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Transform Or Die: Nine Years Of Service



The transition to democracy materialized in Spain with the approval in the Cortes, on November 18, 1976, of the eighth Fundamental Law of Francoism: the Law for Political Reform. The network of elites, great fortunes and Francoist politicians, was maintained. For years, those same great powers worked hard to inoculate us with the idea that the Transition was exemplary.

The bipartisan common sense —which was installed since the beginning of the 80s and which lasted until the outbreak of 15M— did nothing more than entrench the customs of corruption and clientelism, which since the construction of the Spanish State and even more so during the years of the dictatorship, have been the constant in the political life of our country. The institutional dimensions that corruption acquired in the Franco years continued unabated in the first decades of democracy. And although now we begin to glimpse another type of political management, the State Sewers, in collusion with media and economic powers, show that we have not been able to bury this endemic evil.

The appearance of Podemos in 2014 marked a before and after in the political life of our country. I do not intend here to explain and analyze how our organization was born. Rivers of ink have already been spilled in recent years and I could add little else, except my personal experience: illusion and commitment, which have led me to take the step into the institutional political arena in Podemos before any other political party. Even so, it is clear that a lot has happened in these last three years that I would like to try to put into proper perspective.

The coalition government — called by the media at the service of the “social communist” and “philoetarra” political right — has put on the table a new way of governing, far from the impertinent despotism typical of absolute majorities and reaching agreements with different forces to carry out, for example, three State Budget laws. Contrast, by the way, with the inability of Ayuso or Almeida, who despite their majority have not been able to approve the most important law that each administration has.

This formula of government —which every day with its management demonstrates that it works— was until recently inconceivable in a democracy. The last precedent was in 1936. And, paradoxically, that is something that a right wing unable to disassociate itself from its Francoist past has not forgiven.

During these three years, and with particular harshness in recent months, the media paid for and subsidized by the great powers have not stopped fueling Podemos and its leaders with hoaxes and manipulated news, because it is the first time that a force of government calls into question the indecent privileges of some. That is the difference between Podemos and the rest, which is the only truly transformative force and which has promoted measures that were unthinkable until today. Do you remember all the times we were told “you can’t”? Take an example: The cap on the price of gas. Something that we had been demanding for years and that they told us was impossible. Today, in Spain we pay a lower price than in the rest of the European countries, and we are advancing more decisively in the development of renewables. In parallel, we cannot forget the so-called “FerrerasGate” (click here if you want to know more), the clearest example of how the powers are willing to do anything as long as nothing changes, and why not say it, they also exemplify the crisis suffered by national journalism. Bad news for ordinary citizens who see their right to truthful information contained in Article 20 of the EC violated.

We have been accused of being stubborn, radical and even unsympathetic, harassing the figures of Pablo Iglesias and Irene Montero to infinity. Theft of telephones through a “patriotic police” at the service of the PP; illegal demonstrations day and night of madmen at the doors of his house; dehumanization; death threats… And also, putting into motion all possible propaganda machinery to twist public opinion. One day this anti-democratic aberration will be studied in Political Science universities.

During this time, we have been held responsible for all the ills of the country, the examples are many, but perhaps the pandemic was the historical moment where the powers put all their efforts in overthrowing a democratically constituted government.

Podemos is the necessary political tool to point out those who really profit from social injustice and pervert the institutions from their position of privilege. Those who today are determined to liquidate our project are sidelined in the face of corruption cases that would embarrass any democrat who loves public services. Those who today put all their forces into making Podemos disappear from the equation are the same ones who aspire to return to a bipartisanship that has only served to divide up the great cake of power in Spain.

We see it on practically all television when in the great debates between fellow members who have stopped inviting representatives of Podemos. Radio stations that every day instill merciless criticism of the purple formation. Anything goes to kill us. It has never been forgiven for giving normal people a voice on the street.

We see it in the informative silence that currently exists, and that I personally, and as a candidate for mayor of Madrid, suffer from some media. Democracy only for when we are interested.

Council of Madrid City

We see it in the institutions, for example in the Madrid City Council itself, with a mayor constantly whitewashed by an opposition that has not lived up to it. That he has agreed with Vox, Ciudadanos and PP, in the Villa Pacts and that he has been unable to make him pay for his excesses with the case of the masks. Two gentlemen enriching themselves with multi-million dollar figures while our people died in residences and hospitals, thanks to the mayor’s cousin.

