I count with a friend of the time that we have not seen each other, that not without speaking to each other. We exchange impressions, by phone, on a daily basis. We tell ourselves about the comings and goings of our lives without appreciating the trace of the trace that time leaves on our faces. Luckily for me, he handles a mobile phone so out of the box that it does not support the WhatsApp application; or so he says. This circumstance makes it easier for the tone of our voices to remain recognizable to us.
In the end, we conclude that the years add up to four without sitting face to face, although we both know that that invisible thread that is friendship preserves the smoothness that the epidermis is losing. Four years! We exclaimed, not without first conspiring to stay next week, without fail …
The pandemic, with its fears, confinements and restrictions, has erased time profiles. We discovered that of everything almost two years ago. Since the last time we went to the cinema or the theater, that we traveled abroad, that we celebrated Christmas as a family, that we hugged each other without fear, that we breathed the air without subjecting it to the filter of a mask.
In a month, the fifth anniversary of the death of Rita Barberá, the former mayor of Valencia, of the whole of Spain as she was baptized by her co-religionists, will be celebrated. In that five-year period, his name and political legacy have gone through different stages. From the past contempt and forgetfulness, to the current public demand. As close as a couple of weeks ago, on the bullring of the Valencia Bullring, Rita’s name was pronounced, and not in vain, by Pablo Casado and company.
Barberá died in November 2016, two months after being rejected as a territorial senator in the Valencian Cortes by unanimity of the entire Autonomous Chamber. The same PP that supported his defenestration now stands as administrator of his political heritage. Its most prominent leaders assume the role of executors of an unwritten will, although it is registered in the collective imagination of thousands of voters whose support they aspire to maintain and / or recover.
I have noticed that five years elapsed this week, when it was learned that a judge has issued an indictment against almost fifty ex-councilors and advisers of Rita Barberá, accused of a crime of money laundering. Said in the jargon of the banking industry, for smurfEach of the defendants, allegedly, received black money from the party – 1,000 euros per head – to proceed to launder it with an eye to the expenses of the 2015 local election campaign.
Both Carlos Mazón, president of the Valencian PP, as well as its number two and mayoral candidate, María José Catalá, not only have not wrinkled before the news headlines, but have defended with greater emphasis, if possible, the legacy of the former mayor. Surprising? Absolutely. All political parties use the same manual: presumption of innocence – prosecuted does not mean convicted -, do not give in to pressure from the opposite and, when the time comes for the defendants who hold some public responsibility – in this case there are – feel on the bench, they are dismissed or not, depending on the moment. The opening of an oral trial in the middle of a campaign or in the vicinity of an electoral appointment advises to drop ballast so as not to give ammunition to the rest of the participants in the battle.
The application of this old and worn-out manual relies on a fundamental fact: in the Valencian PP the conviction reigns that today claiming the figure of Rita Barberá not only does not subtract a single vote, but also reconciles with the acronym of the party to a legion of voters who never understood past decisions to the contrary. Sentimentality, the righteous. The most sincere tears of contrition for the stoning of the former mayor at the hands of her own were offered by Isabel Bonig at her farewell ceremony.
The next edition of the battle of Valencia -Municipal elections scheduled for spring 2023- is outlined, in view of polls and surveys, as high voltage. There is still a long time to go, some say. Not that much. More if we take into account that, to date, the only party that is clear about its headliner as a candidate for the valencian mayoralty is the PP. In the rest all are doubts.
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