Enrique Sánchez de León: “We are in a false constituent process”

He was the first Minister of Health and Social Security with the government of Adolfo Suárez. Publish “Those impertinent reformists of the Transition”, (Almuzara), where he reviews where he narrates his personal experience and the origin or the doubts that that generation faced. He warns that they are now demanding a health prevention agency and “I believe it” in a decree from November 1978 that, he remembers, does not bear his signature.

What does that generation carry in its memory?

The book was born with the intention of vindicating the reformists within the system. Those of us who mainly made the Transition were the openers from within, the so-called reformists. I was a labor inspector by competitive examination and had spent my career in public administration. The legal transformation, in my opinion, we could only do from within because the thesis of law to law was only possible by people from within and we made the legal revolution.

You who were Minister of Health, when you hear “Koldo case”, the mask plot. What do you think?

It makes me very sad and very angry that circumstances of hardship and weakness are taken advantage of for personal gain. There will always be cases of corruption in any system, country and time because it is inherent to man.

“There is a need for regulation from the Crown or the moderating power”

What do you think of how the amnesty law?

We are in a false constituent process. That is to say; propose a constitutional modification, because this is not an ad hoc modification but a structural one, so that the Spanish people should be proposed and consulted and there is room for a referendum, but within a full and real democracy, not a falsified power in its approach. I ally myself with people who think that no Spanish voter believed that the PSOE had, even remotely, these purposes.

Is what is not prohibited in the Constitution allowed?

That is false. It is a false prejudice. Someone gave a very clear example: slavery is not prohibited in the Constitution, however, it is not conceived.

He was not part of the constituent process but was aware of the negotiations…

In the constituent process I was a deputy, but I was not on the commission where there were three from UCD of whom, fatally, two have already died: Pérez Llorca and Cisneros. I had complete information about what was happening in the constituent commission. The initial discussion was general pardons and it was assumed that the amnesty would be rejected. It is not that the Cortes did not accept it but that they explicitly rejected the amnesty, and it is not mentioned precisely for that reason; because it was established that it was a step beyond general pardons. The curious thing about this is that the constituent will is unknown. Not even the separatists conceived a Constitution as part of the left conceives it today. The regime we thought of was an autonomous regime, different from the federal one.

He was part of “the chosen ones” in the reformist process. Are there any aspects of what was introduced in the Constitution that he would have done differently? Which is it?

In Health there are, fundamentally, two ways of focusing its action: one, through what is called a national social security system and two; a national health system. I defend social security systems right now. The left, fundamentally and a part of European social democracy, defend national health systems. What is the difference between them? The national social security system has as its main axes, as happens in France where private initiative operates, so that healthcare is all of us: the State, individuals… The national health system tends to ensure that everything is the State or the public administration. Health systems tend to be nationalized, to distrust private initiative, while social security systems are based on citizen participation. The national health system gives you an unnamed tax and the social security system gives you a specific contribution.

Does the 1978 Constitution work or should it be changed?

It would have to be changed.

What would you change?

Title 8, because the distribution of powers between the State and the autonomies or the well-known succession of the Crown has failed. When we consider maintaining the Monarchy, and an agreement is reached with the Communist party, it is decided that it will be a Parliamentary Monarchy so that it no longer has the powers inherited from Franco. It is what is carried out in the Constitution, but there is either a law of the Crown or something provided for in the Constitution that regulates the moderating power of the King. For example, today a large part of society wonders what the King does. And we must ask the Constitution: what can the King do? And he can't do anything. The moderating power remains only in the good offices and that is not enough for a radicalized and conflict-ridden society. There is no regulation from the Crown or the moderating power. It's something that almost no one touches.

“People who make a living from politics and do not have a job to return to become carpets”

How do you compare your time in Congress with now?

During my time in Congress, I was there until 1982, there was a constituent, State, and foundation concern. However; Today it is all patches, patches, use of materials to see how it is less noticeable. My most important decree, which does not bear my signature, is from November 1978 and completely structures Health and now it is as if it had not existed. Right now they are demanding a health prevention agency and I believe them in that decree! There has been a Leninist attempt to make everything that confers the UCD stage disappear.

How did we go from Miquel Roca to Míriam Nogueras?

For treason, for constitutional disloyalty and for clumsiness of public administrations. In my country there is a very harsh saying: “There is nothing worse than a poor person fed up with bread.” There are people who the more you give them, the more they demand from you. The electoral system has fostered the need to have majorities with the nationalists and that has depreciated and degenerated everyone.

How would Suárez have managed the current constitutional challenge and the independence crisis?

Seeking consensus. Suárez was a seducer, a convincer. He was a great person, a man of principles who had tremendous affability and defined himself like a reed. With consensus, dialogue, tolerance, with some of the virtues that no longer exist today. You see statements of incredible hatred, they are statements of genetic hatred.

He says there is more life outside of politics. Would you say it to any politician in particular?

I would say that to many politicians. People who make a living from politics and don't have a job to return to become carpets.

How do you see the PSOE now compared to before?

It's a good question because it assumes that there are two, and I confirm it. I think the young socialists do not know if Sanchismo is true socialism or that of Felipe González. I believe that the theoretical socialism was that of Felipe and the real one was that of Sánchez. The theoretical one is more like social democracy and the real one is Marxist-Leninist. In the PSOE they would need a profound ideological reconversion because at this time they have become a policy of opportunism.

The prologue of the book is written by Ramón Tamames. What did you think of his motion of censure?

Tamames and I are from the same villa and we have had parallel lives. I studied politics and economics and I saw him every day in the courtyard of the Complutense but he was a member of the communist party and I was a member of the public administration at that time, although he was not in the movement. He later became a member of the PCE and I was a national advisor of the movement and we had a close relationship. Furthermore, his children went to the same school as mine. I have admiration for dynamic and intellectual people. We always suspected that Tamames was not a true communist just as Suárez was never a true Falangist. Tamames asked for his collaboration since people who were in different fields could reach consensus. Because the Transition begins with the consensus of Suárez and Carrillo.

Regarding the motion of censure, I think it was very forced, but only saved by the brilliance of Tamames. Although Abascal's idea was an original idea.

What does “voxerism” mean to you?

It is a ghost of an extreme right that appears from time to time but not always in Vox. So, what happens is that the dialectical skill of the left, which has indisputable exaggerations and some constitutional heterodoxy such as the condemnation of autonomies, has become, due to some attitudes, an ultra-right party. But if Vox is the ultra-right, tell me what Podemos or Sumar is.

Were you tempted after your departure to return to politics?

I was very tempted by José María Aznar and I flatly rejected participation in the PP because true center people are neither right-wing nor left-wing. We can be right-wing when we defend the legal order, the formation of a peaceful society that needs a moderately strong state. But we have a stronger sense of social justice and distribution that the right does not have. I have leaned more as a social democrat than not coming from the right.

Did anyone else insist?

No one else tried it and I would have said no to everyone.

How do you see Feijóo?

I believe, and I talk about this in the book, that the Spanish right has fundamentally lacked two things: a clear definition of what it is and greater social sensitivity. That is to say; The right has to say: I am this, and not seek the ideology of the majority that is sought by agreement of what I am and what others are, not by the search for unity. Even so, I believe that for the first time an attempt is being made to define a right-wing program, but to say what it is, not what it wants to be. I am not shocked that he reaches an agreement with Vox, but that he says that he defends the state of the autonomies. Sánchez is clearer on that.

Do you see the leader of the PP as president of the Government?

Yes, why not.