Sunday, 26 March 2017

CASSANDRA NASH

A weekly look

- and not entirely impartial reaction -
to the Spanish political scene

Latest News

A matter of choice

ONLY paid-up Podemos members have much time for the party’s secretary general Pablo Iglesias. Given the way the political parties are organised, they have the last word even though sidelined Iñigo Errejon is preferred by Podemos-inclined voters. Almost 43 per cent would have voted for Errejon had they participated in…

A third way

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…

The cold caller

MARIANO RAJOY’S phone conversation with Donald Trump was called his Azores Moment. The offer by Spain’s president to act as Trump’s mediator with Latin America was considered as unnecessary and servile as Spain’s ex-president Jose Maria Aznar decision to sign up for the Iraq war in 2003. The moment was…

Getting messier

INDEPENDENCE-OBSESSED Artur Mas was a noisy and ineffective president of Cataluña. His party’s majority shrank during a series of snap elections called to buttress the independence cause and the last in 2015, planned as a plebiscite, was a fiasco. The CDC had to embrace the anti-system CUP party in order…

Sparring partners

ALBERTO GARZON is the leader of what remains of Spain’s defunct Communist party, Izquierda Unida. He protested recently at “intolerable” criticism of IU from some sectors of Podemos. There is a patent lack of respect for IU and the party is constantly belittled, Garzon said. He complained with good reason,…

Tussle for power

PODEMOS was in the right place at the right time. It grew from discontent crystallised by the 15-M movement when thousands occupied Madrid’s Puerta del Sol. “They call it democracy but it’s not,” they chanted as they mistakenly equated democracy with prosperity, a forgivable misconception as the two often go…

Healing the rift

CLEVER Patxi! Patxi Lopez has taken the political equivalent of a selfie and put his name down in PSOE’s secretary general race. Lopez is old blood instead of Pedro Sanchez’s new blood which caused such bad blood in the PSOE. As secretary general Sanchez appealed to the paid-up party membership…

The big stick

MARIANO RAJOY wants to complete his full four-year term at the head of the Spanish government. He avoided a third general election in the interests of stability, he says in self-sacrificing tones. Rajoy’s huge overall majority has shrivelled into a minority government obliged to negotiate on all sides, so why…

Going for the big one

MARIANO RAJOY and Spain’s Right Wing have not made it easy for ETA to make its peace with society. The Basque terrorist organisation ceased armed activity in October 2011 and of the five parties in the Basque regional parliament, only the Partido Popular does not back a non-government bill dissolving…

Popular News

ONLY paid-up Podemos members have much time for the party’s…
PEDRO SANCHEZ’S “No means no” has metamorphosed into “Yes means…

Speak out but watch your step

JUAN PEDRO YLLANES, a judge by profession, is on voluntary leave because he is also a Podemos MP. Yllanes complained not long ago that the party’s co-founder Juan Carlos Monedero threatened him for backing Iñigo Errejon, the Podemos number two currently at loggerheads with party supremo Pablo Iglesias. This internal…

Big guns for a minor disturbance

THE Spanish are not overwhelmingly monarchist but have too much on their minds to start agitating for changes in this department. But for Catalans who want independence, the monarchy symbolises unsympathetic central domination. This is particularly true of the CUP party, whose whole is greater than the sum of its…

Turning a blind eye

HE must be joking. Justice minister Rafael Catala Polo said that political responsibility for corruption would be settled by the ballot box. Polls routinely show that corruption is a major worry for the Spanish although they happily vote for politicians whose copybooks are indelibly blotted. Former president of the Valencian…

One-way traffic

HAVING seen the LOMCE education law lying in tatters on the parliament floor Mariano Rajoy went running to the Constitutional Tribunal to veto MPs’ own right to the veto. With his overall majority gone Mariano Rajoy promised dialogue with other parties but clearly still prefers a monologue. Don’t fix it…

Two of a kind

THE media’s favourite pastime is pointing out the similarities between the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, and America’s president-elect Donald Trump. Both have amazing hair although Iglesias has too much and Trump not enough. Both are preening ego-trippers. Both subscribe to the populist approach of telling voters that the populace…

Enjoy it while you can Rajoy

MARIANO RAJOY dispensed with the services of oh-so-pious Jorge Fernandez Diaz, Minister of the Interior, who despite daily Mass planned to trap, frame and shame Catalan Secessionists. Minister of Foreign Affairs Margallo, with some very strong feelings on Gibraltar, was clearly another goner. It was also on the cards that…

Podemos MPs need to grow up

A SPANISH political observer compared Podemos MPs to the bad children on the back seats on the school bus as they gurned, guffawed and gesticulated during Mariano Rajoy’s investiture speech. One of Pablo Iglesias’ favourite gestures was an index finger twirled against the temple as he opened his eyes wide…

A sense of proportion

SO the PSOE finally fell on its sword and the Federal Committee agreed to abstain on the second vote to install Mariano Rajoy. A sense of proportion finally overpowered objections from Committee members like Cesar Luena, Pedro Sanchez’s organisation manager. He declared that the Committee was betraying voters, although resigned…

The song, not the singer

METROSCOPIA gave Pablo Iglesias, who heads the Podemos party, the lowest score amongst the country’s political leaders. Calculated by subtracting the percentage of disapprovers from the percentage of supporters, this gave Iglesias a minus-40 score, overshadowing acting president Mariano Rajoy’s minus-37 and Pedro Sanchez’s minus-36. Ciudadanos’ leader Albert Rivera obtained…

Payback time

IN the 90’s, Carmen Guillen was a secretary at Caja Madrid which later begat Bankia. She worked for bank president Jaime Terceiro but when Miguel Blesa took over she was shunted from one Head Office department to another. She ended up in Operations which dealt with credit cards including the…
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