29 Apr, 2024 @ 11:48
4 mins read

READ IN ENGLISH: Pedro Sanchez’s full speech announcing he will remain as PM of Spain

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PEDRO Sanchez today revealed that he will remain in his role as prime minister after taking the weekend to consider his position.

It came after his wife was accused of ‘peddling influence’ in a ‘political attack’ he said was ‘clearly’ orchestrated by right wing forces.

The PSOE leader took the weekend to ‘pause and reflect’, before meeting with the King this morning ahead of his press conference at 11am.

Below is his speech in full:

Good afternoon. As you know, this past Wednesday I wrote a letter addressed to the people.

In said letter, I pondered whether it was worth it to endure the attacks that my family have suffered for the past 10 years, as leader of the government of Spain. Today, after days of reflection, I have a clear answer.

If we all accept, as a society, that political action allows indiscriminate attacks against innocent people. If we agree that partisan politics justifies the use of hate, of incitement, and of falshoods towards third parties, then it is not worth it.

If the most grotesque lies substitute respectful debate and rationalisation based on evidence, then it is not worth it. As great as it is, there is no honour that justifies the unjust suffering of the people one loves and respects the most. And to see how they try to destroy their dignity without even the bare minimum.

As I said, I needed time to pause and reflect about everything. And I know that the letter I sent could have confused some, as it did not comply with a single political calculation. And it’s true.

I’m aware that I’ve shown feelings that in politics are not usually allowed. I recognise that in the eyes of those who want to break me, not for who I am , but rather for what I represent, I have waivered. I don’t wish this situation on anyone. Because whatever our job, our responsibilities, we live in a society where we are only taught and required to keep marching on at all costs.

But there are times when the only way to move forward is to stop, reflect and clearly decide where we want to go. I have acted with clear conviction, either we say ‘enough is enough’ or this degradation of public life will determine our future and condemn us as a country.

It is true that I have taken this step for personal reasons, but they are reasons that everyone can understand and feel as their own, because they respond to the core values of a supportive society. And a family-orientated society, such as the Spanish one, because this is not an ideological question. We are talking about respect, dignity, principles that go far beyond political opinions and that define us as a society.

This has nothing to do with the legitimate debate between political options. It has to do with the rules of the game. If we allow deliberate falsehoods to direct the political debate, if we force the victims of these lies to have to prove their innocence against the most basic rule of law, if we allow a woman to have to sacrifice her professional career for the benefit of her husband, if in short we allow the lack of reason to become routine, the consequence will be irreparable damage to our democracy.

Demanding unconditional resistance from the leaders targeted by this strategy is putting the focus on the victims and not the aggressors, and confusing freedom of expression with freedom of defamation is a democratic perversion with disastrous consequences.

Therefore, the question is simple: do we want this for Spain? My wife and I know that this smear campaign will not stop. We have been suffering from it for 10 years. It is serious, but it is not the most important thing. We can endure it. The important thing, the truly transcendent thing, is that we love Spain. I want to heartily thank you for the expressions of solidarity and empathy that we have received from all walks of life.

Logically, they will allow me a special thanks to my beloved Socialist Party. The social mobilisation that has decisively influenced my reflection and for which I am once again grateful, I want to share with all of you what I have finally decided. I have previously informed the Head of State of this this morning.

I have decided to continue, to continue with even more strength if possible at the head of the presidency of the Government of Spain… I give before you my commitment to work tirelessly, firmly and with serenity for the pending regeneration of our democracy and for the advancement and consolidation of rights and freedoms…

There is only one way to reverse this situation. May the social majority, as it has done over these five days, mobilise a determined commitment to dignity and common sense, putting a stop to the politics of shame that we have been suffering for too long. Because this is not about the destiny of a particular leader…

It’s about deciding what kind of society we want to be. And I think our country needs to do this collective reflection. In fact, during these five days we have already started doing it. A collective reflection that opens the way to regeneration and fair play. We have been letting the mud colonise political life and public life with impunity for too long, with toxic practices unimaginable just a few years ago.

I appeal, consequently, to the collective conscience of Spanish society. A society that, through generous agreement, knew how to overcome the terrible and deep wounds of the worst of its past. A society that managed to overcome in an exemplary manner all the democratic challenges it suffered, that successfully overcame a pandemic, that despite the difficult geopolitical context that we suffered with wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, is experiencing a very good economic moment and enjoys peace.

Social peace, a society that amazed the world with its enthusiastic acceptance of rights and freedoms, going from being an obscure country to an international benchmark of freedoms and democracy, progress and coexistence.

Today I ask Spanish society to once again be an example and inspiration for a troubled and wounded world, because the evils that afflict us are by no means exclusive to Spain, they are part of a global reactionary movement that aspires to impose its regressive agenda through defamation. Hatred and appeal to fears and threats that do not correspond to science or rationality.

Let’s show the world how democracy is defended… I am committed to leading firmly as President of the Government of Spain.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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