Spain holds this Sunday (23) general elections, which would only take place at the end of the year, but were anticipated by the president of the government and candidate for re-election, Pedro Sánchez, after his party, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), was defeated in May in local and regional elections by the conservative Popular Party (PP).
This one, led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo, leads the polls and has a great chance of returning to the head of the Spanish government, which he has not occupied since the end of the government of Mariano Rajoy, in 2018.
Sanchéz, president since then, has relied on separatist, republican and radical left parties to govern, which, according to analysts, has alienated moderate voters.
Spain’s economic situation also weighs against him. The country had an unemployment rate of 13.26% in the first quarter of this year, one of the highest in the European Union.
Last year, the Spanish economy had an expressive growth of 5.5%, but slowed down in the second half and a report from the European Commission estimated that the country’s GDP should grow only 1.9% in 2023.
“We have to make it clear that our country wants a change, because it has been living for five years divisions, fractures, social tension, the interest that the majorities remain silent so that the minorities rule,” said Feijóo at a rally in Palma de Mallorca.
During the campaign, Sanchéz sought to stick the radical label on the PP, mainly due to the eventual need for the conservative party to ally itself with the nationalist Vox party (third place in local and regional elections) to form a government if it does not win a majority at the polls this Sunday.
“After the 28th of May [quando foram realizadas as eleições
locais e regionais], it became very clear that the only two forms of government that exist after July 23rd are a progressive coalition government or an extreme right-wing coalition government with a hard right, like that of the Popular Party. And that is why I believe that on July 23, the coalition government of progress will win and this false coalition in which the Popular Party and Vox have installed themselves will be defeated”, said the current president of the government of Spain, in an interview with the newspaper Público.
The PSOE and the second vice-president of the government, Minister of Labor and leader of the left-wing Sumar coalition, Yolanda Díaz, also tried to wear down Feijóo by recalling a photo of the candidate, from the 90s, in which he appears together with Marcial Dorado, a known drug trafficker from Galicia.
The PP leader acknowledged that he was once a friend of Dorado, but claimed that he was unaware of his involvement in drug trafficking at that time.
“At that time, there were no accusations against him, now it is easier to know things because we have the internet, because we have Google, at that time, no, but I reiterate again, until I met him, this gentleman had no lawsuits related to drug trafficking,” Feijóo told the television channel LaSexta.
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