After November 10th Spanish election stripped Ciudadanos (Cs) of votes and, as a true tsunami, did away with former leader Albert Rivera, Inés Arrimadas took the helm of a futureless drifting ship which she had thoroughly contributed to sink with her policy of confrontation, void of any content beyond incendiary and exclusive demagogy.
With three elections ahead, in the Basque Country and Galicia on April 5th and later in Catalonia, on a date yet to be decided, Arrimadas is running the risk of literally making the "orange" party disappear or having it end up in such a smaller position that it becomes even more insignificant. Galicia's Popular Party (PP) leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo has turned her down since he isn't interested at all in an electoral coalition which, far from earning them votes, can be a reason for Galician president Feijóo's most centrist voters to flee. PP leader Pablo Casado has tried some flirting but he doesn’t want to put a foot wrong when the Spanish presidency is at stake.
Basque Country’s PP have also slammed the door shut on Cs’ coalition proposals, but there is a difference: Casado has beaten his party because of its petty leaders there, where the political group is nearly irrelevant. Anyhow, the alliance has little benefit for both parties, which will, at the most, add some seats to the few that polls forecast in the Basque Parliament.
As if all this were not enough, vice president of Castilla y León region Francisco Igea, and leader of the critical group in Cs, a party domesticated against internal critical positions, has decided to question Arrimadas’s leadership in the congress scheduled for March 15th, where she is supposed to be finally enthroned. In any case, if Arrimadas wins her first internal battle, it is clear that electoral results in the Basque Country, Galicia and especially Catalonia can become her political grave.
Arrimadas knows that her future depends on the Catalan elections, where Ciudadanos (Cs) were born in 2006, and where the political group could disappear fourteen years later, in its adolescence, as a reflection of a party that has not reached maturity, obsessed with destroying everything that was at reach, from the Catalan language to coexistence itself. Cs has been a political artifact of harassment, anger and demolition, and not construction. Maybe that is why Arrimadas came to Barcelona on Friday to find her roots and recover an outdated message and a usual recipe: we are here to fight the nationalism that threatens Spain. Too simple a message to recover what’s been lost, because, among other things, Catalan Socialists have decided to occupy this space and the political tailwinds are favorable to them. Arrimadas has also lost the unionist media support, which used to applaud her as long as she kept lashing out at the Catalan pro-independence movement.
Allies have vanished as quickly as they appeared. And the party, born to put an end to left-wing Podemos and Catalan pro-independence groups, has achieved exactly the opposite of what its sponsors intended: Podemos is now taking part in the Spanish government and Catalan pro-independence groups hold, even with their internal disputes and rows, a solid position as a political majority in Catalonia.