Natalia Puga Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

Updated Tuesday, February 6, 2024-00:17

  • 18-F The Galician PP after Feijóo: "Rueda is not a copy; he is more into drinking beers and Feijóo, into coffee"

A succession of

monologues with moments

of confrontation. No disqualification, fleeing from tension, but without denying dialectical exchange. This is how the five-way electoral debate organized by

Galician Television

took place ahead of the regional elections on February 18, an event that brought together the representatives of

PP, BNG, PSOE, Sumar and Podemos

and that, throughout three thematic blocks , ended up putting two sides on the table, one led by

Alfonso Rueda

(PP) and another in which the other four parties attacked the management of the last 15 years of the PP government, led by

Ana Pontón


An all against one in which the PP candidate reproached the rest for lack of "certainty in the data" and "no recognition" of the achievements of his government and the left bloc already assumed that, in the event that Rueda does not achieve an absolute majority to govern, everyone would unite to do so. It was especially evident in Sumar's candidate,

Marta Lois,

who on several occasions referred to the "coalition government starting next February 19."

The debate became heated talking about




Rueda brought up a photo with the BNG's support for a demonstration against the dispersion of ETA prisoners held in the

Basque Country

and reproached Ana Pontón for her position on independence. She, through allusions, confronted him directly and settled: "There is one thing that I am not going to allow, the BNG has been, is and will always be against ETA." Rueda challenged her, unsuccessfully, to say "things about Bildu that she doesn't like" and insisted that in her program she asks for the "independence" of Galicia.

In the third block of the debate, that relating to the institutional model and pacts, Ana Pontón announced that her party will ask for a "new nation status for Galicia in the State" and

Gómez Besteiro

questioned Rueda saying that he achieved "more things for Galicia in three months" as a deputy in Congress that the PP governed in 15 years and defended the "useful Galicianism" of the PSOE. The 'popular' leader responded with the "lack of stability" of the central government.

Isabel Faraldo

stated that, for this, the important thing is not the political pacts with other parties, "but the pacts with the people" and defended the progress towards the plurinationality of the State and the need to request the transfers of powers pending autonomy. For her part, Marta Lois spoke of her capacity for dialogue and negotiation for a government "of progress that changes the future of our country."

In the final minute, Isabel Faraldo asked for the vote because "by voting for Podemos, my voice will be your voice", Marta Lois recalled that "in July we won, on February 18 we are going to win here too", José Ramón Gómez Besteiro made a " special appeal to women", Ana Pontón "humbly" asked for support because "if we want different results, we have to do something different" and Alfonso Rueda asked for the vote "with the endorsement of everything we advance together" and because "in me Yes, you can trust, I do have my word.



data war

was evident throughout the entire debate and caused the most dynamic moments of the event, all between Rueda and Pontón. In the economic and fiscal policy block, the nationalist criticized that the investment rate data since 2009 "shows that the business community does not trust Galicia", the 'popular' criticized that "this is not true" and, after several crossing interventions, she encouraged him to "tomorrow, set a place and time" to compare the data.

Shortly after, Rueda returned it, denying the information provided by Pontón regarding the reduction of the toll on the AP-9 highway, which the BNG boasts of having lowered thanks to the investiture agreement of Pedro Sánchez's previous mandate. The leader of the PP, in this case, encouraged him to set a place and time to compare these figures with data.

In the social policy and welfare block, Alfonso Rueda brought up his campaign argument in which he contrasts the PP with its "politics of understanding" and the left with its "politics of confrontation." He used Ana Pontón's interruptions regarding the use of the Galician language as an example of "noise politics."

Both got into a fight when the nationalist proposed "linguistic equality" and he accused her of standing behind the banner "against Galician" and the 'popular' rejected the accusation and disgraced him for carrying "bipartite monolingualism" in his program. In the next block, not happy with how the confrontation had been settled, Rueda brought up the BNG program on this matter that confirms his statements and Pontón tried to get his color in with a "how sad to be against the Galician."

Those moments of confrontation only involved Rueda and Pontón, a summary of how these elections are being planned from both blocks, with two government alternatives, one led by the PP and another of a coalition led by the BNG. The moderators made these interruptions ugly to both leaders and Gómez Besteiro made it clear, at one point in the debate, that he did not like them and that, in fact, he respected the rest's interventions at all times and did not cut them off "because I didn't want to."

In the economic bloc, the PP candidate focused on defending his management, the Galicia "that works" and defending himself from the attacks of the rest - Ana Pontón even told him that "that nonsense doesn't work" - and also took the opportunity to launch one of his star electoral commitments, extending the Inheritance Tax reduction for inheritances from uncles or nephews, which today are not subsidized, and asking the other four candidates to run on the matter. None did and recalled that Sumar proposes expanding the tax on large fortunes.

At the same time that they attacked Rueda's policy, the Sumar candidate took advantage of the measures of the

Ministry of Labor

of the leader of her party,

Yolanda Díaz,

and José Ramón Gómez Besteiro (PSOE) has boasted of the achievements of the Government of

Pedro Sánchez

increasing the Minimum Interprofessional Wage by 5,600 euros per year


Isabel Faraldo attacked everyone and focused on the situation at



San Cibrao,


Cervo (Lugo),

asking Rueda and Besteiro to commit to "doing everything possible to save" the factory.