Miguel Ángel Blanco Summer School
Dear comrades of the Popular Party and especially of New Generations of the Popular Party of the Basque Country, you are going to allow me to make a thoughtful reflection and I would like to start with some words that may be familiar to you.
"We can do nothing to restore life to all those who were snatched by violence. But we can remember his sacrifice, his courage in defending Spain's laws, freedoms, rights and obligations for all.
The task of assigning meaning and value to their sacrifice is not finished. On the contrary, it becomes more necessary than ever, because that sense and that value have been obscured, and because some need to darken them to whitewash their blood and death records. I say no to that unworthiness.
Miguel Ángel Blanco and all those who were murdered like him, of any party or of any party, are not going to be, because we will not allow it, a footnote to the criminal history of Spain. They are protagonists of the history of our freedom; They are our heroes. Heroes with white hands and clean words. Heroes that put on foot and on the march to a whole nation that some thought was asleep or dead.
And that forces us to always pay them the best tribute: to deserve the freedom for which they died. Keep standing and keep going against anyone who intends to damage what they died for. Continue to make reality the Spain that they incarnated in front of everything they wanted and still wants to destroy it.
In Ermua, the pulse of Spain began to beat again. Just when the pulse of a young councilor of our party stopped beating, the beat of Spain began to be stronger than ever. Do not forget it. And let's not let that pulse, which beats since then in all of us, ever go away.
Today I do not come to visit the Basque PP. I come to pay tribute. To pay tribute, and to do so in the form of commitment to the freedom of all Spaniards today. "
With these same words, just a year ago today, I started my political project in Ermua when I decided to present myself to the National Congress of the Popular Party, and a year later I still think that Michelangelo is the symbol of many things that we must not forget.
We must not forget him two decades later and we must not forget what he means and should continue to mean for all of us. Because it is not just a victim, it is also and above all an example of the best that politics can offer a society. Not because of how he died, since that was not decided by him; freely because of how he lived, and that he did decide.
If we put the focus on his life we will learn a lot. Because Miguel Ángel is not just a memory, for some uncomfortable, that brings us back to a time of violence, a time that many of you fortunately only know by hearsay. It is a living testimony of love for Spain and love of freedom; of courage, of vocation for public service even when it could cost him his life.
We must remember everything that made its mere existence unbearable for the enemies of freedom. He lived with a coherence and generosity capable of illuminating a whole country, now twenty-two years ago and of enlightening us today in this difficult moment for Spain.
Therefore, it is necessary to associate the victims of terrorism not with what their assassins wanted them to be, but with what they wanted to be. The first tribute is to rescue his memory from the hands of his executioners and put it in the hands of the democrats.
Its value is in your life, not in your death. That is the price they assumed to live as they lived. So imagine the value that all those lives have. Let's not let it get lost and do not let its condition of victims of terror -just what they did not want to be- obscure their condition as heroes of freedom, which is what they chose to be.
Miguel Ángel was part of a party he believed in. He was a part, he felt part, he acted as part of a party he believed in and that's why they killed him. I believed in that party because that party believed in freedom and really defended it. And because he knew that freedom has many enemies, that defending it requires many sacrifices and that the first of them in many occasions is loneliness or incomprehension or being a minority. That has always been the case when it comes to making the rule of law grow where it is not respected. Freedom without the Rule of Law can not exist.
He was part and served a political project that had national reach. A project that in the Basque Country not only did not seek to differentiate itself from the rest, but sought to influence the rest, in all the rest, to infect their love of freedom, which was especially intense here because it was here where it was most threatened.
Important things, as we all know, never make them one, they always do with others, with many, and never in closed circles, never claiming exclusive or difference, but always building the common. Always adding, adding and adding. Adding many, who are different everywhere, but who want to do something together and want to do something important.
Michelangelo, like all our heroes, lived for something much bigger than himself. For something much bigger than the Basque PP, for something much bigger than the PP. That is the only way to make oneself great: to work for something even greater, which is Freedom.
The Popular Party is the great project of freedom for Spain, and those of us who are part of it love, serve and practice freedom.
