“There will be no merger with the PP. There will not be.” Edmundo bal, Deputy Secretary for Citizens, has been in charge of solemnizing before the media the refusal of any possibility of dissolving the initials in the organization of Pablo Casado. Ines ArrimadasSurrounded by the staff of European liberalism, it has also chosen a headline to claim its autonomy: “Liberals are not conservatives.”
The Citizens’ leadership has exhibited unprecedented unity in this last stage. Arrimadas herself, Luis Garicano, Francisco Igea, Juan Marin, Begoña Villacís… In short, the senior officials of the party have delivered that message: a firm commitment to the formation born in Catalonia fifteen years ago.
Ciudadanos celebrates its political convention this weekend in Madrid, the first of the Arrimadas era. It is a space for reflection; an antidote to the ideological emptying that threatened the party.
Arrimadas has achieved the presence in the Duques de Pastrana complex of the great faces of European liberalism, including the president of Renew Europe -the parliamentary group in Strasbourg-, Dacian Ciolos. Twelve other experts from different fields have also participated to nurture Citizens’ “liberal discourse” in this liberal reopening, which is nothing more than a last bullet.
“We are going to defend this liberal project with independence and autonomy,” said Bal before a cloud of cameras at the doors of the convention. The deputy secretary, in addition to the rest of the staff, has taken advantage of the situation to also formalize the “recognition of one’s own mistakes.”
In other words: Arrimadas assumes the absurdity of Murcia’s motion, but brings the party together, after internal disputes have been polished, to look forward for the last time: the liberal space “exists” and what matters is “to be decisive.”
This is expressed by an important party leader in conversation with this newspaper: “With a few seats we can be that regulatory party that Spain needs. If we re-condition governments, the country would gain in moderation and reforms would accelerate.”
The convention, with three hundred members present but broadcast by streamingIt also has a lot of an inward look: to recycle itself to rebuild the relationship with the militancy and disenchanted voters.
That is why so much importance has been given to the situation of liberalism in Europe, where the rest of similar organizations have suffered vicissitudes similar to those of Ciudadanos. There is the case of German liberalism, which disappeared from the national Parliament to re-emerge and become arithmetically indispensable four years later.
The “green patriotism” -environmental liberalism-, civil liberties, the defense of euthanasia, abortion and the LGTBI collective are some of the frameworks exposed by Ciudadanos to separate from the PP. As EL ESPAÑOL revealed, those from Arrimadas seek to endorse the thesis of the Third Culture movement, a kind of “natural philosophy” that would pay for Cs’s own profile.
“Someone who defends freedom of business and low taxes, but is against euthanasia is not a liberal,” they have exemplified from Ciudadanos this morning. Arrimadas has insisted that liberalism must be transversal and apply to all dimensions of life; something that does not happen in the PP.
“In Europe, we are the liberals.” A phrase that has gained strength when the president of the liberals in the European Parliament, Dacian Ciolos, has given it a letter of nature: “In Europe, the liberals of Spain are called Citizens.”
For some time now, conservatives have tried to define themselves as liberals; and the socialists have done the same as “liberals.” Both the PP and the PSOE have sought to categorize themselves that way when they have had to go to the polls, aware that the elections in Spain are won by the center.
Those of Arrimadas have admitted this morning that, precisely, one of their mistakes has been their inability to claim – and communicate – the achievements. “We are criticized for many things, some invented and others true; but no one has ever told us that we do not know how to govern,” Arrimadas said.
Edmundo Bal has revealed that a new communication strategy commanded by Daniel Perez -device secretary and former director of Atresmedia- to assert the virtues of Ciudadanos in the different coalition executives, where at the moment the PP “takes all the rents” – that expression is used off the microphone by another leader.
This Sunday, Inés Arrimadas will close the convention with a speech that will encompass the aforementioned lines and will vindicate “strongly” the autonomy of Citizens from the PP.
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