In one hundred days the ballot boxes will open wide at eight o'clock in the evening. The local elections will begin to be counted. After that, the regional elections. Whether there is a clear alternative to Sanchismo will depend on the overall result. It will be the first round for a moderate change in December or the shoring up of a regime that will lead us to a plurinational Spain without us knowing exactly what that is.
Paradoxically, the future depends on the 1.5 million Cs voters who may feel orphaned after the changes at the top and the 750,000 disappointed PSOE voters who can no longer tolerate the impostures and lies of Pedro Sánchez.
As for the rest, it is one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Turkey and Syria are united in grief after bursting the bowels of the earth and Nicaragua expels freedom fighters from their homeland. We begin.
This is the scene of the electoral battle. The Supreme Court unanimously confirms that, after the suppression of sedition, Spain is unarmed and defenceless. Legally. First national emergency.
Tomorrow, the Parliament can declare the independence of Catalonia without any crime having been committed as there was no street violence. It would be like a consensual violation, a premeditated legal vacuum, a double governmental and parliamentary prevarication, wholesale.
Judge Pablo Llarena stops the embezzlement - no party has demanded that the stolen money be returned - and Junqueras can be disqualified until 2031 against the designs of the Executive, the illustrious jurist Patxi López and the honourable Aragonés. Puigdemont is laughing his head off.
Although the valido Bolaños has solemnly declared that the "process" is over, the separatist demonstrators against Sánchez and Macron in Barcelona reminded him of the opposite: ERC, which governs the Generalitat with Illa-PSC as a pallanganero, warned a few hours ago: "We are still the main threat against this state". The same threat as Bildu and the corrupt PNV that demands the abolition of Art.155 of the Constitution.
The same day that Barçagate, the biggest sports scandal in Spanish football, broke out, Irene Montero ascended to the skies of Time as the most progressive and feminist woman in Europe for her successes on the Sisi Law, the Abortion Law and the Trans Law. All in the same parliamentary week. Like Evita Perón she was immortalised on the steps of Congress with the lions as witnesses.
The "undesired effects" are translated into these figures: 568 sex offenders, rapists and paedophiles have had their sentences reduced and 48 of them are already on the street. Three months after proclaiming that this law would be an example for the world, the president was tearing his hair out. "The law has caused a problem... and that's an understatement; now we are looking for a solution".
I listen to a report by Erik González, without complexes on EsRadio where in 5 minutes and 14 seconds he denies all the lies of the president, the vice-presidents, the secretaries of state and the minister Montero. Magistrates, experts, lawyers of both Chambers and even the Minister of Social Welfare of Castilla-La Mancha herself warned Doña Irene that the black hole of the unification of crimes would have serious consequences for the release of sex offenders. So don't keep saying you didn't know.
With childish arrogance on her shoulders, the Minister for Equality said that no one would go out on the streets and that it was the fault of the sexist judges. They needed a course on how to interpret the law as Patxi López demanded. The Sánchez-Montero rule passed the "nihil obstat" of Minister Campos, today elevated to the altars of the Court of Guarantees, but not the reticence of Carmen Calvo, which cost her 600 euros.
With 338 sex offenders benefiting from the Sisi Law and 15 on the streets as of 31 January, the daily press count surpasses the CIS demoscopes. Public opinion is fed up with demagogy, some victims decide to demand compensation from the state. And Justice, Equality and Social Inclusion respond with silence. This is the real protection of women.
The Podemos-PSOE tensions are a farce because nobody makes the negotiation documents public. And, above all, because no one will be dismissed or resign. To swallow from the carpet and the chair. The evil is done and not even the counter-reform will put an end to this poisoned gift due to the incompetence and fanaticism of the coalition.
Podemos' funambulism has postponed the patching up until the 7th of March in order to win the streets the day after. The pain of the victims and their families matters little. What counts is to grab the 8-M photo.
This anti-punitive sieve - everyone is good! - will have a great impact on the electoral campaign on 28 May. People know how to count. Nor will they forget the 48 murders of women last year, only 4 of them with police protection.
In spite of the miraculous Tuesdays - all the Councils of Ministers will be a constant sowing of millions, starting with the grants (2,750 million) for next year -, they will not be able to forget this genetic racism that is making the whole Spanish society tense from the power.
The "totalitarian legislative diarrhoea" (amnesty, sedition, embezzlement, abortion, animal protection, Sisi Law, Trans Law, Housing, Official Secrets, Citizen Security, Education, Universities... without forgetting the Royal Decree-Laws, make up a new screen that only we can change with the strength of our votes in the middle of spring.
We already know that the unborn child has no rights since the new TC is piloted by Conde Pumpido. Abortion is not a right, it must be said loud and clear. If it were, it would be possible to abort up to the day before gestation. And it would not be regulated by time limits. And the freedom granted to young women under 18 who can have an abortion without telling their parents, even if they can't even buy tobacco, shows that the social engineering of the left has been working since ZP.
