ARTUR MAS, sometime president of Cataluña hinted at a return to politics once he can hold public office again early next year. Mas organised an independence referendum in 2014, a lesser affair than the October 1 effort of 2017 which led to the brief and inconclusive UDI of October 27.
It earned Mas a trial and a €36,500 fine, while barring him from public office. Ever-wily, he has kept a low profile and bided his time. Much of what has happened in Cataluña would never have occurred if Mas had not been obliged to hand over to Carles Puigdemont, now ensconced in comfort and martyred self-exile in Waterloo. He became president in 2016 only because the antisystem CUP party refused to back Mas’s investiture.
If Mas makes a comeback the outcome is anybody’s guess, but it could be that the understudy has to hand back his starring role and return to the wings.
A personal matter
THIS time it is Albert Rivera’s turn to say ‘No means no’ and insist that Ciudadanos will not assist Pedro Sanchez’s investiture. Not everybody inside his party is happy about Rivera’s willingness to apply a cordon sanitaire to the PSOE party while happily making use of ultra-Right VOX.
The unconvinced include Francesc Carreras, Cs’ founder, regarded as Rivera’s early mentor and on record as saying that his pupil is putting the party before the public good. In fact it is not even that. Rivera cannot forgive Sanchez for the Vote of No Confidence that carried him into the Moncloa a year ago when Ciudadanos was riding high and the PSOE was at its lowest-ever ebb, This is a personal, not a political matter, which could lead to a second general election and ultimately do Rivera few favours.
ON June 19 Felipe VI celebrated five years as king. This is the same day that his forebear Felipe V finished burning down Xativa in 1707 as punishment for backing the Hapsburgs in the War of Succession. Felipe V’s portrait hangs upside down in Xativa’s L’Almodi Museum and will remain so until a Borbon king visits the city and apologises. Not surprisingly, no Xativa visit has yet been pencilled in to Felipe’s diary.