We also see it in the neighborhoods of our city, completely forgotten by a political class that is more concerned about having their offices clean than that our streets are clean. And those are the ones who claim to represent the will of the citizens! I am tired of seeing my compatriots suffer abandonment by everyone, even by those who claim to be progressive. Who are silent too many times. The progress only for the photo. In Podemos we have always differentiated ourselves in something, and it is in not being the typical weather vane party, more concerned with opinion polls than with their own convictions. We are not going to win by proposing the same thing as the PP. We know what country we want. And that’s why he hasn’t stopped constantly persecuting us, even with false evidence. Where were those who claimed to be the new left then? Real politics in this country is only for the brave who are willing to fight the powerful. Not everyone is worth it, and that is why there are those who prefer to support NATO, put themselves in profile, or vote with the worst right when they are interested. Everyone chooses which side they are on. I have it clear.

Nine Years of Dignity

These are nine years of dignity and social progress, especially in these years of coalition government. To be fair with the rights conquered is to recognize what has been achieved. And a lot has been thanks to Podemos, to brave women and men who have put their faces and continue to put their souls to make this country a real full democracy.

At a time when the winds of intolerance and hatred are lurking again is when we must be firmer and more secure. It is now when we must push forward and demonstrate that Madrid is going to be the driving force behind the transformation that the Spanish government accompanies, to achieve a more dignified country and more livable cities.

During the last days I have watched with concern the speeches that have been adopted in the PP. The “enemies of Spain” that they said back in 1936 about republicans, liberals, socialists and communists return to impregnate the daily story. We see it in the vocabulary of the leaders of the PP, among them the mayor of Madrid, Martínez Almeida, when he equates us with ETA and stigmatizes us as if we were the evil that wants to end the country. Enough of speeches that endanger democracies and that can only lead us down the path of unprecedented social tension.

In May we have a new opportunity to put an end to this dangerous drift, and begin to fully understand that in Madrid there is no one left over and that another way of doing politics is possible. We have achieved it in the government of Spain and I am prepared with all my soul for it to be so in Madrid. Against all odds, against all pressures, to put the council at the service of the people, at the service of social welfare. That’s why I joined Podemos.

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Strategic Twinning of Rabat And Madrid: A Defense Against Mediterranean Tension



Rabat – The writer-journalist, Abdelhamid Jmahri believes that the wish today of Morocco and Spain, after the clarification of the foundations of their cooperation, is to establish a geostrategic twinning that goes beyond the limits of close cooperation and privileged partnership, thus blocking the way to maneuvers aimed at exacerbating tensions in the Mediterranean region.

Al Itihad Al Ichtiraki”

In an editorial to appear in the Saturday edition of the Arabic-language daily “Al Itihad Al Ichtiraki”, he notes that this ambition is clearly displayed through the will of HM King Mohammed VI in His call to inaugurate “a new unprecedented stage ” and also that of King Felipe VI of Spain calling for weaving partnership relations for the 21st century.

He maintains that the High Level Meeting (RHN) held last Thursday in Rabat is the bearer of strategic partnerships specific to countries concerned with a perfect understanding of their common interests and also sharing the same conception of the interactions of international action, at the present time. as in the future.

While emphasizing that the two Kingdoms have set a living example on the priority nature of the conciliatory diplomatic approach and its supremacy in the settlement of disputes, he observes that the agreements signed during this High Level Meeting relate to key sectors targeted , in support of a common understanding of priorities.

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Spain-Morocco Reconnection: Post-Crisis Efforts



After a deep diplomatic crisis, Spain and Morocco cemented their reconciliation on Thursday in Rabat, despite criticism in Madrid over too many concessions from Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Mr. Sanchez, accompanied by a dozen ministers, co-chaired a “high-level meeting” (RHN) with his counterpart Aziz Akhannouch, the first since 2015.

“Today we are consolidating the new stage in relations between Morocco and Spain that we have opened,” he said, praising “the enormous unexplored potential of this relationship”.

Before his arrival in Rabat on Wednesday, the Socialist Prime Minister spoke by telephone with King Mohammad VI who invited him to return “very soon” to Morocco for an official visit “in order to reinforce this positive dynamic”, according to the royal cabinet.

Mr. Sanchez ended last March a year of diplomatic estrangement with Morocco by agreeing to support Moroccan positions on Western Sahara.

The crisis erupted in April 2021 after the hospitalization in Spain – under a false identity according to Rabat – of the leader of the Sahrawi separatists of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, sworn enemy of Morocco.

The Rabat-Madrid honeymoon comes as France – another historical partner of Rabat – is pilloried by Moroccan politicians and media who accuse it of having “orchestrated” a European Parliament resolution worrying about freedom of the press in Morocco and allegations of corruption of MEPs in Brussels.

But this idyll is not to everyone’s taste in Spain. The radical left formation Podemos, member of the government coalition, did not wish to be on the trip to Rabat, citing its opposition to Mr. Sanchez’s “unilateral” turn on Western Sahara. A turnaround applauded in Rabat.

