The results of the general elections held yesterday draw an extremely worrying picture for Spain. The radicalism sown by the Socialist Party has been harvested in the form of a Congress where extremisms - including nationalists, of course - broaden their representation. None of the problems, none of the challenges to our framework of coexistence, to the future of the economy, of the welfare model and of our position in Europe can be improved with a government formula such as that established by the Socialist Party in recent months. And that government formula has been reinforced with yesterday's results and in a more comfortable way for the socialists. The satisfaction of the PSOE can be shared with those responsible for the coup against democracy in Catalonia and even with those who do not condemn or plan to condemn ETA's terrorism. What is not-so-easy to explain is that those who wanted to "get rid of Sanchez" are now celebrating the frustration of their goal no matter how much they have improved their relative position in seats or its entrance into Congress. Perhaps these celebrations can be better explained if one understands that these elections have been presented as a struggle for center-right leadership, rather than as a real effort to democratically evict the socialists from the Moncloa.
But if this happened this way, to a large extent, is due to the fragmentation of the center and the right which, as we said a few days ago, has fatally paved the way for Pedro Sánchez to continue in the Moncloa. The cases of the Basque Country and Catalonia are paradigmatic of this absurd and suicidal cannibalization in which the Spanish center-right has settled, throwing overboard the efforts and the strategic vision that allowed the articulation of a political force capable of successfully raising as the effective alternative to the left. Expressing the desire to "kick out" Sanchez or any other adversary is not enough. In addition to the ends, one must know how to choose the means. And yesterday, the exact opposite of what was needed to achieve that goal was done. Neither options are exchangeable, nor does it make no difference to vote for one or the other, simply because fragmentation does not add up and will not add up. If you persist in this situation, let no one be deceived because the same thing will happen. If what is offered on the one hand is sparse resistance and, on the other, oscillating tacticism, the left and the nationalists can contemplate the future with tranquility. The fragmentation of the center-right, far from being healthy, is the recipe for failure.
Naturally, a profound reflection on what happened is necessary. But it must start from evidence instead of denying it: dispersion penalizes hopelessly, the sum benefits. The need to address the reconstitution of the center-right is now a priority. A reconstitution that will have to be posed in demanding terms, that recovers the ambition of the voters of this great political space to become an effective majority, and that can appeal to a broad generational range and to the middle classes wounded by the crisis and the mistrust. There is no reason why a moderate, constitutional, tolerant Spain, a defender of inclusive social values, committed to national reality and firm in its defense, should have to feel like a losing minority, because it is not. There is no reason, unless it remains willing to condemn itself to it election after election by wasting the votes for reckless ignorance of the rules of the electoral game and the strength of unity.
Translated by Carmen Amado Paredes