The Prime Minister puts the reins of the PSOE in the hands of Adriana Lastra who, like Ábalos, will rely on Santos Cerdán
This Monday there was a great difference in the attitude of the outgoing ministers during the transfer of portfolios. And, to be considered one of the great losers of the drastic remodeling of the Government carried out by Pedro Sánchez last Saturday, that of the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, was especially striking. “This is the most loving transfer in the history of Spanish politics,” he said in a serene tone after merging into a hug with who will be the new Minister of the Presidency and strong man of the Executive, Félix Bolaños. Malaga politics comes from the heart of Moncloa but the president intends to reward it, according to socialist sources, with the presidency of the Council of State, now held by María Teresa Fernández de la Vega.
Sánchez always had a relationship of special affection with Calvo, according to those who during these years have worked closely with both. And when it began to be rumored weeks ago, as a result of an information published in ‘La Razón’, about the possibility that he wanted to do without it, there were many who, even admitting that there were reasons that could explain that step – since the Covid, which the number two of the Government contracted very early in the pandemic, had taken a toll on both physically and emotionally until its lack of understanding with the parliamentary partners – they showed their surprise. “She,” they said, “is very nervous.”
This Monday, on the other hand, she has been seen relaxed and smiling. “I am grateful and calm,” he said after praising his substitute, with whom he has worked these years “side by side.” “He – he added in reference to the Secretary General of the Presidency to date – knows that he continues to have me at any time. And he has to carry out a treasure, the law of historical memory. Calvo has thus left clues that he will not go very far. “I’m leaving with a covered stage and ready to do whatever it takes for my country,” he concluded.
At the event, held in his already old Ministry, not only were practically all the ministers present, but also Fernández de la Vega herself, who held the same position in the governments of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and was appointed by Sánchez as president of the main body adviser to the Executive in June 2018. At the age of 72, De la Vega has already passed into forced retirement as a magistrate of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid on the 15th of last month.
Calvo was not, even so, the only one who has sent messages for good listeners during her speech. Bolaños himself has dropped a phrase in which some socialists have wanted to see a blow to the already ex-chief of Sánchez’s cabinet, Iván Redondo, who, according to some sources, came to demand from the head of the Executive the Ministry of which he will now become position. “The times that I have thought and I am glad that I am not a minister … But these things should neither be asked for nor can they be rejected. The mere display of his understanding and good relationship with the former vice president already contains an idea: that the chief executive was fed up with internal friction.
Ábalos forgets Sánchez
At the opposite pole of the happy farewells, two names stand out: that of the former Minister of Transport and, shortly, former Secretary of Organization of the PSOE, José Luis Ábalos, and that of the new Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta. Neither of them has gone to great lengths to hide their disappointment. Ábalos, one of the ministers most hit by the opposition due to cases such as ‘Delcygate’ or the aid to the company ‘Plus Ultra’, has not even expressly mentioned the President of the Government, a symptomatic forgetfulness, and when giving the relief to His successor, the mayor of Gavà, Raquel Sánchez, has vindicated his work and has implied that he probably has it easier than him because he arrives with part of the homework done. “I can only be proud of having been part of the Government of Spain and thank you because you are the head to hit, the one who also has to deal with and mediate criticism, but it is clear that if there is no team behind it is not possible do this job.
Iceta, appointed Minister of Territorial Policy just six months ago, has not only been stripped of an assignment in which he felt very comfortable to go to another, the Ministry of Culture, in which, as he himself admits, he has it to learn everything. He has also seen how Sánchez decided to disengage his department to entrust the Public Function to the Minister of Finance, after his announced reform of the oppositions and the agreement to reduce the temporality in the Public Administration have been widely contested among officials and interns.
The still first secretary general of the PSC and a veteran socialist has always been very involved in the search for a solution to the Catalan problem, although on occasions his positions have clashed with those of the party leadership. Often, as in the case of the pardons of the procés, because he was ahead of it. “I’m very sorry to leave this Ministry, I want to make it that clear,” he admitted; here we have put a lot of hope and a lot of hours ».
Without Ábalos, who according to his next will announce the abandonment of his position in the party in a few days, the leadership of the PSOE will now fall more directly on the deputy secretary general and parliamentary spokesperson, Adriana Lastra, who Sánchez has entrusted to take the reins until the federal congress that will take place in mid-October. At his side, in any case, he will have the one who until now has practically acted as shadow Organization secretary, Santos Cerdán, in charge of covering the head of Transportation when, due to his responsibilities in the Government, he could not take charge of the day to day.