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PSOE on the Costa turns out in support of Spain's PM Pedro Sánchez and his wife Begoña Gómez, who made an appearance after court summons
EU elections 2024

PSOE on the Costa turns out in support of Spain's PM Pedro Sánchez and his wife Begoña Gómez, who made an appearance after court summons

Speaking in Benalmádena on Wednesday evening, the Spanish prime minister called for a “mass vote of progressive, pro-Europe people so that clean politics can defeat the dirty tactics of opposition parties”

Antonio M. Romero

Benalmádena

Thursday, 6 June 2024, 10:28

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The main rally for PSOE (Spain's governing social-democratic party) in Malaga province ahead of the European elections in Spain on 9 June, was held on Wednesday evening at Los Nadales exhibition centre in Benalmádena Pueblo on the Costa del Sol.

It was an occasion for the socialist party to show support for PM Pedro Sánchez and his wife, Begoña Gómez. She reappeared at the PSOE party event after an absence of several months, just a day after it became known that she had been summoned to testify on 5 July as a suspect in alleged offences of influence peddling and corruption by Judge Peinado. The judicial summons prompted a second letter to the public from the prime minister, in which he urged the left to turn out against rival parties PP and Vox at the polls, hinting that the judge's actions were politically motivated.

Gómez, seated in the front row, was the centre of attention of the event attended by some 2,000 people, according to the organisers. In addition to Sánchez, speakers included the lead socialist candidate for the European Parliament and current third vice-president, Teresa Ribera; the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights and Social Democrat candidate for president of the European Commission, the Luxembourger Nicholas Schmidt; and the socialist leader in Andalucía, Juan Espadas.

“I am going to speak to you from the heart because these months, these days, when the attacks from the international far-right against me and my family have intensified, I have felt the empathy, solidarity and companionship from the great family of PSOE. We thank you, Begoña and I, thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” proclaimed Sánchez at the beginning of his speech, as the audience chanted 'Begoña, Begoña' and 'Pedro, Pedro'.

Sánchez and Gómez.
Sánchez and Gómez. Ñito Salas

Sánchez added that he and his family are not the first to endure such attacks and recalled PSOE councillors and activists, who in recent months “have suffered a vile siege from the right, the far-right and the complicit silence of those digital tabloids who only muddy the public debate in our country. To all of them my solidarity and comradeship”. In this context, he referenced the previous attacks on the former Minister for Public Works, Magdalena Álvarez, who was present at the rally and received an ovation from those in attendance.

Sánchez also received the backing of those who spoke before him. “In the face of the mud slinging, the misery and the grossness that we are seeing these days in our country, in the face of this permanent harassment tolerated by some, we have to say that they shall not pass, they shall not pass,” said Ribera. “We condemn the unacceptable harassment of Pedro and his family. All our solidarity to you and Begoña,” Schmidt stressed. Meanwhile, Espadas thanked Sánchez and Gómez for their presence: “Thank you for being here and for being with Begoña! Thank you Begoña! Today you are giving a lesson to all those mud-slingers. For every word of mud, a handful of votes.”

In line with the content of his latest letter, Sánchez reiterated his intention to see the legislature through to the end “despite the objections” of PP and Vox. He called for mobilisation at the polls on 9 June: “I ask that next Sunday, all left-wing, progressive, and pro-European people go out en masse to vote for the PSOE so that clean politics can prevail, social progression can triumph, and dirty politics, cuts, and the reactionary agenda of Feijóo and Abascal and the international far-right, can be defeated.”

Schmidt, Ribera, Sánchez and Espadas at the rally.
Schmidt, Ribera, Sánchez and Espadas at the rally. Ñito Salas

Paraphrasing José María Aznar, who during last year's general election campaign said, “Whoever can act, should act,” the prime minister added: ”Whoever can vote, should vote.”

“There is a link between Abascal, Feijóo, and Alvie, the far-right associations of Hazte Oír and Manos Limpias, and all the other mudslinging machines. We know what their objective is: their sole purpose is to defeat and bring down the government that raises the minimum wage, creates stable employment, gets 21 million people working and contributing to social security, increasing pensions by 34% over the last five years. They want to overthrow a feminist government, which is proving that we can green and digitalise our economy while addressing the challenges of climate change from a standpoint of social and territorial justice, a challenge facing humanity,” he stressed.

Sánchez claimed that Spain is “a leading country” against the far-right and argued that “mudslinging is based on lies, while democracy is based on votes.” He emphasised the importance of the upcoming European elections to ensure that there are “more progressives and fewer men in black enforcing cuts with their scissors and chainsaws” across Europe.

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