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Spain’s Sanchez to further pressure PP to accept presidential debate idea

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro S?nchez, will keep up the pressure on the leader of centre-right Partido Popular (PP/EPP), Alberto N??ez Feij?o, to accept more than one debate with him before the general election.

On Monday, the PP declined Sanchez?s invitation to participate in a series of head-to-head debates (one per week) before the election at the end of July, and said it was an “eccentricity” of the socialist Prime Minister.

“In less than 24 hours, he (N??ez Feij?o) has already accepted one. What yesterday was an eccentricity, today is already a debate”, government sources stated Tuesday after the leader of the PP expressed Tuesday morning his willingness to have one head-to-head debate with S?nchez before the election, in which only he and the chief of the Spanish Executive would take part, EFE reported.

In an interview with Onda Cero, N??ez Feij?o said that “debates are negotiated, not forced (…) S?nchez cannot go out on the streets and cannot hold many rallies because he is not capable of mobilising his party, but that is not my problem”, he stressed.

There will be “a face-to-face between S?nchez and myself. I hope he accepts and from then on let the campaign managers decide the format, when and where”, the leader of the PP pointed out.

“A man who has not wanted to debate state affairs with the opposition (PP) has no legitimacy to impose a debate”, N??ez Feij?o added.

PP wants to repeal several laws

In the interview, N??ez Feij?o assured that if he achieves a sufficient majority to govern, there will be numerous laws approved by the left-wing coalition government that he would repeal.

“I am going to repeal lies, deceit, arrogance, sectarianism and, therefore, Sanchismo (S?nchez’s way of ruling the country)”, the leader of the PP stated.

Official sources said Tuesday that S?nchez will insist on defending multiple debates because Spanish voters need to know what the opposition leader has to offer them in case he wins the election but needs the support of the far-right party Vox to forge a coalition.

Meanwhile, PSOE’s deputy Secretary General and Treasury Minister, Mar?a Jes?s Montero, revealed Tuesday that the socialist party (PSOE/S&D) would be in contact “in the next few hours” with PP’s general coordinator, El?as Bendodo, to try to reach an agreement on the format of the electoral debates to be held in the run-up to the general elections.

“Debating in democracy is always healthy. It is always positive”, Montero stressed while reiterating the importance of having as many debates as necessary.

About 37. 4 million Spanish citizens can cast their vote in the general election, of which 1.6 million will be first time voters.

(Fernando Heller EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)

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