The Trans Law is the most dangerous of all. Its effects are irreversible. Gender self-determination is a failure in the countries that have implemented it. It has cost the Scottish Prime Minister her resignation. And the UK has lawsuits from legal amputees demanding millions in compensation for having their lives shattered forever. This Malaysian trickle will come a little late, but it will come.
It is obvious that animals cannot have rights because they have no duties. The punishments for killing a rat at home, with a broom or with cannon fire, are so disproportionate that it is hard to believe that this has been drawn up by MPs elected by the sovereign people.
Montero and Belarra - the two jewels in the Bolivarian crown - are as responsible for their policies as the person who protects them, President Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón.
Here is the gospel according to Podemos: the law for the protection of minors consists of abortion; the law for the protection of animals consists of castrating them; the law for the protection of the elderly consists of euthanasia; and the law for the protection of women consists of releasing rapists.
Before voting don't forget that this social-communist, separatist, nationalist and bilduetarra legislation is a return to the worst of the II Republic. There was no luminous moment from 31 to 39.
Settling of scores
The next thread, as they say nowadays, is the economic plane. Inflation is rising like crazy. Only Calviño says that she notices the VAT reduction in the shopping basket, but she does not tell us which supermarket she goes to unless it is Mercadona and Joan Roig stops being a "ruthless capitalist".
Belarra and Echenique insult like nobody else, although what they want is to intervene in the market. As in Venezuela and Cuba. They have a close example: Sánchez despising Galán and Botín.
Spain's debt is around 1.5 trillion. And the Social Security has spent more than 75,000 million in the four years of Sanchez's mandate. Two hundred and fifteen self-employed people have left the labour market since 1 January. And four out of every ten unemployed young people in the EU are Spanish. Mortgages at 3.4%. And they continue to rise.
The macro economy seems to be doing well. Making ends meet is an odyssey. Car purchases, the indicator that best reveals the hopes of ordinary people, have contracted by almost 14% in 2022. Add to this the fact that by 2035 the EU will ban petrol and diesel cars and that 85% of trucks will have to be electric by 2040, and it is hard to understand what kind of world we are in for, because it makes no sense. Will trucks drive on railway tracks at night?
Too many windmills killing animals that will set fire to abandoned forests. How will batteries and giant shovels be recycled now that radioactive waste from fifth generation nuclear power plants can be reused? Rising rents and flat prices are the third concern after employment. Small businesses are languishing. There is little reason for hope despite government optimism.
The women in black from the European Parliament came to Madrid to find out how and where the first 9 billion euros of European funds have been invested. Nobody knows. And Calviño has already transferred co-responsibility to the Autonomous Communities.
But Parliament has little control. The Commission and especially Ursula von der Leyen, the great protector of our president, are in charge. She has just signed a third cheque for 6.5 billion. That's 23 billion since last year without a single appearance in Parliament. And then they talk so much about transparency.
We learned from President Adolfo Suárez - we bring him once again as a moral reference - that "democracy is knowing where every peseta of the taxpayer's money goes". And I say this both for the Next Generation Funds and for the scandals of the PER, Aquamed, Azud, Barçagate-Negreira or the Canary Islands truth, with a socialist senator and general of the Guardia Civil under arrest.
Bárcenas and El Bigotes were a game of Monopoly compared to the socialist corruption plots in the Valencian Community, Aragón, Andalusia, the Canary Islands, FC Barcelona or the silence of the Sports Council or the Spanish Football Federation, all institutions in the hands of the PSOE or the PSC. Anything to declare, José Manuel Franco? Did you know about the activities of the ex-barcelonista and socialist deputy Albert Soler?
I'm glad that at least one of the 25 people convicted of stealing 640 million euros from the EREs has already applied for a reduced sentence for embezzlement. What a great parade at the Feria de Abril! The beneficiary claims that he always worked for the Andalusian socialist regime. The Gürtel petitions will come.
Perhaps you will agree with me that now more than ever corruption is at the centre of our lives. Even thieves are corrupt.
The Falcon fits our president like a glove. With or without aviator glasses, Pedro Sánchez shines everywhere, even if he confuses Senegal with Kenya. He travels with the same enthusiasm to Liput as he does to Brobdingag, Laputa Barnibari, Japan or the country of the Houyhnhnhnms. Jonathan Swift wrote "Gulliver's Travels" in 1726 with our Prime Minister in mind. Of the last 15 official trips, the one to Morocco at the beginning of this month was the most committed. He is now preparing for Spain's European presidency in June this year. It is a great opportunity for him to walk around as a candidate for the general elections in December.
