The maneuvers of Pablo Iglesias to arm the legislature on the support of Bildu and ERC, his favorite partners, stress the PNV, which begins to feel the kick on its own back to remove Inés Arrimadas from the “progressive” equation. The nationalist party, so praised by the second vice president in Congress, is the enemy to beat in the Basque Country, until now invincible at the hands of the PSE. But in Sabin Etxea they watch with growing anxiety the block of Iglesias, Otegui and Rufián, who triangulate in the objective of forming tripartite governments with the socialists in Catalonia and in the Basque Country.
The discomfort of the PNV is patent. Its leaders have been privately airing their misgivings for weeks that Iglesias, with Sánchez’s permission, make and undo the strategy of pacts with his new strategic partners at will, with Bildu at the helm of the State. Its leader, Andoni Ortuzar, a few days ago asked the president to give “A blow to the table” of authority before the budgetary skirmishes of his vice president with ERC and Bildu. But it has not been that way; the political courtship with these forces has been consolidated and in the PNV they begin to see the risks for their marriage with the PSE, with which they govern the entire Basque institutional fabric. Or almost everything.
The first alarm has been lit in Irún, the second most important city in Guipúzcoa after San Sebastián, where socialists and Podemos have reached an unprecedented agreement in the community. They will govern together with some Budgets that are signed by Bildu. It is the first stone of the dreamed Basque tripartite of Iglesias and Otegui, which they already defended during the electoral campaign but which is now taking shape in the border town. The phase one trial.
From Sabin Etxea they affirm that this is an isolated event, a black sheep in the pot, an anecdote. That the great coalition between the PNV and the PSE has an “iron health”, they repeat. The two historical Basque partners, who already ruled in coalition in the eighties and nineties, rule out changes in the short or medium term. But the range of pacts has been expanded leaving the PNV out of the game. Nerves have crept into the headquarters of the centennial party.
We can warn that Irún is only the principle of its envelope to the PNV. Its Basque leaders assure that they have broken the inertia of the Urkullu bipartite and yesterday announced that they will negotiate the Autonomous Government Budgets only with the PSE, excluding the PNV. His objective: to end the “rude hegemony” of the heirs of Sabino Arana.
“Our votes so that their secretary general is now vice president of the Government did not seem so harsh or so little democratic,” the Peneuvista president in Vizcaya, Itxaso Atutxa, stirred. The relations between the two political directions of the PNV and Podemos in the Basque Country scratch the ice.
Iglesias greeted the agreement to govern Irún with the socialists on Twitter: “It is great news that continues to consolidate a course of progress in more and more places,” he wrote after declaring in the Basque campaign that the PNV is not in his natural alliance. Unlike, his political equation goes through Bildu. This Monday he praised the “ethical journey” of those from Otegui, their contribution to the disappearance of ETA, he said, assuming Zapatero’s thesis of the “man of peace.” Against PP and Vox, where the Franco regime would nest: “They directly vindicate the governments of the dictatorship.”
The truth is that the PNV, which has been the main supplier of the Government of Spain since CiU became the harakiri entrusting its fate to the “procés”, carefully observes how the suitors accumulate for Sánchez. And although he continues to consider himself a preferred partner of Moncloa, he knows that his specific weight in Madrid, his “influence”, may suffer a drastic reduction with so much offer. Its six deputies are diluted in the widened majority of 190 that the Government caresses to carry out their accounts. Although from Sabin Etxea they point out that their votes are worth more for the qualitative than for the strictly quantitative. That the PNV signed an investiture pact with Sánchez while ERC and Bildu abstained. And that, they insist, has to be noticed. Although Sánchez continues to let Iglesias make his own entente.