The fact that Mr. Sanchez was not received by Mohammad VI is seen as a snub in Spain by the right-wing opposition and the press. The Popular Party, the main opposition force, deplored Thursday, through the voice of its general coordinator Elias Bendodo, that “Spain has given an image of weakness”.

“The absence of Mohammad VI spoils the summit”, wrote the daily El Païs (center left) while the newspaper El Mundo (conservative) headlined: “Mohammad VI shows his position of strength with regard to Spain by posing a rabbit to Sanchez”.

New Economic Partnership

Pedro Sanchez said he hoped for the development of “new investment projects accompanying the extraordinary process of development and modernization of Morocco”. “Morocco and Spain wish to establish a new economic partnership at the service of development”, underlined for his part Mr. Akhannouch.

Twenty agreements were signed on Thursday to facilitate Spanish investment in Morocco – Spain is the third largest foreign investor there – in the fields of renewable energies, water desalination, rail transport, tourism , education and culture. To this end, a new financial protocol has been approved which will double – to 800 million euros – aid from the Spanish government for investment projects in Morocco.

Also in the pipeline is an agreement to “completely normalize the passage of people and goods” through sea and land borders. The opening of land crossings concern the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, in northern Morocco.

Without forgetting the files of illegal immigration and the fight against terrorism. Madrid highlighted the drop of more than 25% in illegal immigration in 2022 thanks to its police cooperation with Rabat, with 31,219 migrants entering Spain illegally in 2022.

This cooperation, welcomed by Rabat, was however tarnished by the death of at least 23 Sudanese migrants who had tried last June to enter the enclave of Melilla via the Moroccan border town of Nador.

The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, was also to plead with his Moroccan counterpart, Abdelouafi Laftit, to reactivate the channels for the expulsion of irregular migrants and return to levels prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. , according to a source from the Spanish ministry.

Finally, Rabat is considered a key partner in the fight against terrorism. An important subject for Madrid after an attack at the end of January attributed to a young Moroccan in an irregular situation against two churches in Algeciras (South) in which a sexton was killed.

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Morocco-Spain Partnership for 21st Century Challenges



Madrid – Aware of the strategic importance of preserving and developing a privileged relationship looking to the future, Morocco and Spain show a firm determination to build a renewed global partnership, up to the challenges but also opportunities offered by the 21st century, said Morocco’s ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich.

Both Countries Are Neighboring And Friendly

“Morocco and Spain are two friendly and neighboring countries, which share common values and interests and which continue to work together to make their relationship an example to follow in all areas,” said Ms. Benyaich in an interview with MAP, on the occasion of the holding in Rabat of the 12th Morocco/Spain High Level Meeting.

It is within the framework of this spirit that fits the speech delivered by HM King Mohammed VI on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, on August 20, 2021, in which the Sovereign called for the inauguration of an unprecedented stage in relations between the two countries, based on mutual trust, permanent consultation and frank and sincere cooperation, recalled Ms. Benyaich.

Responding to the generous appeal of HM the King, the Spanish government has repeatedly reaffirmed its unshakeable will to engage with Morocco in a renewed dynamic to establish a lasting relationship on more solid foundations, observed the Diplomat.

”Today, in accordance with this new dynamic initiated between the two countries since last April, following the visit of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, to Morocco, at the invitation of HM the King and the adoption of an ambitious roadmap, Morocco and Spain are determined to move forward in the implementation of this virtuous process, by identifying all the appropriate means to give this partnership a serene, lasting basis and an operational character. which will strengthen bilateral relations and create mutually beneficial synergies,” noted Ms. Benyaich in this regard.

In this wake, the Ambassador of Morocco to Spain highlighted the “excellent relations of brotherhood” uniting the two Royal Families, assuring that the “distinguished and privileged ties of solid friendship and mutual esteem between HM the King and King Felipe VI strongly contribute to the consolidation of a unique and exemplary relationship.

Thus, argued Ms. Benyaich, the High Level Meeting between the two countries, which has not taken place since 2015, will undoubtedly constitute an exceptional meeting which will imbue a new dynamic in bilateral relations and will reflect the determination to build a mutually beneficial strategic partnership, under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and King Felipe VI of Spain.

This meeting, she added, is only the concretization of the firm will of the two countries to take an unprecedented step in bilateral relations, on the basis of a clear and ambitious roadmap responding to the aspirations of both friendly peoples.

In this context, the leaders of the two countries are looking into the implementation of concrete actions within the framework of this roadmap encompassing all areas of the partnership and integrating all issues of common interest, in a climate of trust and transparency, said Ms. Benyaich, recalling that, since last April, all the working groups have held regular meetings to put in place the provisions of the new bilateral roadmap.

As a result, the High-Level Meeting in Rabat will reflect this positive state of mind and oriented towards respect for the commitments that drive the Moroccan-Spanish relationship today, Ms. Benyaich concluded.

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