Rajoy reaps what he sowed in


PAIN’S president Mariano Rajoy said that no-one could speak for Cataluña and that’s where the problem lies. 

Catalans are Catalans first, not Spanish, and they don’t want Rajoy or anybody outside the region speaking over their heads.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they all want to split from Spain, but outside the region all the old historic fears resurface once independence is mentioned. 

Every coin in Franco’s time bore the legend “One, Great and Free” and it’s not accidental that the word “One” came first. There is a tendency outside bilingual regions to fear that Spain will fall apart if nationalism is given its head. 


If Cataluña’s 2010 Statute conceding more autonomy had gone ahead, possibly none of this would have happened. Instead it was met with handwringing horror and diluted by an appeal from the PP, then in opposition, that was upheld by the Constitutional Tribunal.

Sins come home to roost, they say, and old objections come back to haunt leaders of the opposition when they find themselves in government. Rajoy must be kicking himself now.


Bolts and stable

HEALTH minister Ana Mato finally got her marching orders.  Not for her uncertain grasp on the Ebola crisis but owing to fallout from the Gurtel corruption case.

Mato is not directly implicated in Gurtel, nor is she a suspect, but her ex-husband Jesus Sepulveda was allegedly up to his neck in it when he was mayor of Pozuelo de Alarcon (Madrid).

Pablo Ruz, the investigating judge handling the Gurtel case maintained that she “personally profited” from the spoils of Sepulveda’s corrupt transactions.

Her tangential involvement via her ex was no bombshell and was common knowledge, with Mato always claiming she was unaware of her husband’s dealings.  

She had to go before she could sully Rajoy’s set-piece speech in the corruption debate the day after the summons.

After all, it would not have done to see her sitting beside him on the equivalent of the Commons’ front bench, the “banco azul”.

Heaven forbid voters could suspect there was sleaze in high places.


Someone to watch over us

A MEMBER of Spain’s General Council of Judicial Power (GCJP) was found entering Spain from Andorra with €9,600, rather too much for legality.

It was from her mother to buy Christmas presents, the unfortunately named Merce Pigem explained. 

She has since resigned for the good of the GCJP but it does raise the question of who watches the watchers. 

Not that this is a purely 21st century question, as Juvenal once asked: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

And that was a long, long time ago.


Seal of approval

PODEMOS applauded Pope Francis when he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg. 

There is even a photo of Pablo Iglesias, the newly named general secretary of what is now a party, on his feet and clapping.


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