A third way

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ARTUR MAS.

FOR a politician who was so often wrong, Artur Mas, ex-regional president of Cataluña, finally got it right.

There is an alternative to Catalan independence, he said, but the State must come up with it.

Of course Mas is no longer president after a sequence of early elections that ran his then party, the centre-right CiU, into the ground.  The reason CiU’s successor – its name changes so often it’s hard to keep up – governs Cataluña is thanks to a parliamentary voting alliance with the CUP anti-system party.  This unlikely support came at a high price for Mas as he had to hand over the regional presidency to Carles Puigdemont.

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It will be up to Puigdemont to parlay with Mariano Rajoy but Mas, still a power behind the throne, has made his most sensible suggestion in years.  

And the only likely one to prosper, bearing in mind that less than half of Cataluña favours independence.

 

Pablo gets his way

THINGS went the way Pablo Iglesias wanted at the Podemos party conference.  His number two and Podemos parliamentary spokesman Iñigo Errejon was sidelined and Pablo Iglesias’ present partner – in all senses of the word – Irene Montero has taken his place.  

Meanwhile a Metroscopia poll showed more than half of those asked believed the manoeuvrings had weakened Podemos but strengthened Iglesias.

Sadly, in a party that claims to champion the vulnerable and under-privileged, it should have been the other way round.

 

Status symbol

IÑAKI URDANGARIN, erstwhile Duke of Palma de Mallorca, received a six-year prison term for misuse of public funds amongst other transgressions.  

His wife, the Infanta Cristina, was acquitted as the tribunal decided that despite benefiting, she didn’t know what Iñaki was up to.  Possibly that’s true.  

Clearly Cristina,who declared “I was born an Infanta and will die an Infanta” when asked by her family to renounce her hereditary rights, isn’t like the rest of us.  Although if she values status that much she should have married a prince or an oligarch, not a relatively penniless sportsman.

 

Asking a silly question

EX-PRESIDENT Felipe Gonzalez asked why Podemos was absent from a meeting that asked for Venezuela’s political prisoners to be freed.  Ask a silly question: those prisoners were incarcerated by Nicolas Maduro’s government, the same regime that called in Iglesias & Co as political and economic assessors. Enough said.

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