3 min

The second part of a legislature usually smells like the end of a term and politics takes on the colour of an election campaign. This is a universal law and it is also what is happening in Spanish politics, with its particularities and always so prone to outbursts.

The political and journalistic atmosphere in the Spanish capital is effervescent with the paradox of a progressive government and a heated atmosphere rather than a right-wing one.

Although there is a left-wing coalition government that is gaining strength with the presentation of general budgets in Parliament, a large part of public opinion and the majority of published opinion are living in a kind of call for the reconquest of Spain. The atmosphere of reaction mainly includes a PP under Casado that has adopted the postulates of the extreme right, a part of the judiciary interpreting its own excesses of confidence as an affront to the rule of law as a whole, and a large part of the press in the Villa y Corte with no interest in the facts but rather in creating currents of opinion favourable to the pendulum swing that will lead PP and Vox to the government and the natural order of things. For all of them, the government is illegitimate.

The battle between the right and the left has a battlefield in Madrid, where reaction is winning on the streets, fuelled by the powers of the state and by the gesticulation of Madrid's president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. 

The negotiation of the State budgets will make it clear that the Spanish government is supported by what they call the periphery, the Basque Country and a sector of Catalonia capable of destabilising a furious Spanish nationalism.

Unresolved issues

With the dialogue table, Pedro Sánchez has managed to get Catalan politics off Madrid's agenda, but he knows that the will to dialogue will not be enough without making progress and finding a way to get Carles Puigdemont back. At some point, as José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero hinted to Gemma Nierga on Friday, the Spanish government will have to prepare a landing strip that will set the conditions for bringing back the discussion to the moment when everything blew up. If the pardons were justified by "the public interest" and the reform of the crimes of sedition and rebellion in the Penal Code does not come unstuck, as it seems, perhaps imaginative ideas will have to be applied, such as the early pardon, not applicable to embezzlement or disobedience, but to the pardoned crimes of rebellion and sedition, which have many incompatibilities in comparative law.

For the moment, however, the most destabilising return could be that of Juan Carlos I, the ex-king who has taken refuge in Abu Dhabi and who would only have to catch a plane now that the Prosecutor's Office has fine-tuned the situation for him.

His tax crimes would have prescribed or would not concern him thanks to his immunity and a regularisation that, despite not being spontaneous, in his case is considered valid and has enjoyed some unheard of tempos by the Tax Agency. The ex-king would like to return to Spain for Christmas, according to the journalistic court that for decades has accompanied him on his missions and commissions. It is clear that the ex-king does not want to die in exile like his grandfather and that Sánchez will have to ensure that the little soul of republican socialism is locked up with a lock and bolt once again in its history.

Journalism and propaganda

The climate of propagandistic agitation contrasts with the Nobel Peace Prize, which this week honoured two journalists with capital letters. The kind that go against the tide and risk their lives. They are Dmitry Muratov, editor of the Novaia Gazeta, and Maria Ressa of the Philippines, editor of Rappler.

The Russian's award came the day after the 15th anniversary of Anna Politkovskaia's death in the elevator of her home on her way home from shopping. Politkovskaia had already been poisoned and threatened, and she never stopped denouncing the barbarism in Chechnya and the connections with the Kremlin.

Novaia Gazeta has relentlessly denounced human rights violations, corruption and mafia activities since 1993. Six reporters have been killed with impunity for publishing information about the dirty side of the regime and abuses in Russia and Chechnya.

The weekly's journalists always live under the threat of being declared "foreign agents" and therefore imprisoned and censored.

Muratov and Ressa honour the word journalist, and the profession. As the Filipina says, you need facts to have truth and trust.