CARLES PUIGDEMONT, Cataluña’s regional president and its vice-president Oriol Junqueras, recently co-authored a ponderous article in El Pais.
It was entitled ‘Let dialogue win and the ballot-box decide.’ Both launched into their independence spiel and plaintively asked why, if the British government and Scotland could hold a referendum, Spain can’t.
They already know: Britain’s unwritten Constitution allows referendums like last June’s. Spain’s Constitution, which Cataluña happily accepted in the past, does not. End of story. And Puigdemont and Junqueras could have saved themselves the bother of writing their leaden mini-treatise and spared us the tedium of reading it.
THE death of Martin McGuinness came shortly after ETA’s decision to surrender its remaining arms.
This came more than five years after ETA’s 2011 announcement that it was abandoning violence as a means of achieving Basque independence.
McGuiness reached that point much earlier when his conviction that British presence in Ireland could only be ended by armed struggle mellowed into compromise. And it helped that even when IRA terror was at its bloodiest and most divisive there was always behind-the-scenes contact with the British government.
It has been pointed out in Spain that ETA is decommissioning after failing to obtain concessions from an unbending government, especially as regards moving ETA prisoners to the Basque region.
Whether ETA’s gesture is empty or not, at least it means that terrorism in Europe is the shameful preserve of that god-bothering bunch of butchers and murderers called ISIS.
An even keel
MARIANO RAJOY, as has been his wont since 2011 when a comfortable overall majority allowed him to govern by decree, tried this with the dockers’ dispute.
Brussels is fining Spain €27,000 a day for failing to comply with EU directives and the government urgently needs to reform this closed shop sector.
Instead the opposition parties flexed their muscles and inflicted a defeat that prompted Rajoy to remind the opposition that without government stability there could be an early election.
PEDRO SANCHEZ is resorting to crowd-funding to finance his campaign to be chosen PSOE’s next secretary general in the May primaries.
The party’s Managing Committee will supervise campaign donations and expenditure and Sanchez’s rivals Patxi Lopez and Susana Diaz have raised no objections.
Pedro is reluctant and there he goes: accentuating the negative again.