President Armengol met the national leader of PSOE, Pedro Sánchez, yesterday and offered her support in forming a government at any time he felt it would be opportune. She said that she had total confidence in Sánchez and that he should act with total freedom in arriving at any agreement for government.

The meeting was one of a series that Sánchez has held ahead of Saturday's federal committee gathering of the party. Armengol said that it had been very cordial and that the two of them had considered the complex situation that had arisen at the general election.

She criticised Mariano Rajoy for having declined King Felipe's proposal that he should submit himself to an investiture vote in Congress, given that Rajoy heads the party which obtained the most votes on 20 December. She referred to Rajoy's "irresponsibility" and compared this with the ability, hope and eagerness of Sánchez, which would be displayed at the moment when the King gives him the option of forming a progressive and reforming government. "Pedro Sánchez has the trust of all socialists in the Balearics to begin the negotiation."

Armengol also rejected Rajoy proposal to support PSOE in the regions and municipalities where PSOE governs with the backing of Podemos. She was surprised by this "marketing" by Rajoy, observing that he was capable of doing anything in exchange for hanging on to his position.

With regard to statements by Felipe González, the one-time PSOE prime minister, which called for the PP and PSOE to put the interests of Spain above all else and so not mutually impede the other in forming a government, Armengol said that the government in the Balearics was an example of how things can work well (in the Balearics' case with Més as partners and Podemos as supporters). She said that she did not fear a government of the left in Spain, as she believed the policies of the left were necessary for the country. The voters had opted for pluralism and a pact on 20 December and this, she believed, is what Pedro Sánchez must clearly create.

González has been strong in rejecting any alliance with Podemos on account of what he has described as its arrogance and a hiding of its real intentions, which are to tear down the system rather than reform it. Sánchez, meanwhile, is under pressure from other leading figures within PSOE to not go ahead with a deal with Podemos. The meeting on Saturday could prove to be crucial for PSOE and also Sánchez.