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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

Pedro Sánchez, Heavyweight
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 @ 12:54 PM

Pedro Sánchez may be facing an election year, and even some wobbly polling results, but he is flying high at the present time.

Let’s start with this headline: 'The Government, in full global respect: praise in Davos, Pedro Sánchez on CNN and Yolanda Díaz in The Financial Times. The policies of the Spanish Government are recognized in different relevant spaces and in the media. The president of the World Economic Forum publicly praised the good economic data. Labour Ministers such as those from Brazil or Germany consider Spain a benchmark in labour matters'.

"Congratulations on the good economic results. The same is not happening in the rest of the world", says the President of the World Economic Forum Børge Brende to Pedro Sánchez.

The president participated last week (Tuesday) in the economic forum of Davos in which he had asked the global elites to help governments to oblige companies to pay their share of taxes and to deter them from storing their wealth in tax havens.

Sánchez has one evident advantage over Núñez Feijóo when abroad – he speaks several languages (English, French, Portuguese and Italian) whereas Feijóo admits ruefully that he ‘wished he spoke English’ (we are reminded of Mariano Rajoy when he was asked a question by a BBC reporter in English and his famous reply “Venga, no hombre” before pointing towards a safer bet).

In short, Sánchez looks the part.

In other welcome news for Sánchez, December year-on-year inflation was 10.4% in the EU, 9.2% in the Eurozone, while Spain was the lowest in Europe at 5.5%. The figures come from Eurostat.

Following Davos, Spain and France signed a historic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation last week as Sánchez met with Emmanuel Macron in Barcelona for a summit in a meeting described as sharing a European vision. A strategic alliance, no less. It all went well, beyond a protest by the currently reduced independence movement in Barcelona (where one senior independentista was thumped by a police baton during the excitement). One source talks of ‘Language learning, the cross-border hospital in Cerdanya, and the boosting of tourism: Spain and France's Treaty of Barcelona Friendship agreement signed in the Catalan capital aims at strengthening ties in the environment, plus security, culture, and defence’.

The answer must be a strong Europe says Emmanuel Macron in an interview with El País.

As Pedro edges towards joining Macron as being recognised internationally as a Statesman (‘a skilled, experienced, and respected political leader or figure’ says the Oxford Dictionary), his image is under ferocious attack from the Right, using facts, fiction, bulos, sometimes manipulation from the media and even the judiciary (lawfare); and, inevitably, pressure, threats and insults from both the public and certain agitators on social media (the probable cause of the abrupt departure of Jacinda Ardern over in New Zealand).

Sánchez renowned abroad may not mean that he will continue to lead Spain after the next domestic elections, of course: but, as they say, forty-eight weeks is a long time in politics.

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