Casado whitewashes Francoism in Spanish parliament

2 min
Pablo Casado during his speech yesterday in the Congress of Deputies.

The president of the PP, Pablo Casado, pronounced yesterday a phrase in the Spanish parliament that shows to what extent the Transition has been a failure: "The Civil War was the confrontation between those who wanted democracy without law and those who wanted law without democracy", he said, equating the two sides and, moreover, painting the Republic as an anarchy without law or order, precisely the main argument used by Francoism a posteriori to justify the coup d'état. With this statement, Casado, who was born after Franco's death and has been educated in democracy, shows that the Spanish right is still not able to untie itself from its Francoist and authoritarian past: on the contrary, it is whitewashing it. And, in this aspect, it is very far from the European liberal-conservative formations that, in their daily praxis, reject any pact with the far right.

If during the past forty years in Spain an authentic democratic culture had been forged, the Civil War had been well explained in schools and the memory of the victims of the dictatorship had been vindicated from the very first moment, today words like Casado's in parliament and the presence of a party like Vox would be unthinkable. Let's remember that Santiago Abascal already said in the chamber that Pedro Sánchez was the worst president of the government in the last 80 years, putting the dictator Franco above him. But the truth is that Spain today remains just as divided as it was forty or even eighty years ago: on one side of the divide is the left and the nationalists, the losers of the conflict; on the other, the right, the heirs of the victors.

The practical consequence of Casado's statement and his entire speech is that there is no longer any possibility of understanding between the PP and the PSOE regarding, for example, the renewal of bodies such as the CGPJ or the Court of Auditors. Therefore, it is now up to Pedro Sánchez to decide what he wants to do and with which partners. Yesterday we could hear him repeating that with the PSOE "there will never be a referendum of self-determination in Catalonia". This is the maximum position he has always maintained, just as Aragonès reminded him on Tuesday that he would not renounce independence.

Political conflicts with deep historical roots and strong emotional implications, as is the case here, are not an easy matter to resolve, as mediation experts are well aware. But at the same time, Sánchez has to be aware of who he has in front of him: a hugely conservative right-wing which is not even willing to renounce Francoism, and that the only partners he has to follow a path of democratic deepening in Spain are the parties that facilitated his investiture. Surely Sánchez would prefer to be able to agree on some things with the PP and Cs, and in fact he has tried many times, but yesterday it became clear that after the pardons this path is already impassable. What he is left is the alliance of the left and dialogue with Catalonia. And here at some point it will be necessary to put aside the high-sounding declarations and seek effective solutions.