The Spanish People’s Party (PP) has called Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s family vacation to Marrakech provocative and it has sparked a contentious political debate in Spanish media.
According to Spanish media reports, there is no official government agenda for the trip, which has drawn condemnation from opposition leaders who charge Sanchez of disregarding the urgent problems facing the country.
The Deputy Secretary of the PP, Miguel Tellado, responded to the Prime Minister’s vacation intentions by describing the trip as a “clear provocation that responds to the arrogance of the character.”
Tellado went on to accuse Sanchez of ignoring important national issues while on vacation and chastised him for refusing to participate in self-criticism.
Tellado made reference to Sanchez’s unwillingness to meet with PP leader Feijóo throughout the week by saying, “It would be good for him to return from Morocco accepting his electoral defeat, that you cannot be president at any price, and that the time has come for PP and PSOE to sit down and talk.”
In a tweet, Cuca Gamarra, Feijóo’s general secretary, pointed out the economic challenges facing Spain while questioning the timing of the Prime Minister’s trip.
“Only” Sánchez “goes on vacation in peace” at a time when Spain is dealing with its “third worst unemployment figure in July since 2008, the third worst figure for affiliation since 2012,” and has lost “6,819 self-employed workers and 2,281 companies,” according to Gamarra.
Sources from La Moncloa defended the trip by emphasizing that it is a “strictly private” vacation that was entirely paid for by President Sanchez’s personal funds and was free of any official obligations.
They emphasized that Sanchez remained in Madrid up until this Tuesday, when he boarded a commercial trip to Marrakech, in spite of rivals and the media making assumptions about the location.
Due to recent shifts in the Spanish government’s position on the Western Sahara issue and the purported Pegasus case, which has since been archived, El Pais speculated that Marrakech had drawn attention as a vacation destination.
After this vacation, Sanchez will continue his political efforts, according to La Moncloa. However, the tour has highlighted the widening gap between the opposition PP and the ruling PSOE, with some arguing that the Prime Minister must act right away to address the country’s problems.