On Tuesday, the President of the Government has labeled the complaints of his government partners about NATO and the historic summit to be held in Madrid at the end of June as “testimonial positions”, he has ridiculed the parties that today make the Atlantic Alliance the same criticism as four decades ago and has assured that in his meetings at the highest level he has not noticed the slightest concern, nor much interest, for the complaints of United We Can. “I respect the testimonial positions, because some also come from a position against NATO that comes from afar, from when those of us who are here were little. In 1982 I was 10 years old and some were already demonstrating,” Pedro Sánchez pointed out from Brussels after concluding a summit with its community partners and just one day after receiving the organisation’s general secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, in Madrid.
For months there have been doubts and questions in Madrid about the reaction of NATO and in NATO for the declarations of United We Can. Both on the Russian invasion and military aid to Ukraine and on the summit that Spain organizes to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its entry. The Alliance is a rock in these types of issues, it does not enter into political debates, it does not get involved in national issues, attacks or self-serving leaks never come out, as happens in the EU. His discomfort and sometimes even indignation at the position of parties that openly call for its dissolution, such as the United Left, is evident, but as long as the dialogue is with Moncloa, whose line is clear, he has no more problems. When the real enemy has nuclear warheads and is at war in the backyard, comments from minority parties without direct competition are more than secondary.
“Years have passed, the geopolitical context is different and Spain’s membership has been going on for 40 years. My responsibility is to guarantee the defense and security of my country, and that of Spain is based and consolidated by membership in the EU and NATO. And this is known from Finland and Sweden, who knock on the door, from Portugal to Spain, from north to south and from east to west, from the right and the left. I certainly know it: it is a wise move to be part of NATO” , the Spanish president has settled.
Criticism and divisions in the coalition are multiplying these days. With a faction even accusing the Executive of prevarication for the contracts for the organization of the event and Vice President Yolanda Díaz defending the process. Sánchez would prefer silence, but he is not uncomfortable either while his partners show their frictions, their fights and his most radical positions on a subject that does not arouse any interest in the Spanish population. It is not 1982. In addition, it allows him to reinforce his institutional role, his position. “It is a very important summit that will mark a before and after in the history of NATO, not only for the approval of the strategic concept, or for incorporating two planned democracies and strengthening the links between NATO and the EU, which are complementary. But for everything that the southern flank represents, the stability of the Sahel, in terms of security, which is essential for Spain,” he said.
That is why the president has limited himself to speaking of “testimonial positions” of his partners, reiterating also that the debate on the presence or not of UP ministers is irrelevant during the summit. “I have already attended many NATO summits and I seem to remember that the host is the Presidency of the Government” and no one else, said Sánchez, shrugging his shoulders. “No one has raised anything with me, on the contrary, just yesterday the Secretary General praised the work of the Government and the commitment. I understand the debate in national politics but it does not translate into NATO, where the degree of commitment is total and recognized by Stoltenberg and the rest of the partners”, settled the socialist leader.
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