SPAIN was promised some EU goodies following the 2014 Euro elections and the sugarplum went to Miguel Arias Cañete.
The former Environment minister was not an obvious choice for Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy commissioner, not with his former oil industry links.
The job description requires him to condemn fossil fuels and greenhouse gases but he is doing so with unexpected gusto. “Converts to causes become their biggest defenders,” Arias Cañete explained. There’s much to be said about poachers-turned-gamekeepers too.
Their heads rule their hearts
A POLL carried out in Cataluña gave the ‘no’ vote a one-point lead over the secessionists. This coincided with the downgrading of Cataluña’s public debt to junk bond status by ratings agency Fitch.
Had the Fitch announcement arrived before the poll that would probably have been a two-point lead.
The Catalans, shrewd and thrifty businesspeople, tend to let their heads rule their hearts.
Yllanes not to judge Infanta
PODEMOS is aiming high and possibly punching above its weight. First the newly-hatched party enlisted four-star general and former Chief of Defence Staff Julio Rodriguez to head its list of general election candidates in Zaragoza.
Now Podemos has another notch on its gun with Juan Pedro Yllanes, a Baleares judge known for relentless pursuit of corruption.
He was due to head the tribunal of judges who will decide whether the Infanta Cristina knew about her husband’s financial shenanigans.
No longer, naturally, as Yllanes has since requested unpaid leave.
Spain’s Constitution bars judges from participating in politics or being a paid-up member of any political party, which works better in theory than practice.
Does anyone believe that not paying a monthly quota to the PP or PSOE guarantees impartiality? Opinions and prejudices are a mindset, not a standing order at the bank.
There is no easy way out
BASQUE Regional President, Iñigo Urkullu, suggested to his Catalan counterpart Artur Mas in May 2014 that they should seek legal ways of reforming the makeup of the Spanish state.
The offer came to nothing. Mas has always wanted to do things his way, which is the hard way.