The blood did not finally reach the river yesterday and the Popular Party (PP) and Citizens (Cs) sealed the final agreement to attend together, in coalition, the regional elections held on April 5 in the Basque Country. The two parties overcame the storm unleashed by the Basque PP the day before, when they sought to dynamit the negotiations by publicly calling the content of the pact reached between the national leadership of the popular and the manager who pilots the liberals temporarily.
In the internal battle in the PP, with Cs as a mere spectator, Genoa was clearly imposed on Alfonso Alonso, although the versions offered by both parties are completely different. It all started the day before yesterday, after the right hand of Inés Arrimadas in Congress, José María Espejo, revealed some details of the pact. Among others, that Cs will correspond to number two by Álava and number two by Vizcaya. The Basque PP, in its official Twitter account, said that this was “unassuming” and said it did not correspond to any negotiations with the popular.
According to reports from Genoa, however, this was the proposal of maximums of Cs, but it had been discussed between Espejo and the secretary general of the PP, Teodoro García Egea. Popular sources consulted by this newspaper say that, after the announcement of Espejo, Egea contacted his baron in the Basque Country to communicate the already closed aspects of the coalition. Already in that telephone conversation rose decibels.
The vice secretary of Organization of the PP, Ana Beltrán, always according to the Genoa version, chatted in the afternoon with Espejo and then she talked for a few minutes with Alonso. The calls were repeated, but the president of the Basque PP did not pick up his cell phone again. It was at night, on WhatsApp, that Beltrán invited Alonso to attend a meeting at the national headquarters of the party, in the Madrid street of Genoa, to outline together the last fringes of the coalition and analyze the points of disagreement.
There was no answer, but in Genoa they were waiting for him. Hence, at eleven o’clock Beltrán called yesterday the president of the Basque PP and met with the sit-in. He was not going to attend and said he was not going to sign the coalition pact reached with Cs. The party did not have its rubric, since the negotiations have led them from the beginning the national executives of the two parties, but Alonso’s attitude generated great discomfort. To the point that sources of the national leadership held yesterday that trust in Alonso is completely broken. Even so, in Genoa they say that they are not going to throw anyone away and leave the next steps in the hands of Alonso: “You have to decide whether to accept the agreement or not.”
At least for the moment, the resignation is not an option for the president of the Basque PP, who is willing to maintain the pulse with the national leadership. Sources close to Alonso ruled out yesterday that he will step aside, although they acknowledged his discontent over the way in which Genoa has handled the situation. The regional popular, despite being strong supporters of the alliance with Cs, have felt none at all during the negotiation, and in fact still do not accept the terms on which the pact has been forged. He already warned last Thursday through social networks that the concessions that Genoa was going to offer were “unassuming”: “We cannot give Cs what the polls have denied them,” they claimed from Vitoria. However, the popular people stressed that “there is still time to adjust to reality” the agreement reached with the liberal party, as long as the “center-right project led by the Basque PP” is respected.
In Cs they kept scrupulous silence and referred to the PP until the final signing of the pact. It was signed by Egea and the deputy secretary general of the manager of Cs, Carlos Cuadrado. In the afternoon, the two parties officially communicated the agreement in a note in which, without specifying whether Alonso will be the candidate, it becomes clear that the head of the list “will be appointed” by the PP. It is also collected that Cs will have two starting positions, without specifying which ones, but “as both formations agreed”.
Now, a campaign commission with three representatives from the PP and another three from Cs will write the coalition program, which will be called PP + Cs. Same weight for acronyms, with half of the blue logo and the other half orange. Next term: March 1; day on which the electoral lists are registered. .