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 parts thanks to its parliamentary support for the centre-right regional president Carles Puigdemont.
CUP is anti-everything except independence and its MPs are actively supporting party members hauled up before the Madrid National High Court for burning photos of the King.
By bringing out the big guns for a minor disturbance the establishment is walking its usual route plagued with elephant traps and minefields. It doesn’t do the King many favours, either.
Kicking off the conversations
SORAYA SAENZ DE SANTAMARIA, the national government’s vice-president recently paid her first visit as Minister of Territorial Administration to Cataluña.
The radiant politician (fillers, botox, surgery or hair extensions?) smiled broadly and reiterated the government’s promises of dialogue regarding Catalan independence. Saenz de Santamaria’s first meetings were with the PSOE’s regional secretary Miquel Iceta and Ines Arrimadas of Ciudadanos, prompting the regional government’s spokeswoman Neus Munte to express ‘surprise’ that the minister should have preferred to meet the Opposition first. Not the best of starts, then.
FIFTY-NINE PER CENT of Basques might want an independence referendum but centrists can stop rending their Madrid-manufactured garments.
The same poll found that only 31 per cent of the Basque population would back secession. They might be anti-Constitutional but referendums are paradoxically the best way to ensure that Spain remains intact.
Discreetly keeping their distance
PEDRO SANCHEZ is tenacious. No longer PSOE secretary general or an MP in the national parliament, he is popping up all over the place and if he has his way party members will again choose the next PSOE secretary general in primaries. This is how he rose to the top in 2014, a prelude to leading the party from bad results to worse.
So far Sanchez is holding meetings and visiting towns where he believes he’ll get a warm welcome from the membership. Meanwhile the few politicians who backed his ‘no means no’ diktat to prevent Mariano Rajoy from forming a government once more are discreetly distancing themselves from him. Everyone loves an underdog but nobody backs an outcast.