The rise of Andalusianism
Electoral posters of the majority of parties present in the Andalusian regional elections on June 19.
Electoral posters of the majority of parties present in the Andalusian regional elections on June 19.PACO BRIDGES

The analysis of the results of the Andalusian elections next Sunday will shed light on whether or not there has been a change in trends in Andalusia, and whether the fundamental factor has been ideology, apathy, the change in the social structure, the merit of some or the demerit of others. A week before those elections, the political forces are trying to interpret the concerns of the citizens of the most populous autonomous community in Spain. And one of the variables to unravel will be whether Andalusianism has been relevant. Most of the parties – if not all except for Vox – wield it. There has been a rebound in Andalusianism, acknowledge sources from the main political forces, and it is not unrelated to the growth of the feeling of grievance. The way of expressing it and spurring it on from each party has more than differential nuances.

From the PP candidate, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, to the head of the Adelante Andalucía list, Teresa Rodríguez, the demand for Andalusian identity is very present in these elections. The current president of the Board wears it in finery from the first moment, very much in line with his speech since he arrived at the San Telmo Palace. It would not be appropriate to speak of leaders who wrap themselves in the Andalusian flag: rather Andalusianism is part of the emotional arguments of the speeches. The interlocutors of the left opposition recognize that the Andalusian president has taken very good advantage of this community invocation, although criticism immediately arises that he has not used all the capacity for self-government that his own powers give him. An Andalusianism only nominal, protests the Andalusian left.

The first to arrive, or who was always there, is Teresa Rodríguez, leader of Adelante Andalucía. She soon saw her discomfort at having organic dependence, more nominal than real, on a national party. Her break with Podemos was inevitable and nothing has made her change her mind. The movement for the unity of the parties to the left of the PSOE, which has culminated, with many vicissitudes and difficulties, in the candidacy of Inmaculada Nieto, did not concern Adelante Andalucía. The Andalusianism of this political formation exceeds in the discourse that of any other that attends the elections; the exaltation of the offense is greater. In the middle, all the others.

The ability of Moreno Bonilla to try to replace the PSOE in the role of the Andalusian party is not questioned. This is the regret of the PSOE, inside and outside Andalusia, well aware of the energy spent in the internal battle that culminated in the departure of Susana Díaz and the arrival of Juan Espadas.

The CC OO and UGT unions, although in their idiosyncrasies there is not the mournful attitude but the vindictive one, also wield a certain abandonment of the autonomous community compared to others in Spain. And there is no doubt about the feelings of the parties that have come together under the name Por Andalucía, which brings together IU, Podemos, Más País and other environmental and left-wing groups.

The Ciudadanos candidate, Juan Marín, does not see the urgent need to agitate Andalusianism — “I am Andalusian,” he has said — but to claim for himself the best of what has been done by the PP-Cs coalition government.

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The PSOE candidate, Juan Espadas, had the regional presidents of his party with him this Sunday. But the participation from outside has been fair. There has been no landing but rather signs that the Socialists are under the acronym of a federal party although with a deep awareness of the identity of each autonomous community.

Socialist leaders and ministers from Spain participate in many events in the eight provinces, small and medium format meetings, as a reminder of the more social measures of the Government of Spain but always to the greater glory of Espadas, in whose campaign they have not interfered. Class unions are very active in defending the agreements that have benefited Andalusian workers. The secretary general of the CCOO, Nuria López, is not and will not be seen at any party’s events. Yes, the general secretary of the UGT, Carmen Castilla, attended one of the PSOE’s candidates this weekend. But the messages of both are unequivocal. “The vote of the workers can change the polls,” declares López.

The candidates have considered it essential to incorporate Andalusianism. Only Vox is, in principle, alien to that current, although it has introduced folkloric aspects in the Macarena Olona campaign. Its intention is to welcome disenchantment and anger. And that really worries everyone else.

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