Back to the future

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PEDRO SANCHEZ: Claims there aren’t three Right-Wing parties, just one acting as a block.


BECAUSE there were so many Sevillanas-loving Andaluces in Felipe Gonzalez’s first governments in the 80’s, the dance became very fashionable outside the region.

Gonzalez himself wasn’t averse to an afternoon of Toros and is on record as saying he believed the Fiesta Nacional would never disappear.

Sevillanas are no longer the excuse for many a hard-drinking night out from Alicante to Albuquerque though the dance remains an accomplishment required of well-bred young ladies.

Toros began losing their grip years ago, so perhaps Gonzalez was wrong, though Pablo Casado is doing his bit to prove him right.

Casado is so supportive of bullfighting, he has included a couple amongst Sunday’s Partido Popular candidates.

Taking his cue from Gonzalez, ambitious Cesar Sanchez is promising a yearly bullfight put on by Alicante Diputacion ‘to promote bullfighters and novilleros.’

Currently Calpe mayor and Diputacion president, Sanchez hopes to repeat at the Diputacion and since he heads the PP’s Alicante list, he’s Madrid-bound as an MP too. Pollsters agree Sunday’s results are impossible to call, but if Casado can pull off his dream of a PP-Cs-Vox ménage-a-trois, Spain is condemned to return to afternoons of toros, puro y copa.

And a short, sharp gallop back to the past.

Against the buffers of reality

THERE were always two Spains composed of haves and have-nots, the devout and the anti-clerical, conservatives and socialists.

But there’s a third Spain which is under the radar, the Spain which longs for the past, the Spain where immigration was never a problem as immigrants were usually well-heeled northern Europeans, the Spain where Cataluña meant the Sagrada Familia and Crema catalana, not Carles Puigdemont.

The Spain which voted Right or Left as there was no-one else to vote for, but felt overlooked or misunderstood or mistreated by Right and Left. This third Spain lurking beneath the radar is now targeted by Vox, a party promoting the premise nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, and peddling dreams which will disintegrate on running into the hard buffers of reality.

Long and winding road

PARTY leaders were out in force at the formal start of the two-week election campaign, pasting up posters while practising smiles which will morph into snarls by April 28. But as Spaniards-in-the-street wearily observed, haven’t their leaders and would-be leaders already been campaigning for months?

Getting the message

PEDRO SANCHEZ vetoed a televised head-to-head debate with Partido Popular presidential contender, Pablo Casado.

He preferred to debate with Casado plus Albert Rivera, Santiago Abascal and Pablo Iglesias, respective leaders of Ciudadanos, Vox and Unidos Podemos.

Sanchez wanted Casado, Rivera and Abascal lined up together replicating their photo during the Madrid demonstration last February to illustrate his claim that there aren’t three Right-Wing parties, just one acting as a block. 

Instead, the national Electoral Committee ruled out Abascal because Vox does not have parliamentary representation.

Pity, that. We all know that an image is worth a thousand words – and votes.

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