We can discuss orderly how and where we should go, and that is exactly what we did a year ago in the National Congress, but we must go together, because it is the only way to get there, to go far, to arrive soon.
It is the only way that the set comes out strengthened not weakened.
Therefore, the PP was built as the great party of Spain around what we played here more than twenty years ago. But not because we accepted that what we played here was a thing here, but precisely on the contrary, because we made it clear that it was everyone's thing. As today is what happens in Catalonia.
Nationalism has always maintained that what happens here is only understood by those here, but we have always maintained the opposite. That is a nuclear political principle of the Popular Party, and without which it would lose its meaning as a political formation. That was the great political change that prompted the Popular Party in the Basque Country and throughout Spain, and that's why we could change things.
This has been a year in which we have been in that hamster wheel of the electoral calendar, absorbed by the day to day of the successive campaigns. But we must also strengthen the spaces for reflection and ideas because nothing important can be done if we do not stop from time to time to reflect.
We are still outside of political normalcy, with an uncertain investiture and with the possibility that it may end badly.
With this simulation of novelty in the last hours to make the foreseeable thing is that the PSOE can agree with who has been agreeing all month and that the Socialist Party can reach a government agreement at the national level with Podemos, as it has reached a agreement of government with Podemos in ten councils, in ten provincial capitals and in seven autonomous communities, some already signed and others in process.
We, on our own, have managed to reach satisfactory agreements in many communities and municipalities. We work to ensure that, after Murcia, an understanding is achieved in Madrid too soon.
We have agreed with eight games in just a few months. I say it for those who said that we were a party that did not dialogue and that we were isolated. We have offered eleven state pacts to the Socialist Party to give stability to Spain.
The fracture and polarization seem to drag everything down for too long, and it seems clear to me that the balance in the form of stability, governance and institutional regeneration is far from what some promised. As Cajal said, the low flight and short radius what they produce is conflict and misgovernment.
That's why it seems so important to me that forums of reflection like this one are held and that we know how to rise above the daily noise and also remember some essential things. So essential are those that give meaning to our trajectory, to our organization and to our own political vocation. Allow me to remember some of those that you will debate today and tomorrow in these presentations.
First, andNationalism has always wanted to make forality the basis of a right to secession. And that is one of the clearest historical and legal manipulations. Because the forality is precisely on the side of history and the law opposed to nationalism. In our Constitution, in the Constitution of 1978, for the first time, the forality is respected and protected. And in doing so it becomes constitutional.
For us it is very clear: there is not, because there can not be, Fuero without Constitution and much less against the Constitution. The Charter is in relation to the Constitution, and the Constitution is not in conflict with the Charter, but quite the opposite. It is nationalism that is in constant tension with them two.
We must remember that the Economic Concerts are not invented by any nationalist. The Economic Concerts, what some rightly define as the fuel of the Basque self-government, are created by Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, president of the Government and leader of the Conservative Party, as a central piece of the great political and constitutional project that was the Spain of the Restoration .
Therefore, let's not let anyone confuse public opinion about this.
Another reflection on nationalism is that as always those nationalists have today, as always, the objective of imposing the belief that to be Basque you have to be a nationalist. Moreover, his idea is that you can only be a Basque if you are a nationalist. And they have the pretension besides impregnating that falsehood the institutions themselves, so that being a nationalist is something for which one way or another must end up happening if you want to be in the institutions themselves.
This is a moment of very high risk because those who suffer this aggressive project see that nationalism is very strong precisely because of its alliance with the left.
Some have accepted it. Others act as if they accept it and camouflage themselves, adopt their language, and always support them and also always do so at a price of
friend. And others, who are we, are going to say no. Because being Basque is not being a nationalist.
And if we allow that there is even the slightest shadow of doubt, we will be lost. It does not matter if we have to say it alone, the pressures do not matter. We are not going to accept those pretensions of a hegemonic imposition of nationalism. A nationalism, by the way, unconditionally aligned with the left always against us, against the Popular Party. A nationalism that still presumes to be faithful to the word given but a week after supporting the Budgets of the PP Government, supported the motion of censure to end it.
A nationalism that seeks to make Navarra now its destabilization front among the complicity of the PSOE.
