Boring is the new exciting

ARTUR MAS: Incapable of listening. ARTUR MAS: Incapable of listening.

CATALUÑA once had a nationalist but centre-right party.

That was the defunct Convergencia I Unio (CiU), which slowly foundered thanks to its co-founder, Cataluña’s regional president Artur Mas.

He squandered an overall majority with a series of early elections, hoping each time to consolidate his position on independence.

Not only was Mas incapable of listening to the electorate’s “thanks but no thanks” but he is no longer regional president although the secessionists forge ahead undeterred.

Meanwhile, up pops Units per Avançar, a new party formed by people close to Josep Antoni Duran Lleida, CIU’s other co-founder who threw in the towel in 2016.

The party, nationalist but not separatist, is “a humanist and Christian Democrat party” and does not want the October 1 referendum.

Spokesman Carlos Losada believes this will not solve Cataluña’s problems and only bring more. Neither was the party worried about being “politically boring” according to Losada.

“Politics don’t need to entertain people, they should solve problems,” he said.

Unfortunately for their electorates, few politicians anywhere, especially those trying to make a name for themselves and above all the Catalan separatists, would agree.

Something nasty

THE Accounts Tribunal winkled out irregularities at Spain’s official gazette, the Boletin Oficial de Estado (BOE).

Orders for paper were fractioned into smaller amounts so they did not have to be put out to tender and 80 per cent of €630,413 in bonuses for 420 employees went to six executives.

Puts a new slant “leaving no stone unturned” in the fight against corruption because every time another is lifted more sleaze and slime are found underneath.

Smart move

JUAN IGNACIO ZOIDO, Spain’s Interior minister has banned all visitors’ phones from his office, which must be left at the door.

He does not want conversations recorded, Zoido explained, citing the problems this caused his predecessor Jorge Fernandez Diaz.

Which suggests that he intends to be equally indiscreet and underhanded but without being found out.

Seen but not heard

PODEMOS supremo Pablo Iglesias criticised Felipe VI’s failure to cite Spain’s three greatest problems when he addressed parliament not long ago.

Felipe’s speech came on the 40th anniversary of Spain’s first post-Franco elections but Iglesias wanted to know why he ignored corruption, social inequality and Cataluña which he euphemistically glossed over as “plurinationalism.”

But Felipe is allowed to stick his head in the sand and it’s not his job to sort out these huge problems.

Politicians are paid to do that, not the head of state.

Caesar’s share

THE European Court of Justice rejected an appeal from a Getafe (Madrid) faith school which expected the local council to reimburse a €23,730 building permit for an extension.

The judges ruled that the 400-seat conference room was not destined exclusively for religious use and waiving the permit fee constituted ‘prohibited State help.’

Spain’s 1978 Constitution separated State and Church, a divorce that everyone accepts apart from the Church, which still doesn’t pay IBI rates.

If it did, the argument goes, it could not support the admirable Caritas. The charity receives a less than admirable 1 per cent of Church funds, begging the question of where the remaining 99 per cent goes.

Brexiters and Kippers may froth at the mouth all they want regarding the ECJ (which they routinely confuse with European Court of Human Rights) but the former has at least saved Getafe Town Hall €23,730.

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