Rajoy refuses to leave while the PP prepares to obstruct
Mariano Rajoy went from being the President who had a budget and stability to attending his own political funeral at the inauguration of his rival Pedro Sánchez.
The change in presidents is a drastic and unexpected one that opens many questions about what will be the future of the former president and what may happen in the PP and its parliamentary group.
Although there are no certainties, various PP sources point out that Rajoy does not intend to throw in the towel and that he plans to remain as leader of the opposition.
The loss of the government has been a blow. However, there are people in the PP who see an opportunity.
Some people think it is time to get rid of the stigma of corruption, boast of good government and make opposition to a Sanchez administration, who will gain notoriety, but also problems.
These PP leaders are betting on a renewal that will lead the party to an electoral victory in elections that, they presume, will take time to arrive.
The issue of renewal has begun to be heard, but there is nothing on the table. At the moment, the consulted sources do not consider that Rajoy leaves the presidency of the PP and assure that if he wants to return to be a candidate, he will do it.
He is not expected to give up the baton of the party, but there is a possibility that he will give way to a new head of the list for those elections that may take place in 2020. The PP will wait for the election date to approach.
Nobody doubts that someone new would need to have many points to become the new leader of the PP and to replace Rajoy. But the transition in the Popular Party will be slow and will be directed by Rajoy himself.
In the celebration of May 2 in the Community of Madrid the confrontation between the general secretary of the formation, María Dolores de Cospedal, and the former vice president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría was clear. They sat next to each other but did not speak.
The enmities within the party are many and it is Rajoy who maintains the cohesion. That is why he will not leave immediately to prevent his resignation from provoking an internal war that harms the party.
The PP prepares to veto is own Budget as an opposition Party
Despite losing the presidency, the Popular Party, which continues to lick the wounds of the loss of the Government, believes that there has never been a stronger opposition in the history of Spain and this belief is what emboldens the PP to become the next greatest obstructionist force in the country.
The idea is to start acting as obstructionists immediately. They have the capacity and many opportunities, as they still have the absolute majority in the Senate, 134 benches in the Congress.
So the direction of the PP is in favor of block every single piece of legislation proposed by rival parties and even to submit amendments to their own general budgets that were approved just 10 days ago.
The amendments will focus on the more than 500 million euros dedicated to infrastructure that the Popular Party agreed with the PNV in exchange for their vote to approve the budget itself. That investment includes monies for beaches, roads and railways.
The PP intends to make it impossible for those funds to get to their destiny as a way to pay back for the PNVs support of Pedro Sanchez.
The PP has the intention, something that the popular leadership will have to agree this week, to propose amendments that suppose a distribution of those investments among other Spanish provinces, without taking all the investments to the Basque Country.
Rajoy does not want to take his own budgets down completely, something he committed himself to during the investiture debate.
The other agreements with the Basque Party, including those related to the increase in pensions by about three percent for the lowest and 1.6% for the highest may still remain.
Although there may not be a veto on public accounts, which would mean their certain death, Rajoy wants to seem like a strong opposition leader.
He also does not want to appear as someone who is not true to his word, and that’s why the accounts may continue to be as they were planned.
The amendments being planned by the PP will ultimately make the budget go back to the Congress, where it will have to be ratified before it can be introduced in the Senate.
That’s where the Popular Party wants things to go, because PSOE will have to choose between approving the changes made by the PP, or if they want to knock those changes down along with the complete package of public accounts that had been already approved.
As usual, voters will be the ones who will lose the most with PPs political games.