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MARIA JESUS MONTERO: Won the debate and is perceived as a possible president Source: Wikimedia


AN activist who was very active in Barcelona during the unauthorised October 1 referendum was injured by a rubber bullet.

The activist explained to an investigating judge that he threw a metal barrier at a Policia Nacional van without intending to hurt anyone but was shot in the eye for his pains.

He only wanted to stop them preventing the referendum, he insisted.

That’s as maybe, but what is so interesting about this case is his name: Roger Español. Wonder how he feels about that?

A matter of principle

WHAT goes around doesn’t always come around.

Albert Rivera’s party Ciudadanos announced that it will not make pacts with the PSOE socialists following the April 28 general election, a complete turnaround from March 2016 when Rivera tried to form a government with Pedro Sanchez.

The still-president retaliated by saying that Cs would rather make alliances with the extreme right than social democrats and who’s to say he’s wrong?

Seeing power within his grasp following a General Election without a clear majority for anyone would certainly bring Rivera’s more flexible side to the fore.

Ciudadanos embraced the far, far, farthest right in Andalucia last December by accepting the Partido Popular’s alliance with Vox, and that’s what they could do in two months’ time.

Not today, thanks

SANDRINE MOREL, Le Monde’s Madrid correspondent is covering the trial of separatist Catalan politicians, accused of rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of public funds.

She pointed out that the separatists believe international help will assist them in obtaining the support they failed to achieve with the October 1 referendum.

Morel then went on to say that outside Spain their arguments that the Madrid hearing is a political trial wins them scant sympathy as they’ve been saying that for too long now.

Long October 1, the separatists failed to receive the backing they believed they deserved when the then regional president Artur Mas did the rounds, drumming up support for an independent Cataluña.

He was shown the door everywhere except in a couple of places with unpronounceable names and obscure locations on world maps.

Cataluña isn’t going to get more international support than it has now and as the separatists’ novelty value wears off, foreign correspondents are faced with a three-month dose of indigestible Spanish court procedures.

Never mind: Madrid has some splendid restaurants, bars and cafes to compensate for the tedium.

A star is born

PEDRO SANCHEZ failed to get his 2019 Budget through but the parliamentary debate turned all eyes on Finance minister Maria Jesus Montero.

The PSOE government might have lost the vote but it certainly won the debate, thanks to her.

Montero is increasingly seen not just as a minister but a possible president although it’s too late to do anything about that now.

But as April 28 looms, it’s a depressing thought for the PSOE that the only thing their presidential candidate, the incumbent Pedro Sanchez, has ever won – apart from matches in his basketball playing days as a student – are the party’s 2014 and 2017 primaries.

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