What’s in a (bridge) name?
THE Puente de la Constitucion de 1812 – Cadiz’s new bridge uniting the capital and Puerto Real – is already called La Pepa.
Spain’s anachronistically democratic first constitution was declared in 1812 on March 19 and because this is also the saint’s day of every Jose and Josefina, La Constitucion de Cadiz was soon known as La Pepa.
Some memories appear to be very near the surface, even as long as 103 years later.
ARTUR MAS has a habit of calling early elections and reducing his parliamentary majority each time. When, in 2012, he lost CiU’s overall majority, he negotiated support from the radical nationalist republican party, ERC. True to form, Mas’s 2015 ticket, Junts pel Si, also lacks an overall majority and he needs the anti-system separatist party CUP. If Mas thought he had problems satisfying ERC’s Oriol Junqueras’s independence demands, his work will be cut out for him with Antonio Baños.
Two bad losers
THERE was no Third Way of dialogue before the Cataluña regional elections; that plebiscite that wasn’t. There was only national president Mariano Rajoy’s way and regional president Artur Mas’s way. Neither listened to the other before and neither is listening now. Both men are bad losers and the only way either of them can go is along a one-way street leading to absolutely nowhere. The pro-independence faction, Junts pel Si and CUP, won more seats in the Cataluña parliament than the other parties together but only received 47.8 per cent of the total number of votes. Ironically, had the national government athorised an independence referendum, the majority of Catalans would not have voted for it.
Dream on, boy
A 13-YEAR-OLD BOY in Madrid is indignant because the mayor, Manuela Carmena, is going to withdraw the Bullfighting School’s subsidy. “They can’t play like this with aficionados and a boy’s dreams,” complained Daniel Perez, one of its pupils. Let’s hope that they can and they do. If he wants to wear pink stockings and tight satin trousers embroidered with sequins while he slaughters bulls, he should try asking an overpaid celebrity matador to subsidise his apprenticeship instead.