Alberto Nunez Feijoo has a dream: Galicianize Spain. The new president of the Popular Party has not wasted time since he arrived at the main floor of Genoa 13 and has set to work to launch his political project. He has wanted to focus first on the regions where his formation bled to death in the last general elections, knowing that the political panorama will only take him to Moncloa with a strong party throughout the national territory.
On May 6, Feijóo traveled to Catalonia for the first time since assumed the presidency of the PP. The visit was to the capital, Barcelona. There he taught the first hand of cards that he wants to play to become strong in the community before the next general election.
It won’t be easy. In the last elections, the Conservatives went from obtaining six representatives among the four provinces to one, that of Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo. The journalist converted into politics was a personal bet by Pablo Casado that turned out to be a full blown hit.
Alvarez de Toledo’s speech, contrary to any type of Catalan identity and defender of Spanishness in comanche territory he pointed it out internally as one of the causes of the poor electoral results. But Feijóo intends to give a 180-degree turn to these approaches so that old water does not move mills.
After having controlled two territories of great weight such as Madrid and Andalusia, Feijóo hopes to turn Catalonia into a key territory for the PP to govern again. The objective is to seduce “those voters who believe in a Catalanism that is not pro-independence”, they explain from his team. The mirror in which he wants to reflect dates back to 2003, when Josep Piqué won 15 seats in Parliament. That would make him take a giant step towards chairing the Council of Ministers.
Up to three times he used the word “nationality” in Barcelona. “That is how it appears in article 2 of the Constitution”, affirm the sources consulted, alluding to the concept that listed as “historical” nationalities that collects the Magna Carta.
Actually, the idea of “Galicianizing” territories is not genuine from Núñez Feijóo. “This is something that Fraga invents”, the father of the national PP and in particular of the Galician. “It’s something that all of his successors have accepted.” Mainly because it has worked for them.
An example of the latter is that it is not the first time that Feijóo uses this term. In November 2017, after the referendum on October 1 and the failed DUI, said that it was necessary to “Galicianize Spain”. At that time their own ruled in Moncloa, which over time can be understood as a declaration of intent.
Also on February 7, weeks before his election as national president of the PP, he used the term. Then Feijóo hurt for the death of José Ramón Ónega, delegate of the Xunta in Madrid, “member of that vast legion of Galicians who knew how to Galicianize Madrid”.
The hegemony of the popular in Galicia is unappealable. Since Fraga, father of that Galicianism that Feijóo makes flag, arrived at the Xunta in 1990, they have always governed except for the four of the bipartisan between the PSOE and BNG.
from the periphery
Nuñez Feijóo himself has always governed with an absolute majority. Up to four times without anyone even being able to propose other alternatives. This supremacy is what has managed to annul nationalism in Galicia, a territory that due to its characteristics could have suffered the same fate as Catalonia or the Basque Country. Feijóo will try to claim in Catalonia that he is one of their ownwho knows what it is like to be on the outskirts of a territory with its peculiarities and that not everything passes through Madrid.
“That’s what the president meant the other day.” That is the idea that Feijóo has for Catalonia. Embrace and highlight the singularities of “Catalan culture, history and identity, which are also part of what Spain is”, say the people asked about this matter.
Who is questioned by this approach? To all the Catalans who have felt “excluded” by independence policies of the last 10 years. These voters, which is the final cake of the political parties, have found shelter in two very different formations during this time.
First was the Ciudadanos phenomenon. Ines Arrimadas managed to win the elections after the abrupt years of the procés, but failed to reach the Palau de la Generalitat. Cs reached 36 historical seats in 2017. But the ups and downs throughout Spain, the changes in the criteria of Albert Rivera and the different electoral repetitions led them to obtain only six representatives four years later.
In 2021 the PSC took over the orange relay, with Salvador Island to the head. A bulky media exposure during the pandemic of the Covid-19 Due to his role as Minister of Health, he was boosted in the polls and on February 14 of that year he won the elections with 33 regional deputies. He, too, could not form a government and the independentistas agreed again.
It is to this electorate, which seeks a refuge outside the holistic independence movement, that Feijóo wants to address, seducing them with the idea that the PP it is no longer a centralist party that will decide the future of Catalonia from Madrid. That he comes from Galicia and there things are done differently. Specifically Galician, but without forgetting that Catalonia has its particular idiosyncrasy.
As in Galicia, Feijóo wants to implement in Catalonia a “harmonious bilingualism”, cordial, not exclusive. He hopes to revalue “the senyera, which is the flag that the Constitution includes.” “The nationalists have taken over the language, one thing that belongs to everyone, was already missing.”
In this area, Feijóo has a recent ally who will play in his favor: the constitutional Court: the ruling that obliges the Generalitat to teach 25% of the classes in Spanish. You won’t have to go over and over your argument in this regard every time you go to Catalonia. A simple that the law be complied with will be more than enough.
On whether they believe that this position can torpedo possible alliances with Vox, from his team they do not pronounce. “We haven’t dealt with that issue, really.” The linguistic policy carried out in Galicia has been one of the throwing weapons that those of Santiago Abascal have thrown against Feijóo.
And about his words in Barcelona they did not take long to respond. The national spokesperson for the formation, Jorge Buxade, attacked days later against the president of the PP for having spoken of “Catalan nationality”. “There is no other nation than Spain”, he has emphasized to him.
“In short, explain that there is a Catalan nationality, as stated in the Constitution, a part of Catalan society that embraces that Catalanism outside of nationalism”, they affirm from Genoa, to add that “the PP has always been a party that believes in the autonomies, we are a party of territories. If we are strong in the territories, we will be strong in Spain”. President’s word.