Pedro Snchez, a tightrope walker before his last somersault: the hug with Podemos and ERC to maintain power


The secretary general of the PSOE knew how to take advantage of the economic, political and social crisis to his advantage. Only Pablo Iglesias shadows him

The general secretary of the PSOE, Pedro S

The general secretary of the PSOE, Pedro Snchez, swears as president of the Government, on January 8, before the King.

On Tuesday, January 7, 2020, Pedro Snchez Prez-Castejn (Madrid, 1972) finally managed to be elected President of the Government by the Congress of Deputies. At 47, he turns 48 on February 29, leap year, it can be said that it was the first time he got it. He had reached power in June 2018 after a motion of censure against Mariano Rajoy, but all his attempts at an ordinary investiture after an election had failed so far. And they were not few.

The investiture and formation of the Government are, therefore, the culmination of a typical and atypical political career at the same time. It is typical because Pedro Snchez has followed the path of every party man who gives himself to the internal plumber and ends up sitting in Congress. And I am aware of the way in which the General Secretariat of the PSOE was appointed in 2014 and, above all, how it has managed to retain power.

His is the most prominent case of a political leader in Spain who has taken advantage of the economic, political and social crisis to his advantage. Perhaps only Pablo Iglesias can shade him in this field. Precisely, the person will sit next to you in the Council of Ministers from next week.

Snchez wrote his own story inResistance manualto exalt their ability to overcome adversity. Much has been written about it. For some, Snchez is an unscrupulous politician, capable of giving up everything and agreeing with anyone in order to have power. For another, a genius of thereal politikwho knows how to adapt to the circumstances in these very volatile times.

From wanting to agree with Cs to do it with ERC

The truth is that it is difficult to find an immovable conviction in the President of the Government. Since his election as secretary general he has been, successively, the man of the socialist apparatus to succeed Alfredo Prez Rubalcaba. A center social democrat who aspired to rule with Citizens and declared war on independence.

A champion of the fight against the powerful and theestablishment. A defender of the dialogue with Catalua who does not hesitate to agree with the same independentistas whom he used to hate. An Emmanuel Macron in Spanish. And now, all at once and without knowing where the president is.

Be that as it may, in your favor you will always have known how to take advantage of the opportunities that you have been finding, to accelerate to the maximum an archetypal career ofplumberof the PSOE and skip many steps thanks to the crisis.

The dates speak for themselves. Councilor in theCity of MadridBetween 2004 and 2009. He was not a deputy in Congress until 2009, he lost the minutes in the 2011 elections and did not return to the Chamber until 2013, only seven years ago. Achieved the General Secretary of the PSOE in the summer of 2014 without ever sitting in the Executive or the Federal Committee of the party.

Of accommodated origin

Married toBegoa Gmezand father of two daughters, another of his virtues is that his image fits perfectly with that of the modern social democratic leader who gives such a good result outside Spain. Speak languages He has taken all the flags of socialism of the 21st century – gender equality, climate change – and feels much more comfortable among the well-off classes than among the humble.

I grew up in the heart of the wealthy Madrid neighborhood ofChamartnand has his residence inPozuelo de Alarcn(Madrid), the municipality with the highest rentper capitaof Spain. It isBachelor of Economicsby a private university – the Mara Cristina University Center of El Escorial, attached to the Complutense – and holds aMaster in Economic Policyof the EU at the Free University of Brussels and adoctorateat Camilo Jos Cela University, which he obtained thanks to a controversial thesis.

He joined the PSOE in 1993, with 21 years and in full decline of thefelipism, and entered Ferraz after the election of Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapatero as general secretary, to work on Jos Blanco’s team. There I participated in the organization of electoral campaigns and in the government of a party as difficult to govern as the PSOE. No doubt a valuable experience for what will come next.

His career had three highlights with the crisis. The first, his candidacy to succeed Rubalcaba after the PSOE hit in the 2014 European elections, in which Podemos and Citizens broke out. He knew how to position himself as the man who will stop Eduardo Madina’s aspirations according to the socialist apparatus, already controlled by Susana Daz.

Mobiliz to the bases of the PSOE

The second was his ability to disguise himself as the leader of the town to mobilize the bases of the PSOE in the primaries against Susana Daz of 2017 after his resignation a few months earlier. He knew how to see the fruitfulness of a discourse based on populist criticism atestablishment-in this case, that of his party-, among bases that had been complexed with Podemos for many months and that did not find a path in the middle of the depression caused by a crisis in which the previous PSOE Government had had a lot to do.

And the third was the presentation of the motion of censure against Rajoy after the judgment of thegrtel case. At that time, May 2018, the PSOE was in fourth place in the polls. Snchez was able to see that nobody took the side of the PP and took his party to power, placing him as the unquestionably voted since then.

Now he has taken another somersault to achieve that coveted investiture so many times frustrated. He has put Podemos in the Government and has agreed with ERC. Two decisions whose scope and consequences are still to be seen, but which, at the outset, have stressed – even more – the Spanish policy to extreme limits.

He has crossed many red lines and has done many of the things he promised he will never do. With this baggage, Pedro Snchez is now ready to rule at last with full powers. As long as Pablo Iglesias and Oriol Junqueras allow it, of course.

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