Six months of a government with less political weight and aimed at strengthening the profile of the president
A little over six months have passed since the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, broke all forecasts on July 10 and revolutionized the Executive with a purge that expelled from the center of power some of his top lieutenants.
The analysis of the internal climate of the coalition varies greatly depending on the interlocutor. United We Can live a process of refoundation that is generating dysfunctions in the transition from Pablo Iglesias to Yolanda Díaz. On the PSOE side, the departure of Iván Redondo as chief of staff has pacified the party. But his departure also has consequences. There are bridges with the purple part of the Executive that are not as solid as before. internally in the party
Yes there are people who believe that Sánchez now has “fewer walls” to stop the blows. Until then, Carmen Calvo and José Luis Ábalos were the figures who, in their double capacity as leaders of the PSOE and members of the Council of Ministers, acted as parapets. Redondo, Calvo, Ábalos and before Iglesias or Illa were leaders capable of grabbing headlines. And, therefore, likely to attract focus and wear to them. The last four were the ministers with the most political weight with whom Sánchez started the coalition in January 2020. And they are no longer there.
In the days prior to the remodeling of the Government, it was moved, and thus it was published, that the new team would have more political weight. That was substantiated in the departure of figures such as Pedro Duque or Isabel Celáa. While two very important people entered the Government in Sánchez’s plan to pacify the PSOE: Isabel Rodríguez and Pilar Alegría. And to a lesser extent the mayors Raquel Sánchez and Diana Morant. Four party women and with a tour. Without a doubt a more organic government. But no more political. The one that has had the most focus is Rodríguez in his capacity as spokesperson. But his exposure has not yet reached the level that María Jesús Montero acquired during the year and a half that made him compatible with the Ministry of Finance. After those important outings, all eyes were focused on one man: Félix Bolaños. The most favored figure in that government crisis. His status as de facto number two in the Executive and his good relationship with the new team for the presidency of the Government yield one conclusion: there are fewer sides in the government machinery. But also less impact. Because Bolaños still does not have the media impact that Calvo or Ábalos did. This increase in political weight was made more visible in the president’s cabinet. With the incorporation of Óscar López and later Antonio Hernando.
The truth is that the new faces of the Executive still have a long way to go to have an impact. The last time the CIS asked about them was in the October barometer. Only 18.3% said they knew José Manuel Albares, 20.8% Pilar Alegría, 15.4% Pilar Llop, 9.2% Diana Morant, 23.1% Isabel Rodríguez and Raquel Sanchez 12.2%. Only Bolaños escapes from that level of ignorance. But being only recognized by 43.4%.
If the ignorance is justifiable in part due to the high renewal, the assessments of the new ministers have not finished breaking records either. none approve. Only Margarita Robles, Nadia Calviño and Yolanda Díaz do it. All the new ministers have grades between 4.5 and 4.8. And in that they do improve some replaced profiles that were highly marked by public opinion.
The internal balance made by the Government of this period is positive for three reasons: they have managed to approve their second Budgets, European funds have been received and vaccination is consolidating at a very good pace. The Government has spent these months with a particular entertainment: the disputes in the PP, with which they have deeply rejoiced. But the Executive is not without problems. The one that continues to arouse the most headaches is the rise in energy prices. In some public intervention, the president expressed his concern that this increase would hamper the prospects for economic recovery. Something that is already happening. But in the Government they downplay these corrections. They argue that in no case are these economic setbacks and that in any case the new forecasts confirm that there will be “robust growth”.