Finally, as a third reflection I would like to talk about the end of ETA, which has stopped killing, it is true, but as Alfonso commented, we must still write his story of defeat and also of victory, of the victims and of all the democrats .
The defeat of ETA begins in the streets of the Basque Country and throughout Spain 22 years ago. The defeat of ETA started by Miguel Ángel Blanco and all the Basque democrats with their lives; Michelangelo continues and all the martyrs of freedom with his death; and it is followed by all the millions of Spaniards, whether they were from the party or from none, who in addition to saying ¡Basta ya! They supported each and every one of the decisions adopted by the governments of the PP. Only with the law but with the entire law.
Decisions that in just a few years left ETA with one knee on the ground and with the other trembling, according to a well-known phrase that should be remembered from time to time. To ETA, therefore, the defeat Spain: the Nation supporting the Rule of Law.
Those who have made the end of ETA possible have not been whitewashed terrorists, nor political accomplices of the terrorist band disguised as "artisans of peace".
Those who have made possible the end of ETA as a terrorist group are the citizens that were mobilized, the democratic institutions that responded and the Rule of Law, which took its work very seriously and with all its consequences until the end.
What was demonstrated, and I want to make this very clear because it is not only history but also a teaching of the future is that the law and its fulfillment are never the obstacle to free coexistence in a society, but rather its guarantee and its condition of possibility . Be in the Basque Country, whether in Catalonia or wherever.
I say this with a phrase that I have already used: The law is the price of the law and freedom is the prize of the law.
That is why we must remember that to this day, unfortunately, homages to terrorists continue to take place when they leave prison. And that's why I announce that the Popular Party has just presented in the Congress of Deputies a Proposition of Law, to expand the crime that already exists in the convocation of acts of homage and extending it to the convocation of acts of homage, public reception or concession of honors to people convicted of terrorism crimes.
In this way, the one who summons or prepares a tribute to a terrorist, even if it is not celebrated, must have the reproach of the whole society.
And something that we also want to change is the prescription of terrorist crimes. Now only terrorism crimes that have caused the death of a person are considered imprescriptible, but we believe that this must be extended to all those who collaborate, help, organize or finance terrorism. And that is what we have also proposed in this initiative.
Here a lot of damage has been done, for many years, and that can not happen as if it had not even happened. This time has to be the time of memory versus oblivion. The time of reparation and homage to those who really deserve it.
The time to do the justice that, sometimes, did not get done.
The one to watch so that the terrorist and violent impulse does not return to seize of the Basque society. So that nobody can think that all that was worth it, that what was sought was achieved or that it was the only possible way.
The time of the democratic and civic demand for freedom, the time of real pluralism, on an equal footing, with no extra cost for the usual ones or prizes for those of always, here and in the last town of the Basque Country.
And in the face of so much opportunist discourse, it also has to be the time to remember who was next to the victims and who were victims, and remember who insulted them, who cruelly aggravated their suffering and who ignored them.
Dear friends, I conclude:
We are a great party that is very aware that the future of all is played in many areas at once. For being that great party we have a broad, regional, national and European look. A look that integrates.
As a party we integrate in and out. We integrate around our political project and we want to integrate a pluralistic majority of Spaniards.
The Basque Country continues to be an essential part of our project. The Basque Country from its singularity, of course. But a singularity that must add value to the sum. Without confusing singularity with uncheck.
That does not add anything, nor add anything, does not build anything and integrate nothing. And that is also contrary to the great history of the Basque PP, whose identity consists above all in having wanted to be part of the common when everything around pushed in the opposite direction.
This is a long-range political project. We have to be able to look away. Look back to understand our own history and also revitalize the true roots of our party. And also look forward to understand and face the challenges of this difficult time, dizzying and full of uncertainties about so many things. To these uncertainties we must oppose, as always, our security and our firmness. What you have always done, what you always do in this great game.
The security of having been protagonists of many of the best changes that have taken place in the Basque Country, throughout Spain and also in Europe. And the firmness to recover that leading role that our country needs that we return to assume as soon as possible.
For this I am convinced that I am counting on all of you and, of course, you have the certainty that you have me.