The leader of the Popular Party, Esteban González Pons, has achieved his goal of being elected vice president of the European People’s Party at the Rotterdam congress, but it has been with the least number of votes in the new leadership. Of the ten elected vice presidents -the French candidate was not elected- Pons was the least supported by the plenary, obtaining 303 votes, one hundred less than the vice president with the most support: the European Commissioner for Innovation, the Bulgarian Mariya Gabriel. In a conversation with this newspaper, González Pons played down the importance of the result and pointed out that the important thing is that he was elected “with important powers”. The pact of the new president, Manfred Weber, with the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, is that Pons will assume in the EPP the powers related to the rules of the Stability Pact (deficit and debt), European funds and relations with the US and Latin America .

PP sources attribute the vote on Pons to his poor personal relationship with the outgoing Spaniard, Antonio López-Istúriz. This was popular in the EPP after twenty years in office and received a loud ovation last Monday in plenary when he said goodbye to the leadership after Feijóo decided that the representative of the PP in power of the EPP would from now on be Pons and with rank of vice president. González Pons declines to comment on this issue and stresses that “a new stage is opening.” Nor does López-Istúriz comment on his departure and guarantees “loyalty” to the PP.

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