Spain’s President Pedro Sanchez came under fire for capitalising on his position as President to show off at European Council meetings in an attempt to snatch the European Union presidency.
President Sanchez is reportedly trying to make a name for himself on the international and the EU stage ahead of the Spanish presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2023. Last week, Mr Sanchez multiplied EU trips with the 40th anniversary of Spain in NATO, the European Council in Brussels and a visit to Moldova amid the Russian invasion threat.
Speaking to the Spanish Congress, the opposition leader of the Ciudadanos party Inés Arrimadas lashed out: “That you are assuming that you will not be able to repeat as president of the government.
“I am beginning to see that you are beginning to assume that there will be no propaganda, that there will be no lies. There will be no sectarian ideological agenda to cover up the barbarities that you are doing.
“That is why, when I see you defending Mrs. Von der Leyen. Or when I see you going to NATO or European council meetings. And you cannot defend a country’s position because you have not agreed it with anyone.”
“And you can’t defend a government position because you don’t have a government position. I’m asking myself, who are you representing in these meetings?
“Could it be that you, who already find it very difficult to repeat as president of the government, are using the Spanish institutions to try to find a way out in the European institutions?
“Isn’t it? Could it be, Mr. Sanchez?”, Ms Arrimadas asked.
Mr Sanchez’s Government has struggled to respond to the unprecedented set of domestic challenges brought about by the Ukraine war and the pandemic such as the energy and the economic crises.
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“But she only insults. She just keeps insulting”, Pedro Sanchez lambasted.
Under booing from the opposition, Mr Sanchez continued: “The fact is she doesn’t put forward any alternative, any proposal. You accuse me of I don’t know what, that I want to leave, that I’m not going to win the elections.
“But do you really think that with what we are facing: Ukraine, the food crisis, the energy crisis, the validation of aid for the sectors affected, you come here saying that if I am not going to win, ‘you are not going to win the elections’, that I want to leave.”
“But really, is that a debate from European liberals?”, Mr Sanchez mocked under applause from his party.
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“That is absurd. Stay calm, Your Honour. Since you say so, I’ll take up the gauntlet. I’m going to stay and I’m going to try to win the elections in 2023”, he slammed back under renewed applause.
He added: “Well, it gives me, it gives me so much trouble and so much embarrassment because it is like having to enter into a debate so, so, so poor, so poor, your honour, so poor.”
Spanish presidential elections will be held at the end of 2023.