Every time I hear Pablo Casado or Isabel Díaz Ayuso speaking, the same question comes to my mind: why can't the Spanish right have a leadership like the one that Germany's Christian democrat movement has had for so many years with Angela Merkel? Is the Spanish right doomed to be seen as a political area closer to the right wings of Poland or Hungary, with anti-European - or even authoritarian - tendencies? It is not only the position it has taken in the Puigdemont case; it's about historical memory, Catalan language and culture, bullfighting... a myriad of issues which leave one with the impression that not only is it at the head of the most outdated right-wing strand on the continent, but it is still weighed down excessively by a certain Francoist extraction.
It will take years for Merkel's important role in containment to be recognized in recent times as the parties on her right have grown, but she has never, under any circumstances, sought even a single vote from them to govern, either in the chancellery or in one of the German Länder. Not even a complicit wink, but rather the most utter contempt and marginalization. France has maintained a similar position with the formation of Marie Le Pen. Why does the PP have Vox as an ally in the autonomous communities and why is it generally assumed that if the conditions were met after the next Spanish elections, there would be an alliance of the right in which the votes of Abascal's party would have their place?
Merkel, chancellor since 2005 and currently awaiting an agreement, difficult but very likely, among Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals, has been an exceptional politician and has led battles within Germany itself that have had an enormous personal cost, but which have allowed her to be perceived as a robust leader who takes positions beyond her strict electoral perimeter. In the case of immigration, she opened the doors in 2015 to a million migrants in the face of doubts that were, it must be said, widespread. Not to mention her role in the eurozone crisis and her support for Greece not having to leave the EU.
Here, the right lives only from flags that have nothing to do with the progress of citizens. In its rallies, all that is heard is Puigdemont to prison and the main messages always have to do with Catalonia, whether connected to its political parties or the permanent desire to leave Catalan as a much smaller language. As if Castilian were about to disappear in Catalonia. What nonsense. In that way they may awaken the dormant anti-Catalan vote in Spain, which certainly exists. But Casado's leadership will always be small, with zero credit in Europe, and no matter how much the polls in the right-wing media push him toward the prime ministership, obtaining the required numbers will be hard. Even with Vox it will be very difficult arithmetically. Without mentioning how he might explain that to his European counterparts.