FT: PP has not moved on from Francoism

While the Financial Times is not normally particularly high-up on my reading list, it does carry some interesting political comment from time to time. A few years back, I recall that the FT attacked the PP for failing to properly criticise Lt Gen. Mena Aguado who famously threatened military intervention should Catalonia pass its new Statute of Autonomy.

Well in this most recent editorial, both Zapatero and Rajoy come in for criticism, but Rajoy and the PP far more so. The present government is credited with having ‘managed the macroeconomy competently but [doing] little to address structural weaknesses such as low productivity growth, a weak technology base and a huge current account deficit”.

Then, after referring to the PP’s constant scaremongering and manufacturing of doubts about the integrity of Spain, this sucker punch:

Mr Aznar also negotiated with Eta, and allied with regional forces, just like the Socialists – as whoever wins next Sunday may well have to do. The PP’s problem is that its current leaders have not completed their journey from Francoist roots to a modern centre-right.

Thank you, FT. All it took was one paragraph but you’ve finally printed something which we here in Spain all know to be true and have been trying to get outsiders (as well as misguided expats here) to see. The language and non-dialogue of Francoism (if not its bizarre economic policies) live on in most of the PP’s currents. The ‘left wing’ of the party (Piqué, Gallardon etc) has just been effectively shut down. Rajoy finished yesterday’s debate with the words of the fascist Movimiento Nacional. They haven’t moved on and many of us here in Spain have been saying that for years.

Unlike in the UK, general elections in Spain remain a choice between two generally very different political parties. The PP, which simply is not a natural party of the centre-right, remains deeply conservative and has been painfully ineffective as an opposition. It would be a disaster if they were elected next weekend.

[Via: From Catalonia To Caledonia]

4 thoughts on “FT: PP has not moved on from Francoism

  1. Viva the FT! I heard about this article they ran too. Since so many social and political issues boil down to the economy, the FT has always been one of the few newspapers that cuts to the nitty gritty but it seems that in recent times, it’s being much bolder in it’s commentary. Good for them!

  2. I read FT article on “Spanish choice”. Well, Jose Blanco (member of PSOE staff) would have signed it without any doubt.

    In Spain “Francoism” is very well represented among socialists. There are no leaders in the PP connected to Franco years. Can anyone say the same about the ZP boys?. The big families of “Francoism” let us a lot of so-called socialists who “suffered” Franco from France, UK or Germany (poor chaps!), they had the money to do so (not my case, obviously). I can remember too some teachers at school who gave us lessons on Franco and José Antonio, and now are very convinced socialists (the danger of a new converse).

    Today, in some places you can’t take the risk of expressing yourself freely indeed, you will be declared a “fascist”. No right to give an opinion. I’ve never called a socialist “fascist” or “assassin” but I’ve been told such nice words as a non PSOE-voter. By the way, most of my friends are voting PSOE and no problem to me (we are still almost free to talk in Spain).

    Finally, when you say that PP “remains deeply conservative” I guess you mean that Rajoy (10 millions voters) should make a programme according to ZP?. Well I suppose we have ten millions of fascists in Spain and I haven’t noticed yet.

    Please note that I have given “my” opinion in these site (thanks FT!). Doing so in most spanish newspapers or public forums leads to a lot of responses containing no opinions but serious insults.

    “The Truth shall make ye fret” (I am a fan of Terry pratchet books, sorry)

    PS: Apologies for my poor english.

  3. @Chindastulfo – thanks for your comment, which was written in pretty much perfect English. No apology necessary.

    I think the point of the article is that the majority of the leadership of the PP seem uninterested in completing a transition to the centre. And yes, there are leaders of the PP who have a direct connection to the dictatorship. What about Aznar, who clearly has a strong hold on the party still?

    Don’t you think it’s significant that Rajoy referred to the term España ‘una, grande y libre’ in his closing speech at the 2nd debate? Don’t you think it’s significant that the PP leaderhsip has close ties to El Mundo, La COPE and Libertad Digital, as well as controlling TeleMadrid, all of which often promote what in other European countries would be considered far-right propaganda?

    There is no doubt whatsoever that many PP voters would prefer to vote for a more centrist party. A lot of them like to believe that the PP is already that party but I’m afraid they’re mistaken.

    As to being accused of being ‘fascist’ or ‘murderer’, well if you’re not one, that is of course horrible and wrong. But this is a country where insults are thrown about pretty freely… albeit not by you or me. Left-wingers are insulted too, as are Catalans (in my personal experience).

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