the debate between Díaz and Espadas confronts two identities of the Andalusian PSOE


Not two minutes had passed since the start of the debate of the primaries that will elect the next candidate of the Andalusian PSOE to the presidency of the Board, when the general secretary, Susana diaz, introduced the idea-force that supports his campaign: “Next June 13 we will choose which party model we want. If we want it to be directed from Madrid or from Andalusia. Andalusians have earned our own voice.” To highlight this regional and Andalusian discourse, in the face of alleged interference from Ferraz, Díaz wore a bright green T-shirt, identical to the corporate color that adorns the headquarters of the Andalusian PSOE. Its headquarters. Opposite, the mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, with a white shirt, and the professor of the Hispalense, Luis Angel Hierro, in a suit and red tie.

The only primary debate of the PSOE of Andalusia, organized at the headquarters of Calle San Vicente, broadcast live on the channel YouTube, with sectoral policy blocks and open to questions from members, is the high point of a campaign in which 46,577 militants are called to vote (although at the best moment of the program it did not reach 4,000 connected). It concludes next Sunday if one of the three candidates exceeds 50% of the votes, otherwise, there will be a second round on June 20.

There has been talk of health, education, social policies, territorial structuring, pandemic, European funds … but the sensitive fiber of the debate was in the very identity of the Andalusian PSOE: Is it going to become a “branch” of Ferraz? “Is it a federation” loyal, but not submissive “? This is the mental framework that Susana Díaz has imposed on these primaries, advanced by the federal leadership against its criteria, seven months before the PSOE-A congress, and that he has ended up dragging his opponents.

Espadas, with the vitola of being the candidate indicated by Pedro Sanchez to permanently retire the former Andalusian president (her rival in the 2017 primaries) has rebelled against this story: “No general secretary or president of the Board will ever allow the Andalusian PSOE to be a branch of anyone, let’s make it clear, because saying so The opposite is to disrespect the militants “, he has sentenced, moody, on the verge of losing his usual restraint. The Sevillian councilor has spoiled Díaz who exploits “personalist positions” to confront Ferraz, and has reminded him that it is the Andalusian PSOE, the largest federation in the country, “which has sufficient strength to guide the policies of the party and the Government socialist of Spain “. “Being loyal is not being a branch,” he warned.

In the debate there has been no melee as such, because Díaz has avoided it – with a profile that is conscientiously domesticated to hide his tough leader edges – and because the format lent itself more to parallel monologues than to dialectical crossover. The three candidates have barely overlapped when speaking. But in the bloc that has dealt with the position of Andalusia in Spain, there the former president has launched the hardest blow against her fellow ranks: “The most loyal people are those who are free. To be loyal and not submissive, one has to to be the owner of your destiny, and it has to be here in Andalusia where the decisions are made. Once the decision is made here, we will pitch in. ” All this without looking Swords in the face, with a smile, with infinite tranquility.

Then, as an example of this loss of political weight in Andalusia, the Sánchez Government’s negotiation with the future Common Agrarian Policy (PAC), decisive for the Andalusian countryside and the regional economy, and which has been piloted by another Andalusian, the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, which in 2013 unsuccessfully threatened to dispute the general secretary in other primaries. One shot, three targets.

Bases and devices

Susana Díaz has control of the regional executive of the PSOE-A, she has her own apparatus, but she appears in these primaries as a candidate outsider, facing the federal apparatus, the leadership of Pedro Sánchez, who has designated his opponent as his successor. The mayor of Seville is running with the endorsement of “change, illusion, unity and reunion” between socialists, after the civil war that faced Sanchistas and Susanistas. He does not want these primaries to be read as a “second round” of that confrontation that tore the party apart from the inside, but it is what is happening. In his first minute of intervention, Espadas took out a data graph to remember that the Andalusian PSOE has lost more than one million votes since Susana Díaz is at the head of the party (six years as president).

The mayor has avoided the melee with Díaz in the campaign, for many indirect darts that he has thrown at him and Sánchez, he has positioned himself in profile. In the debate, the strategy was just the opposite. Espadas has questioned Díaz in each block, looking at her, naming her, and reproaching her for the lack of dialogue with the health workers, with the mayors – “we have not felt listened to” – with the unions … He has reproached him for losing the contact with the street and, as a consequence, was removed from power by a three-right alliance (PP-Cs-Vox) in December 2018. “Susana, not even ours have been listened to. We have not listened to the health workers “, he sentenced. “I think this is not a time for reproaches, but for proposals,” Diaz replied, without looking at him and without flinching. That moment has been the only small dialogue between the two. To the rest of “Susana, Susana, right, Susana? Partner Susana …”, Susana has not responded.

The Andalusian PSOE leader is good at face-to-face. She is an experienced orator, has a political fang, and knows how to insert sarcastic taunts that sink into her adversary. But that profile is what he has tried to cover up in this debate. Díaz has monologized, she is the only one who has not addressed her party colleagues by her first name, she has always spoken looking at the journalist from El País, Eva Saiz, who moderated the debate, and has presented proposals of scope typical of an Andalusian government program: “We are going to raise the health budget by 450 euros per Andalusian to reach the average for Spain (14,000 million of spending), and we will make a plan of shock so that in 48 hours that any Andalusian goes to his doctor in person, and we will increase a 25% more of the staff in Primary Care “.

In the block of education and social policies, all have opted to increase the budget, to expand education from 0 to 3 years, to incorporate Historical Memory into the schools’ syllabus, to strengthen Dependence for the elderly … In concrete proposals , developed and budgeted, Díaz has outpaced his opponents because, at times, it seemed that his real adversary was not there present (namely, the president of the Board, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla). Espadas has not shelled so much its measurements. Hierro has only achieved the common interest of his opponents when he has proposed to do everything possible “to remove Queipo de Llano from the Macarena basilica.” Díaz and Espadas have endorsed it – “of course, of course” -, although the truth is that both, she as president and he as mayor, have had the opportunity to do so, and have not done so.

The debate has served Díaz to expose in detail his electoral program. At the end of the day, these primaries decide the PSOE candidate for the presidency of the Junta, although they are implicitly determining the future of the largest socialist federation. Espadas has valued Díaz’s proposals, but in his speech what the “self-criticism” ordered, as a euphemism for the most lacerating of reproaches to his secretary general and former president. “Listen, listen and listen. Susana, the teachers and the UGT colleagues tell me: you have not listened to us enough,” warns the mayor of Seville. She doesn ‘t answer.

Hierro shrugs his shoulders: “But will we have to do politics, in addition to listening, right?” He asks. Espadas wields complicity with the professor of Economics, reaches out to his current -Socialist Left-, but takes the opportunity to launch the hardest blow to the former president: “Yes, but I want to emphasize the importance of listening because I am convinced that it is a of the reasons why we lost the 2018 elections. Only when you listen, you go from a party that speaks like a self, to a party that speaks like a us. ”

In the final message, looking at the camera, Susana Díaz stressed that on Sunday June 13 “we are going to vote in freedom.” With a broad smile, he appealed directly to the rank and file and spoke of “courage” and “hope”. Hierro has chosen to underline the need for “integration into the party.” “If we win, we will unite the party again to win the Andalusian government.” Espadas, to close the debate, has announced “a different party, of change, of more participation and proximity.” “We must stop fighting and doubting the autonomy and our own freedom that we will exercise after the primaries. To vote and win.”


Source: ElDiario.es – ElDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.

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