Thursday, 19 January 2017

CASSANDRA NASH

A weekly look

- and not entirely impartial reaction -
to the Spanish political scene

Latest News

Going for the big one

MARIANO RAJOY and Spain’s Right Wing have not made it easy for ETA to make its peace with society. The Basque terrorist organisation ceased armed activity in October 2011 and of the five parties in the Basque regional parliament, only the Partido Popular does not back a non-government bill dissolving…

Speak out but watch your step

JUAN PEDRO YLLANES, a judge by profession, is on voluntary leave because he is also a Podemos MP. Yllanes complained not long ago that the party’s co-founder Juan Carlos Monedero threatened him for backing Iñigo Errejon, the Podemos number two currently at loggerheads with party supremo Pablo Iglesias. This internal…

Big guns for a minor disturbance

THE Spanish are not overwhelmingly monarchist but have too much on their minds to start agitating for changes in this department. But for Catalans who want independence, the monarchy symbolises unsympathetic central domination. This is particularly true of the CUP party, whose whole is greater than the sum of its…

Turning a blind eye

HE must be joking. Justice minister Rafael Catala Polo said that political responsibility for corruption would be settled by the ballot box. Polls routinely show that corruption is a major worry for the Spanish although they happily vote for politicians whose copybooks are indelibly blotted. Former president of the Valencian…

One-way traffic

HAVING seen the LOMCE education law lying in tatters on the parliament floor Mariano Rajoy went running to the Constitutional Tribunal to veto MPs’ own right to the veto. With his overall majority gone Mariano Rajoy promised dialogue with other parties but clearly still prefers a monologue. Don’t fix it…

Two of a kind

THE media’s favourite pastime is pointing out the similarities between the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, and America’s president-elect Donald Trump. Both have amazing hair although Iglesias has too much and Trump not enough. Both are preening ego-trippers. Both subscribe to the populist approach of telling voters that the populace…

Enjoy it while you can Rajoy

MARIANO RAJOY dispensed with the services of oh-so-pious Jorge Fernandez Diaz, Minister of the Interior, who despite daily Mass planned to trap, frame and shame Catalan Secessionists. Minister of Foreign Affairs Margallo, with some very strong feelings on Gibraltar, was clearly another goner. It was also on the cards that…

Podemos MPs need to grow up

A SPANISH political observer compared Podemos MPs to the bad children on the back seats on the school bus as they gurned, guffawed and gesticulated during Mariano Rajoy’s investiture speech. One of Pablo Iglesias’ favourite gestures was an index finger twirled against the temple as he opened his eyes wide…

A sense of proportion

SO the PSOE finally fell on its sword and the Federal Committee agreed to abstain on the second vote to install Mariano Rajoy. A sense of proportion finally overpowered objections from Committee members like Cesar Luena, Pedro Sanchez’s organisation manager. He declared that the Committee was betraying voters, although resigned…

Popular News

MARIANO RAJOY wants to complete his full four-year term at…

The song, not the singer

METROSCOPIA gave Pablo Iglesias, who heads the Podemos party, the lowest score amongst the country’s political leaders. Calculated by subtracting the percentage of disapprovers from the percentage of supporters, this gave Iglesias a minus-40 score, overshadowing acting president Mariano Rajoy’s minus-37 and Pedro Sanchez’s minus-36. Ciudadanos’ leader Albert Rivera obtained…

Payback time

IN the 90’s, Carmen Guillen was a secretary at Caja Madrid which later begat Bankia. She worked for bank president Jaime Terceiro but when Miguel Blesa took over she was shunted from one Head Office department to another. She ended up in Operations which dealt with credit cards including the…

Chamber musical chairs

PEDRO SANCHEZ should have moved back to the fifth row in the national parliament chamber, directly behind Eduardo Madina, his defeated rival in the 2014 primaries. Sanchez tried to keep Madina out of parliament by placing him in a lowly position on PSOE voting lists in December and June. He…

Lesser of two evils

THE PSOE secretary general Pedro Sanchez wanted primaries to underpin his leadership. Theoretically that gave him time to prepare his third election campaign and the socialists’ third election defeat. Instead the Federal Committee voted against his proposal for a party conference and after 11 hours of tug of war he…

All his own work

NO surprises in the Basque and Galician elections. The PNV nationalists squeaked home in the Basque region and will need an ally for an overall majority. Alberto Nuñez Feijoo (pictured), as predicted, was re-elected with an overall majority in Galicia and there were self-congratulatory smiles all round in the Partido…

There’s a kind of a hush

PEDRO SANCHEZ, leader of the PSOE socialists, is allegedly on non-speaking terms with some regional leaders. Although Sanchez was not everybody’s choice for secretary general, the present lack of communication is attributed to the absence of anything to discuss until the results of Sunday’s regional elections in Galicia and the…

Parties are just marking time

NO politico will utter anything other than hot air before the regional elections in Galicia and the Basque Region on September 25. The Partido Popular, PSOE, Ciudadanos and Podemos are marking time, waiting to see how well they do. That’s when things on the national scene will get going, and…

The divine right of presidents

DURING his four elected years as president, Mariano Rajoy ignored Spain’s parliament, practically governing by decree thanks to an outsize overall majority. Believing in his God-given right to dominate, he made few friends after moving into the Moncloa Palace. With no need for consensus or dialogue, Rajoy cold-shouldered a natural…

Mariano Rajoy: the swot

ACTING president and Partido Popular leader, Mariano Rajoy, is 61 with a Methuselah streak. His third shot at the presidency paid off in November 2011 when the economic crisis was at its worst. The PP’s endemic corruption, which Rajoy barely acknowledges, surfaced on his watch and opponents complain that as…

Getting a move on

ON August 10, acting president Mariano Rajoy announced a seven-day deadline for agreeing to negotiate or reject Albert Rivera’s six conditions for supporting his investiture bid. These focused uncomfortably on eradicating corruption but, typically, when that week was up on August 17, the acting president said he must first consult…
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