Let's face it: the circus of politics has never seen a scam artist on the scale of Pedro Sánchez in the command post of Spanish politics. In my 43 years in this profession, which began with Josep Tarradellas in the Generalitat palace and Adolfo Suárez in Madrid's Moncloa, I've seen it all. And, let’s not be naive: the dirty play is not limited to the other team, foul tactics are the order of the day. But nothing of what has happened in the past can be comparable to that of Sánchez: with the current Spanish prime minister, the news barely lasts a few hours and the front page stories, however important they seem, become outdated from the very moment that they roll off the presses. They fall faster than ripe fruit, and as this happens, the scam artist savours the chaos he has sown.
Maybe you're thinking that, explained in that way, we put the focus on how he discarded first the Catalan party ERC, then the Basques of PNV, and finally the other Basque party EH Bildu. With Podemos and Pablo Iglesias, he limits himself to sending economic deputy PM Nadia Calviño to invalidate the coalition partner and make it clear - perhaps this is his goal - that the leaders of the 15-M anti-austerity movement and left-wing revolution can be tamed simply by allocating them places in the cabinet. While Sánchez carries out these actions, there is, for example, no talk of the one million people on ERTO temporary layoff schemes who have yet to receive any payment. This figure is three times as large as the number recognized by the Spanish government.
The latest episode, involving Bildu, on the occasion of the new extension - the fifth - of Spain's state of alarm, consisted of a written agreement which was signed between the Basque group and the two coalition parties, PSOE and Podemos, for the repeal of the 2012 labour reform, and in a very short time it has surged up into the top ten of political confidence tricks. In just a couple of hours, there was a transition from the initial release of the document - showering praise on Bildu and thus angering their Basque rivals, the PNV - to the text being amended in a very shabby way by the prime minister's office. To this, Iglesias responded irritably: "It will be repealed completely" and addressing the PSOE, he added: "What has been signed, creates an obligation." Arnaldo Otegi of Bidlu then warned Sánchez: "What has been agreed, must be complied with." Next, employers' association CEOE angrily withdrew from its negotiating table with the Spanish government. Until Calviño broke the spell: "We're not here to create trouble."
It won't be for the Catalans to demand that, as of now, a neutral rapporteur should certify agreements made with the Spanish government around a futile negotiating table. It will be for everyone who meets with Sanchez, if they don’t want to be stripped of all they have whenever they close a deal. The most surprising thing is that, having sold a pup, Sánchez will be trying it on again in a couple of weeks with a sixth state of alarm extension and there will be parties willing to take the bait. This is also part of what the magic of power really means.
Forty-eight hours ago, the president of the French republic, Emmanuel Macron, lost the majority in the National Assembly that he had won in the legislative election of 2017. His party, La République en marche, has gradually lost support from the 314 parliamentarians it obtained. Macron was left with 288 seats on Tuesday after seven dissenting deputies abandoned him, when the absolute majority is 289. He will have to work hard, while opposition parties are already demanding that he call elections. Sanchez has never had it, this thing called a majority, but he cares little. He feels immune to criticism and knows that even if he represents chaos, there is no alternative.