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González, Sánchez, Zapatero and Almunia

“I had never experienced a congress like this.” Words of a former minister while leaving the second day of the PSOE conclave in Valencia, between food trucks and wooden huts adorned with light bulbs. Pure style Oktoberfest. And he did not say it because it was a Cainite day and of war between the fist and rose tribes, as it had been on their shoulders for decades. Socialism has been conspired this Saturday for unity.

Pedro Sánchez has achieved what no one would have ever imagined: a unity congress. That is the word they repeat in front of the microphones and without cameras. “We are a great family,” another territorial leader said at the exit. And it is that socialism is once again a pineapple in its own way and takes the photo that no one expected for months: Pedro Sánchez, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Joaquín Almunia and Felipe González together.

During these hours, the leaders have walked freely and without knives through the four floors of the Valencia Fair, without great emotions but with an upward mood. They have been years of internal struggles and a year and a half of a very tough pandemic: it was time to breathe, applaud and feel the pride of the party.

“The father, son and grandson have been there”, metaphorically recounted one of the PSOE barons after the interventions of Felipe González and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero before Pedro Sánchez. Applause, ovations and some more disconcerting phrase from González, despite his closing of ranks. “Felipe was already like that, a bit of a chive grandfather”, summed up a minister after the words.

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Zapatero, Sánchez and González

González has closed ranks with Sánchez, although he has made it clear that he will always express his opinions. “He knows that I say what I think and I think what I say, and he also knows that I do not interfere. I am available and I do not even pretend that my opinion is taken into account, but simply, in good faith, I give my opinion if they ask me ”, he launched before the plenary. With another phrase on the air: “I ask you to encourage the freedom to express yourself critically, the freedom to express your opinion and the responsibility to think what is said.”

“Felipe is like this, he’s been like this for twenty years,” commented a former member of his Council of Ministers after his words, to top it off: “He doesn’t hold meetings, he makes reflections.” The important thing, in his opinion, is that he went and that photo was produced. And the thing is that the PSOE has been today more PSOE than ever, their two souls have definitely made peace (who was Susana Díaz? She was walking in the background without making noise). That of sanchismo, as was said in the previous congress, is today complete socialism.

A party that in the previous congress proposed a break with the past and gave way to a new PSOE away from baronies and apparatuses, but which today wanted to vindicate its past with full fullness (videos of all stages and lots of applause). And with emotional memories for figures like Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, Carme Chacón and Pedro Zerolo.

Socialism also leaves this congress with a new leadership (without José Luis Ábalos and Carmen Calvo). Adriana Lastra remains from the old Sanchista batch, as Deputy Secretary General, Santos Cerdán in the Organization Secretariat and Cristina Narbona holding the Presidency. But new blood enters the leadership as Llanos Castellanos (Institutional Relations and Justice) and Javier Izquierdo (Electoral Action). Andalusia takes some of the most important positions: Juan Espadas will be in charge of the Territorial Committee (body that coordinates the barons) and Felipe Sicilia takes over the media spokesperson for the Executive.

The new Executive, who met at midnight, has 42 members: 34 with secretariats and 8 members. The majority are women (60%) and the average age drops to 47 years. Sánchez has included six ministers within the new leadership: Félix Bolaños, Diana Morant, Pilar Alegría, Isabel Rodríguez, Carolina Darias and María Jesús Montero.

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Sánchez

The small noises of sabers that sounded in the corridors came from the commission that studied aspects of the feminist presentation. In the end, there has been an agreement: the PSOE is going to commit itself in its framework text of the 40th congress to make the “effort” to promote in this legislature an abolitionist law on prostitution that includes concrete measures to sanction clients.

On this, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has had a very clear message, who has asked to promote this abolitionist law. Her two speeches throughout the day have had a marked feminist character and her words have been widely applauded in the two forums at the Valencia Fair. In addition, he has been in charge of closing ranks with Sánchez in a more direct way than González: “It is the unit’s congress,” he has explicitly said. A minister summed it up like this at the end: “Intelligent generosity.”

This Saturday the great Valencian party of the PSOE was playing (two weeks ago the PP also made its convention here). With that style so different from the rest of the conferences. Some get chills remembering old congressional wars: Rubalcaba vs. Chacón, Sánchez vs. Madina, Sánchez vs. Diaz. This time only Sanchez was playing.

