The parliamentary alliances of Pedro Sánchez with ERC or Bildu have always bothered, above all, the PSOE federations that never had to live with the independence movement in their territories, such as Andalusia, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha or Aragón. But now that the socialist regional presidents are opting for re-election, in the appointment with the polls next May, in these territories they once again publicly underline their distance with some pacts of the Prime Minister who warn that they weigh down their own electoral expectations.
This was done last Saturday by the Aragonese Javier Lambán, by labeling nationalism and independence movements as "democratic perversion", during the act of unity of the socialist territorial power that Sánchez starred in Zaragoza. That image of unity, however, was compromised after the Castilian-La Mancha president, Emiliano García-Page, criticized Sánchez's "bad company" yesterday in El Mundo, alluding to groups that in his opinion seek to "destabilize and break the state. He also disagreed with Sánchez's strategy of confrontation against the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, to whom he tries to hang the "insolvent" label. A total mistake, in Page's opinion.
It rains on wet, but Ferraz's irritation with Page was palpable, for diverting the focus of his offensive against the PP and tarnishing the image of internal unity. The spokeswoman for the PSOE, Minister Pilar Alegría, yesterday clung to the "clear and obvious message" that Sánchez managed to convey on Saturday with all the socialist territorial power, of absolute unity to face the new electoral cycle. Both "the image of unity" that the act evidenced, as well as the resolutions that were approved in the conclave, according to Alegría, reflected "the absolute unity and strength" of the PSOE before municipal and regional elections in which they come out "to win and to for all".
Alegría avoided the public and frontal clash with Page, so as not to fuel the controversy. But the criticism of the president of Castilla-La Mancha caused great discomfort in Ferraz, as on previous occasions. Socialist sources lament "the moment and the opportunity" of Page's words, after the act of unity in Zaragoza in which he himself participated, like all regional presidents and territorial leaders. In Ferraz they attribute Page to undertake "wars alone", which do not benefit the PSOE, and they remember that in Saturday's internal meeting with Sánchez he also asked for the floor, but he did not express any of the criticisms that he later launches, they think, facing The galery.
In Ferraz they recognize that "each autonomous community has its idiosyncrasies and each president has his profile". But Page, again, yesterday managed to irritate the PSOE leadership by highlighting his own profile and disagreeing with Sánchez's strategies with statements that they understand to be electoral, before his next appointment with the polls in which he will need to once again gather a absolute majority to be able to revalidate the position of autonomous president.
Page later clarified that "my opinions are mine", but defended his "consistency" before the public: "I always say what I think." He thus insisted that Feijóo, in his opinion, is "solvent", but warned against what, in his opinion, is "solvent", in reference to the independentistas. He removed iron from the internal conflict: "I close ranks with my party, there is no war." But he stood up to the criticism that came from Ferraz: "Don't look for me, eh?"