“Discretion”, “patience” and “prudence”. These are the maxims that guide the PSOE in the negotiation on the amnesty with the Catalan independentists of Junts and ERC. The agreement is not yet closed, “we have to work”, there is not even complete certainty that there will finally be an agreement. “The negotiation is complex,” say those who are in the know, and this prevents the socialist leaders from undertaking the pedagogy campaign they had planned to digest, both internally and socially, the forgiveness of the process. In this scenario, as happened in the last two electoral campaigns, in the face of the attacks and the campaign of attrition of the PP, the figure of José Luis Rodríguez Zapateroas the spearhead and shield of the PSOE and Pedro Sanchez.
The former president of the Government acts as a bully, once again, in a difficult situation for the PSOE. He already did it in the regional and general campaign, defending the political action of the PSOE, his measures; drawing Feijóo as “a lie with legs”; and counteracting the “Let me vote for you!” tchapote!» brandishing the end of ETA as a socialist achievement. He rolled up his sleeves and went down into the mud, something that served to spur the spirit of the party and mobilize its bases, as seen in the many rallies he participated in. His figure acquired such prominence that he even piloted a kind of parallel campaign. He now returns to the front line, arguing that the amnesty “is not unconstitutional,” as he declared this Monday on the program More than one of Carlos Alsina in Zero Wave, despite the great legal debate open on the matter, and that “if you have to change your mind you change it”, alluding to the fact that until three months ago the PSOE considered the amnesty unconstitutional.
«Zapatero is a very important figure. “He has been, he is and he is going to be,” say government sources. And it is not only for the socialists, but also for the Catalan independentists who hold him in very high regard and consider him an important actor to take into account in this process. However, sources familiar with the amnesty negotiation state that, at least as of today, he has not intervened in that dialogue.
“He is a key asset”, “he is a reference”, “he is in a state of grace”, describe socialist leaders consulted by EL MUNDO, who contrast his “loyalty” against the attitude of another former president such as Felipe Gonzalez. “It’s an example”.
The delay in the agreement with Junts and ERC on the amnesty, added to the fact that there are no full guarantees regarding an agreement, has created concern in sectors of the PSOE due to the wear and tear of these weeks. The failure to close the pact, the lack of a black-on-white proposal, prevents the socialists from launching a campaign to counteract criticism and censorship from the opposition. A void that Alberto Núñez Feijóo seeks to take advantage of. In the socialist formation they knew that “very noisy” weeks were coming and that is why there are leaders who believe that it would have been appropriate “for everyone to talk much more.” It turns out that only a few people who report directly to Sánchez have information. That’s why, even if they wanted to, many couldn’t. Hence, in the party they believe what Zapatero does is important: saying and doing what many cannot.