: Spain is at the bottom of the euro zone in the accumulated period of the last four years. The public debt in absolute terms has done nothing other than grow to exceed 1.5 trillion euros because the government has continued to spend beyond its means, incurring deficits and converting them into long-term debt. Now the annual cost of that debt is becoming increasingly unsustainable and the ability to refinance has become more difficult because the European Central Bank (ECB) will no longer go out and buy state bonds at 0% as it did in 2020 and 2021.
On the other hand, the amnesty that the current coalition government is working on may erase the crime of sedition from 2017 but it does not change the facts. A political minority (today only a third of Catalonia voted nationalist in the last elections) deceived their own voters to hold a unilateral referendum and proclaim a fictitious independence that did not conform to any legislation. It is surprising to the point of astonishment that the PSOE has gone from supporting the judicial process against the members of Carles Puigdemont’s autonomous government to a second phase of pardon – which recognizes the crime but forgives the penalties – and now to the amnesty. Quite a stroke of necessity to continue in Moncloa. The unfortunate thing is that they try to sell this fundamental change as something that is a product of the imagination of the voter who came to 23-J to vote for one thing and is being given another. Cat for a hare.
With this revisionist panorama promoted by Moncloa on Spanish society, the investiture of the Popular Party candidate, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, arrives at Congress with all the tickets to be a failed process except for a last-minute surprise. It cannot be ruled out either because the toad that some PSOE deputies are being forced to swallow is large. Even if it fails, the presence of the politician with the most votes last 23-J will allow us to rescue the real story, the one that everyone has lived, from recent political and economic memory. Seen this way, Feijóo will fulfill a public service mission starting this week. He will fail and be defeated by parliamentary arithmetic but he can become a winner in the medium term if he wins the trophy of credibility and trust, something that his rival Sánchez has probably lost forever.