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Congress of the PSOE in Valencia

The PSOE Today it is a party that dominates La Moncloa and that has also just remodeled a government connected with the party. Party, party, party. You could see the heat to figures now within the Executive in the corridors: María Jesús Montero, Diana Morant, Pilar Alegría and Carolina Darias. And, of course, Félix Bolaños, the socialist who acts as minister of the Presidency and de facto political vice president. “Super Bolaños”, as Zapatero said from the stage when talking about the pacts on constitutional bodies. Everyone inside adores “Felix”, as they refer to it more colloquially.

Nobody wanted fights, the PSOE has had the calmest day of a congress that is remembered and has achieved the happy family photo. In the vicinity of the Valencia fair, everything is full of stands, to plant a tree or take photos with the mural dedicated to Carmen Alborch. And, of course, two giant paellas for everyone. Well that, the PSOEfest.

This is the new Executive of the PSOE:

  1. Chairwoman: Cristina Narbona Ruiz (Madrid).

  2. General secretary: Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón (Madrid).

  3. Deputy Secretary General: Adriana Lastra Fernández (Asturias).

  4. Organization Secretary: Santos Cerdán León (Navarra).

  5. Equality Secretary: Andrea Fernández Benéitez (CyL).

  6. Electoral Strategy and Action Secretariat: Javier Izquierdo Roncero (CyL).

  7. Municipal Policy Secretariat: Alfonso Rodríguez de Celis (Andalusia).

  8. Autonomous Political Secretariat: Guillermo Fernández Vara (Extremadura).

  9. Spokesman: Felipe Sicilia Alférez (Andalusia).

10- Ministry of Justice, Institutional Relations and Public Function: Llanos Castellanos Garijo (Madrid).

11- Secretariat for Studies and Programs: Idoia Mendia Cueva (Basque Country).

12- International Political and Development Cooperation Secretariat: Hanna Jalloul Muro (Madrid).

13-SecretaryTransport, Sustainable Mobility and Urban Agenda: Arcadi España García (C. Valenciana).

14-Secretariat for Democratic Memory and Laity: Patxi López Álvarez (Euskadi).

15- Demographic Challenge Secretariat: Maite Pérez Esteban (Aragon)

16- European Union Secretariat: Iratxe García Pérez (CyL).

17- Secretariat for Just Ecological Transition and the Preservation of Biodiversity: Marc Pons Pons (Baleares)

18- Secretariat of Politics, Economy and Digital Transformation: Pedro Casares Hontañón (Cantabria).

19- Culture and Sports Secretariat: Manuela Villa Acosta (Madrid)

20- Secretariat for the Toledo Pact and Social Inclusion: Juan Francisco Serrano Martínez (Andalusia)

21-Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism: Patricia Blanquer Alcaraz (C. Valenciana): Construction works

22- Ministry of Labor, Social Economy and Self-Employed Work: Montse Mínguez García (Catalonia).

23- Training Secretariat: María Márquez Romero (Andalusia)

24- Secretary of Education, Vocational Training: Mª Luz Martínez Seijo (CyL).

25- Secretariat of Science, Research and Universities: Diana Morant Ripoll (C. Valenciana).

26-Secretariat of Social Movements, Diversity and the Elderly: Beatriz Carrillo De los Reyes (Andalusia).

27-Secretariat of Transparency and Democratic Regeneration: Francisco Lucas Ayala (Murcia)

28-Entrepreneurship and Social Impact Secretariat: Amparo Marco Gual (C. Valenciana)

29-Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries: Ana Mª Romero Obrero (Andalusia)

30- Secretary of Health and Consumption: Carolina Darias San Sebastián (Canary Islands)

31-Secretariat for Constitutional Reform and New Rights: Félix Bolaños García (Madrid)

32-LGTBI Secretariat: Víctor Gutiérrez Santiago (Catalonia)

33-Secretariat of the Foreign PSOE: Pilar Cancela Rodríguez (Galicia).

34-Secretariat for Migration and Refugee Policies: Luc André Diouf (Canary Islands).

VOWELS:

35- Manuel García Salgado (Catalonia)

36- Sabrina Moh Abdelkader (Melilla)

37- María Nieves Ramírez Moreno (Andalusia)

38- Mª Jesús Montero Cuadrado (Andalusia)

39- Pilar Alegría Continent (Aragon)

40- Isabel Rodríguez García (CLM)

41- Elisa Garrido Jiménez (La Rioja)

42-Alvaro Martínez Chana (CLM)


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