40th Anniversary of Palace Photo: Melancholy Trail of PSOE in Power


Forty years later, from the balcony of the Palace, one can still look back, undo the elapsed time, measured, if you like, by electoral cycles, and gradually arrive at the very night they appeared there. Felipe Gonzalez and Alfonso Guerra celebrating the crushing victory of socialism in the 1982 general election.. The first absolute majority in the history of the party and the starting signal for a project that continues to shape the future of Spanish democracy even today.

From this point of view, it is not surprising that the hotel in Madrid was the place chosen by Fernando Jauregui present his latest book, aptly titled Palace painting (Sphere of books). And this is not surprising, because what he does in his chronicle is this: he opens the very window to start remembering. Looking back, from today’s sanchismo to yesterday’s felipismo, and coming back here again after the story of each of the victories, defeats and internal battles, marked by several acronyms that go around in circles, like all of them, and that they have been drawing for decades his particular melancholic noose around a common desire to win power. And train him.

Part of the act was melancholic, tormented by familiar and almost forgotten faces, old attitudes that could have been anything but were eventually relegated, and which crowded the room like the remnants of a shipwreck, today carried by the current of Sanchism into the depths of militancy, not knowing very well in which part of the loop they will have to fight tomorrow.

The main idea of ​​the book, apparently shared with enthusiasm by all those present, is justification of the so-called “spirit 78”. Or, more precisely, revisiting this past in order to “appreciate it” and “better reform it.” “This is a book that connects the generation of 78 with the generation of 2014,” Zhuregui explained. In his opinion, “it was the year when one transition ended and another began, which we are now engaged in.”

Fernando Onega, more meticulous, focused his speech on four very precise sections, with the last two being the most interesting, referring to the PSOE and that “spirit of 78 that is being killed”, or already dead, considering the way of praising the people who are here . “The photograph of the Palace was a photograph of the very dream of change,” the journalist said. “Civil coup”. This marked the beginning of the path to power for the party that had enjoyed it the longest since the transition. And while he tried to list his shadows – “GAL, corruption, Philes, Roldan, internal wars, Adamism and hatred” – he also wanted to outline his successes, summing up in general terms. the legacy of a party that knew how to channel democracy. “The miracle, if you think about it, is that the PSOE is still alive and in power,” he explained. “In Italy it has disappeared, in France it is insignificant, and in Sweden, a highly social democratic country, it has just lost power. The exception for Iberia is not only energy, in this case.”

He also wanted to highlight some of the main intentions of the book. Hide in the “what if…” exercise: “What would happen if Borrell? What if Bono…? What if Madina…?”. As if his true intention was to ask himself, without asking himself, what would happen if the PSOE was not the PSOE.

The action breathed the same background uncertainty a kind of general justification for felipismo, which could easily be mistaken for a somewhat timid refutation of current socialism. From Zapatero, who knows, and from Sanchez too. The question was clear, although no one wanted to ask it: how can the PSOE be rehabilitated as the main guarantor of the success of the Transition and that, in turn, the spirit of 1978 is mortally wounded today? Who is responsible for such degeneration?

The answer you provided Edward Medina to that unknown was rather a generation. “I think that people of my generation we ungenerously read the Transition“, – he explained. And he lamented this tendency, so caustic and ungrateful, because “the desire to constantly correct the past is the best way to never look into the future.” For him, his generation “was the first who failed to braid the project agreed upon for the countryAnd this is partly due to the fact that the spirit of self-denial that was characteristic of the main political actors who paved the way from dictatorship to democracy was lost.

Both he and Elena Valencianohowever, they looked back and observed in felipismo the highest levels that the party had achieved in its almost 150-year history, recalling with undisguised nostalgia the photo that captured the first absolute majority of the PSOE. “This is a photo of the emotions that brought three or four generations of socialists together,” Madina said. Felipe González was the face of the first broad socialism, the one that refused to represent the loud and inseparable ideal of a million voters in order to represent the debate and dissension of eight million diverse citizens. He was the first time the PSOE wanted to stop being a leftover party to take on the challenge of running the country. And the moment when a real opportunity for progress opened up in Spain to shrink the rest of European democracies for the forty years that were ahead of us.” Valenciano followed this up by emphasizing González’s first speech shortly after the photograph. Palace when “he sent a message of consent”, adding that his intention was to rule for all.

Miguel Herrero and Rodriguez de Mignon, or the true spirit of the Transition

Among the speakers was Miguel Herrero and Rodriguez de Mignon, one of the fathers of the Constitution and the author’s cousin. And perhaps also for this reason, the one who was most determined to correct the page or to clarify some of the things that had come to light during previous interventions. “Spirit 78 is the spirit of the letter of the Constitution“, he summed up. “You can’t respect the spirit of 1978 by wanting to change it from top to bottom.” that “to say that you have great respect for the person in front of you, while you laugh at what he says and despise him, distort and manipulate the spirit of the 78th, because the spirit of the 78th is respected primarily in form.

His biggest disagreement with the presenters came later, when he clarified an idea that had been in the air throughout the presentation but never really materialized. “The PSOE was a key part of the Transition,” he acknowledged. “But the fact that you are a key element does not make you the absolute hero of the work. The transition was made, first of all, by the kingwhich was a pilot project. And then Adolfo Suarez, who was acting president. UCD was a very important part. And then, of course, Santiago Carrillo.”

He agreed that “the great success of Felipe Gonzalez was the creation of an open and end-to-end project“. And he summarized it all succinctly: “The transition was everyone’s business.”

Looking at the issue from the perspective of the PSOE, he divided his last forty years into three phases. Felipe Gonzalez emphasized his caution and called him his favorite president of Spanish democracy “from the end of the 19th century to the present day”. BUT shoemaker He thanked him for making him a permanent member of the Council of State, respecting the law, but added that he thought “he weakened some of the features that Felipe captured in the spirit of ’78”. And referring to Pedro Sanchezlimited himself to saying that “his history has not yet been written.”

What he did to finish was to propose reforms that he would implement as soon as possible in the existing political system. He summarized them in two “highly unpopular” measures, but didn’t want to shut up. “I would do it again Two years of study are required for anyone who wants to devote himself to politics.he began. “And I wouldn’t let someone who didn’t have a job go out on the street,” he finished. he knows how to manage his life. No one should go into politics to avoid unemployment.”. On this occasion, he recalled a few words of Felipe Gonzalez himself: “Who only knows how to be an adviser, he does not know how to be an adviser.” And he finished: “Let’s not talk about who only knows how to be the chairman of the government.”



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