Thursday, March 4

Pros and cons of Illa’s appointment: Sánchez plays PSC in his Catalan bet

1. Salvador Illa He came to the Ministry of Health as a Catalan share of the PSC in the Government and ran into, as number one in a portfolio with hardly any powers or budget, with a pandemic of biblical proportions and devastating consequences for health and the national economy.

2. Salvador Illa now reaches the Catalan autonomous regions as a share of Pedro Sanchez in the PSC and runs into, as head of the list of a party in convalescence since 2010, with some polls that predict a pro-independence majority in the elections on February 14.

3. In other words. Illa took on the responsibility of saving the health of the Spanish in March and now carries the responsibility of saving their political health, avoiding a victory for separatism that all polls consider as practically certain.

4. It is clear that Sánchez thinks that Salvador Illa is the Catalan Jesus Christ of miracles. Maybe even the Tom Cruise of Mission Impossible.

5. The next thing to do is to rub a tenth of the Child’s draw on his back. Sure prize, courtesy of the minister to whom the twelve labors of Hercules must today seem little more than vermouth.

6. And that man studied Philosophy. He gets to join the Navy Seal and does not suffer so much.

7. Sarcasms aside, Pedro Sánchez’s cracking is cracking.

8. Because the cons of Illa’s appointment are obvious and were taken advantage of yesterday by all his political opponents: “Illa’s concern was not the health of the Spanish, was to be a candidate for the Generalitat “said the secretary general of the PP, Teodoro Garcia Egea. The accusation is of lane, but also legitimate.

9. “Now your criticisms of Isabel Diaz Ayuso“said many others. The thesis is, of course, that hitting Madrid gives votes in Catalonia.

10. That is likely to be true, although more so in the case of the potential voter for Podemos than for ERC or JxCAT, whose contempt for all things Spanish makes the dispute around Madrid fall far from their focus.

11. With Sánchez’s decision, the PSC loses nationalist focus, but gains constitutional focus. Illa is much less doubtful than Miquel Iceta in their loyalty to the Constitution.

12. Illa is also a moderate man who does not cause hives in the independence movement, but neither in that constitutionalism that is strongly repelled by the bourgeois nationalism of Sunday paella in Gavá and gin and tonic in Miquel Iceta’s Casa Fuster.

13. You do not have to be a lynx of the demoscopy to understand that the most affected by this movement is Ciudadanos.

14. In Ciudadanos it rains over wet. Because the news of Illa’s appointment came just one hour after the signing of Lorena Roldan by the PP of Alejandro Fernandez.

15. The problem with Ciudadanos is that the appointment of Illa – and the signing of Roldán by the PP – confirms the PSC as the clear winner of the battle for the moderate Catalan constitutionalist vote.

16. The conclusion is ironic, bearing in mind that Ciudadanos has always defined itself as a pragmatic party and for pragmatists. The nationalist Iceta disappeared from the equation, the incentives to vote for Ciudadanos and not for the PSC largely disappear.

17. Sánchez is not a conservative man in his bets. Dislodging the Minister of Health at the gates of a possible third wave and just started a vaccination campaign of uncertain development to replace the leader of a PSC who was scoring moderately high in the polls is a all or nothing of manual.

18. In favor of the appointment of Illa, a truism. The Minister of Health is the second most valued member of the Government after Nadia Calvin. It is also one of the ones that has accumulated the most television hours over the last year.

19. A second obvious. The polls, and among them the last one from SocioMétrica for EL ESPAÑOL, give the PSC 22-23 seats out of 17 in 2017. It is a notable rise, but insufficient if one takes into account the fall of Ciudadanos, which has fallen from 36 from 2017 to 19-20 today.

20. In other words. The PSC does not manage to take advantage of the fall of the Inés Arrimadas. It is very likely that the appointment of Illa, with a moderate and less nationalistic profile than that of Iceta, is partly motivated by the desire to squeeze even more the orange of Ciudadanos.

21. PSC and PSOE are selling the idea that Illa’s appointment is a consequence of Iceta’s resignation. Nothing is further from reality. Pedro Sánchez commands in the PSC. Any doubts that could be lodged in this regard were definitely cleared yesterday Wednesday.

22. Internal PSOE polls give Salvador Illa more chances of reaching second place in the elections than Miquel Iceta. Those internal polls give the PSC about 28 seats.

23. Perhaps those 28 seats are too optimistic. But what is clear is that if there is someone capable of reaching them, and even surpassing them, that is Illa, not Iceta.

24. That Sánchez has risked with a bet of such caliber – a bad result would be lethal for the PSC – is also a sign that these polls are not pure wishful thinking. But Sánchez’s advisers have been wrong before.

25. A second key. According to the latest polls, the sum of ERC, PSC and Podemos is not enough for a left tripartite. Growing up at the expense of ERC and Podemos, something that Iceta could achieve, would be useless. But growing at the expense of Ciudadanos, something Illa could achieve, yes.

26. A second victim by Illa’s appointment is ERC, which must now add a second concern to that of the push from Laura Borràs in polls. That his strategy of pacts with the PSOE ends up turning against him.

27. Sánchez will now decide whether to accelerate the pardons to the leaders of the 2017 coup – something that would very clearly benefit ERC against JxCAT, but that would alienate its constitutional voters – or delay them to boycott ERC and have it in your hands if the elections give a good result to the PSC.

28. Presidency for Salvador Illa, with the acquiescence of ERC, in exchange for pardons? Have no doubt that Sánchez your hand won’t shake if you have that possibility at your fingertips.

29. That no one has the slightest doubt, to the contrary, that Sánchez will accept the votes of PP and Ciudadanos if the sum makes Illa president.

30. But that possibility today seems almost impossible except for surprise in the elections. Especially in light of the low participation expected by the surveys: less than 70% in contrast to 81% in 2017.

31. The danger is obvious. That Illa only move a vote within the constitutional bloc, bleeding Citizens, but leaving the final sum very far from that of the independence bloc. In that case, Sánchez will have made bread like cakes.

32. The result Sánchez dreamed of? A PSC in second place, with a poor ERC result, and Podemos debacle. Something that could force a depressed ERC to go through the hoop of an Illa presidency in exchange for the pardon of its coup plotters, Ciudadanos and the PP to make the socialist candidate president in the absence of a tolerable alternative, and Podemos to beg his entry into a coalition government to avoid its definitive disappearance from the Catalan scene.

33. What is clear is that Salvador Illa’s entry into the electoral race has shaken the Catalan political scene in a way that no other movement has done so far. It remains to be seen, however, if that shaking is the sign of a future earthquake or a simple tremor.

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