Saturday, October 1

Mariano Rajoy: «I discovered the weekend. It is magnificent »

I am in Sanxenxo, watching the sea. It’s been a terrible time. The rain, the waves … this morning I went out for a walk and came back full blown.

In Barcelona we have a wonderful winter morning, cold and sunny. It is the little that still works for us.

Luckily in meteorology there are no transferred skills.

He appeared in Congress.

While you were president, Spanish politics were three little boys and a very clever man.

Being an adult is being sensible and trying to be taken seriously.

We have to take it seriously, because some decisions are very important.

Policy for adults.

The labor reform has been left as it was.

Children’s policy.

The show that has been made to see that it was repealed.

He ruled always applying the least possible force.

Governing in a democracy is contention. I applied Article 155 when there was no other alternative and agreeing with as many parties as possible, including the PSOE.

You always said to Puigdemont: “Don’t make me do what I don’t want to do.”

I did not want to apply 155, because I did not want the situation to become so serious.

No one was warned as much as the Government of the independentistas

No one was warned as much as the Government of the independentistas.

They believed that Spanish democracy could not defend itself. And they were wrong. The best thing about the application of Article 155 is that now everyone knows what it is, and that if someone tries to attack our democracy, we have tools to defend it by scrupulously abiding by the Law.

Catalonia today.

You need two things: comply with the Law and take care of what really matters. There are already too many who say that Barcelona was a great city.

The King’s speech on October 3. It is said that you did not see it.

In Spain, when we praise one, you have to hit another. It was a good speech, and timely.

The economic crisis. He avoided rescue. Did you feel understood?

People understood that we had to take tough measures, and although going down a lot, we were again the first force in 2015 and in 2016 we improved the result. But anyway I did what I had to do without taking the votes into account.

At the famous Valencia congress, some said that you would never become president. Is it comparable to what is happening to Pablo Casado now?

After the Valencia congress, the PP won all national elections for 10 years: European, municipal and general. We decided that we had to be a party open to everyone, and not just to some sectors, and it worked.


Nobody with two fingers of a forehead disputes that he will be the PP candidate in the next elections.

But do you think you can win them?

You can earn them. We are not in times of absolute majorities and will have to agree with Vox. But you have a real chance of winning them.

Isn’t it a failure of the PP that it can only agree with Vox?

Make no mistake: either the Frankenstein government or the right governs. There’s no more.

Aznar was able to agree with Arzalluz and Pujol.

It’s not possible today. I was president with 170 deputies, the absolute majority being 176 because of the 180 remaining, some from the PSOE abstained.

So they didn’t want to run the Frankenstein government.

The great change in Spanish politics, the one that makes the great consensus of the last 40 years impossible, are the alliances to which the PSOE opens with Pedro Sánchez.

Have you written your book?

Yes Yes. Writing amuses me and demands me. It is important to be demanded. And I thought that as a former president I could contribute a defense of liberal democracy and a no to populism.

While he ruled, few understood his times.

For a ruler, the two most important things are to have clear priorities and to manage the times. I am going to give you two examples: my first priority was the economic crisis and in 6 months we applied more reforms than others in 15 years. The sooner the better. On the other hand, in Catalonia, I waited for all the avenues to be exhausted, for them to finally come to their senses, and I only acted when they crossed the red line of declaring independence.

Felipe González has said that 155 should have been applied when the Parliament approved the disconnection laws.

It is debatable. I chose the moment when everyone understood that I had to act. In Europe it is easy to explain that you take an extraordinary measure because a part of the country has declared independence for you. Explaining the laws of disconnection is more difficult, and more difficult for them to understand you.

When I told you that if you applied 155 you could have a revolt in Catalonia, you replied: “Salvador, you don’t know your people.”

In extreme situations, the winds of caution end up affecting many people and I knew that the blood would not reach the river.

Do you miss politics?

No. There is life after politics. I can read, write. I have also discovered the existence of something that I did not know, which is the weekend. It is magnificent.

I’ve never heard him complain.

It doesn’t seem useful to me.

Have your children accused your work? Have they ever been insulted for being their father?

I’m sure they had to swallow something, but they never told me. They are good people. They neither complain nor brag about anything.

Isn’t it hard for you to always stay calm?

The most important thing that a ruler has to aspire to is to maintain balance. And a person too, because we always rule something.

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