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    NewsEuropeSanchez believes that the agreement on migration in the EU is possible despite the great differences that he finds as soon as he begins...

    Sanchez believes that the agreement on migration in the EU is possible despite the great differences that he finds as soon as he begins his European tour

    Pedro Sanchez during his visit to Vienna, this Thursday.CHRISTIAN BRUNA (EFE)

    While in Spain there is still speculation about the possibility of an electoral advance, Pedro Sanchez has begun the first of his five European tours in Vienna to do exactly the opposite: guarantee the success of the Spanish presidency that begins in July and ends in December, this it is to take for granted that the elections will arrive as late as possible, at the end of the year. Sanchez has arrived this Thursday in Vienna, the Austrian capital, he will travel in the afternoon to the Croatian, Zagreb, this Friday he will go to the Slovenian, Ljubljana, on a tour that will take him until June through most of the European countries -not all- with the idea of ​​seeking agreements on decisive issues -especially migration and asylum policy, energy reform, state aid rules or the framework of strategic autonomy of the EU- so that the Spanish presidency is a success that reinforces both the image of Spain and that of the president himself, who believes he has an important political asset on his international agenda compared to an Alberto Nunez Feijoo who has not yet had much experience in this field of politics.

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    Sanchez believes that with all his travels and his contacts at all levels he will be able to guarantee the success of the presidency, but there is a milestone that would be the perfect climax even though it is not directly related: the end of the war in Ukraine. The influence of Spain in something like this is very minor, but Sanchez believes that it is to be expected that the war could end this year, and, therefore, it could take place during the Spanish presidency, although at La Moncloa they do not want to link the two processes. What is certain is that the war will be a decisive issue in the debates in this European semester, because it already is in all the summits, and for this reason Sanchez always reserves a section on Ukraine in all stages of this tour.

    The president, in an informal conversation with the journalists who are accompanying him on the tour, pointed out that at this moment it seems evident that the end of the war is not near, and rather that a great Russian offensive is expected, and that is why now the EU he has to reinforce his support for Ukraine, but he is confident that it could arrive this year. The EU’s priority at this time, for Sanchez, in addition to supporting Ukraine, is to do a lot of diplomatic work so that Volodimir Zelenski’s peace plan has more international support in countries that still have doubts or are close to Russia.

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    Sanchez has claimed that “Spain is a profoundly Europeanist country, which optimistically defends the validity of the European project.” The Spanish president has admitted the complicated situation at the moment, but has trusted that progress can be made during the Spanish presidency. “We are immersed in a war in Europe, we must remember our unwavering support for Ukraine. During the Spanish presidency, which will come to the end of the mandate of the European Commission, we will have to be proactive. We have to work on a green transition, on a review of the energy market, on reducing emissions and increasing open, non-protectionist, strategic autonomy. We have to draw lessons from this bloody war in order to reindustrialize Europe. We have to build a positive agenda with the countries in southern Europe so that they stop the entry of irregular immigration. In migrations we are going to try to reach an agreement before May 2024. With Austria we agree on some things and on others we have to work hard”, said Sanchez, acknowledging the discrepancies. “We want Europe to advance this semester, we are going to look for solutions taking into account the concerns of all countries”, he concluded.

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    The next tour, at the beginning of March, will take Sanchez to Ireland, Denmark and Finland, according to government sources. And then there will be at least three others. It is almost certain that he will not go to Hungary, led by the far-right Viktor Orban, who has a vision contrary to Sanchez on almost all matters, and it is not yet clear if he will visit Italy, one of the central countries of Europe, but now led by the far-right Giorgia Meloni, who came to star in the central Vox rally in the Andalusian elections. Sanchez wants to normalize the relationship with Meloni, because Spain and Italy cannot live with their backs turned, but he still has to finish off the political decision of that first trip to Rome.


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