There is little reason for some pundits to say that she will not be the PSOE's head of the list. It would be suicide for the party. And the pale always comes first. Her ambitions for power will last until she loses at the polls and cannot form a government. It is true that the regional and local elections are going to take up a lot of his time because the pools are deadlocked in six regions. And the Sisi Law is destabilising his agenda. Public opinion counts Sánchez-Montero's beneficiaries one by one. The president, when he goes into institutional mode, proclaims: "I always show my face".
This is not correct. When the problem of sedition arose, he was in Africa; when the "yes is yes" issue arose, he was in Morocco; and when the Trans Law and abortion issues arose, he was in Austria. That is the truth.
A man never goes as far as when he does not know where he is going. And Sánchez, with his changes of heart, sometimes baffles us.
The president cannot dismiss Podemos ministers - he is hostage to his commitment to Iglesias - but he could at least demand that the tension be lowered ahead of the first round of the elections. Internally in the Council and with the opposition. In any case, the first point of the laws of robotics should be applied to Sánchez, who always interacts for political reasons and without any empathy: "Robots must have an emergency switch". The best thing about Don Pedro is what is not understood.
Following Yolanda's adventures alone or in the company of Colau, Oltra, Armengol, Echenique, Belarra or Irene Montero is a treatise on political filibustering. If she visited the mayoress in Barcelona, it was not to ask her not to break off relations with Tel Aviv, but to urge her to make Catalonia go "as far as it has to go". With Oltra on the dole, Sumar's picture has been ruined. With the leaders of Podemos - remember that the second vice-president is still a member of the PCE - she maintains a calculated ambiguity. Nobody knows what Sumar's space and ideology is, but Tezanos already predicts half a hundred seats for it. She is always the most desired star.
She always asks for calm, serenity, not to make noise and unity for the coalition (that of the government and that of the Bolivarian left).
Her trajectory is a zig-zag that passes through baiting the unions, moderately insulting the employers, slipping away from giving the figure of the permanent unemployed so that the percentage does not exceed 15% of unemployment and waiting for orders from her direct boss Pedro Sánchez, to leave Podemos behind in the face of these elections and the general elections in December. She reminds me of the Christian Democrats of the UCD, with the difference of talent: not a bad word, not a good deed. Now she wants to make herself even more famous with her reparative dismissal. A kind of retirement for CEOs.
Yolanda and her shopping basket don't seem to be going very far after Minister Planas' sensible intervention with distributors, consumers and users. Looking for a simile - no offence intended - Yolanda Díaz is like the Roman dodecahedron; two thousand one hundred years after it was invented, nobody knows what it is for. Her political space is not where she goes, it's where she comes back to. I see her like Mel, the character in Woody Allen's film "Disassembling Harry". She is always out of focus.
We enter the second year of the most violent and cruel war of all centuries. The invasion of Ukraine. Russian bombs today are a thousand times more deadly than those of World War II. The Kremlin's cruelty has no name. It is genocide. The EU and NATO cannot look the other way. Washington and London are still there, pushing. Biden's visit, timely and hopeful.
Zelenski and the brave Ukrainian people are the path to permanent freedom. Kiev needs Leopards and F-35s. Wars are only won with money. Ukrainians are saving us from the new Soviet Nazism. If Russia decides in the next few hours to annex Belarus and South Abkhazia, Europe must be prepared for the worst. Glory to Ukraine!
When everything seemed to be going wrong, the earth shook in Turkey and Syria. We will never go to Ephesus. Nearly 50,000 bodies recovered. A tragedy. Solidarity with these two countries must be multiplied. We are talking about people who are hungry, especially hungry. And very cold.
And this Bay of Ithaca could not forget the 200 Nicaraguans expelled from their land by the tyrant Daniel Ortega and his tyrant mistress. The Catholic Church, exemplary. Foreign Affairs has taken a big step towards granting them Spanish nationality. But, at the same time, the totalitarian regime which, as in Cuba, has done away with all freedoms, must be vigorously condemned and isolated.
For years I have had a predilection for narrow-gauge trains. A FEVE key ring has accompanied me for more than four decades. A gift from my dear colleague Aurora Moya, former Dircom of the company. I deeply regret the delay caused by the trains that do not enter through the Cantabrian tunnels. It is not a mistake. It is a symptom of the inefficiency of this government. Apparently, the projected tracks did not correspond to the gauge either. Logical, because FEVE came to have up to five gauges: 1,435 mm, 1,062 mm, 1,000 mm. 1,000 mm, 915 mm and 750 mm.
As I was closing this chronicle, the news broke: the resignations of Renfe's president, Isaías Taboas, and that of Secretary of State Isabel Pardo de Vera. David Lucas will be number 2 in Transport and Raúl Blanco the new president of Renfe. Don Isaías was a historian. Of the PSC, naturally. And we also have the arrest of the socialist senator from the Canary Islands, Mr Fuentes. That's where I leave it. Don't forget that we are in the countdown. Your vote can change our roads and our lives.
Antonio Regalado runs the blog Bahía de ítaca.