CASSANDRA NASH

A weekly look

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

ETA has voluntarily disintegrated but the Spanish government made it clear that the extinct terrorist organisation must still pay for its crimes. There will be no concessions to prisoners and they are unlikely to be moved nearer the Basque region. ETA killed 854 people, maimed thousands more - including Eduardo…
CIUDADANOS have invited a former French prime minister to be their candidate for Barcelona mayoral elections next May. The separatists, needless to say, can’t see the funny side of it although Manuel Valls, prime minister between 2014 and 2016 has a Catalan father and was born in Barcelona. Catalans were…
THE Spanish press was beside itself with vicarious pleasure when Spain’s latest queen Letizia, prevented her mother-in-law, queen emeritus Sofia, from being photographed with her granddaughters. A clash between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law? Or commoner and queen? Most women will be familiar with scenes like these and - interestingly - the…
IRENE MONTERO, partner of Podemos supremo Pablo Iglesias announced on Facebook that she was expecting twins, addressing her followers as vosotras y vosotros. The wordiness is inevitable in someone who insists on using the hybrid portavoza for spokeswoman instead of portavoz which does for both males and females. The twins’…
FRANCISCO CAMPS, erstwhile Valencian Community president, emerges pristine and clutching violets every time foes and former friends push him into the doodoo. His one court case until now centred on tailor-made suits in return for dozens of contracts irregularly awarded to companies linked to the Gurtel corruption setup headed by…
SPAIN has 17 autonomous regions but Cataluña, Cataluña, Cataluña fills the horizon and the media. Even matters not directly related to Cataluña are influenced by it, for example the attraction of Ciudadanos (Cs) for the voting public. Young, pretty and articulate Ines Arrimadas managed to make Cs the most voted…
ACCORDING to the majority of pollsters, the PSOE socialists are currently in third place with Ciudadanos out in front and the PP limping behind. The PSOE regained Pedro Sanchez as its leader and lost its mojo with only 39 per cent of its voters believing that the party has a…
PODEMOS leader Pablo Iglesias and his girlfriend Irene Montero, who is also the party spokeswoman, want to use ‘la portavoza’ instead of ‘la portavoz’ which means nothing other than spokeswoman. What’s more Adriana Lastra, a PSOE spokeswoman, agreed with Montero and is happy to use it, she said. Portavoz is…
MADRID and Barcelona: are we talking politics or are we talking sport? Both are inseparably co-dependent and there are areas where it’s never easy to define which is which. Take Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid ace who is currently much exercised over the way that Spain’s tax authority Hacienda is…
FUGITIVE MP’s from the Catalan parliament, who fled to Brussels with Carles Puigdemont after he declared independence, fell on their swords and renounced their seats. In keeping with the way that Spain’s elections are organised, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and two Junts per Catalunya (JxC) seats will be occupied by the…
CATALUÑA still lacks a government but now has a Parliament plus a Speaker and Mesa to regulate its day-to-day running. Unsurprisingly the Speaker, Roger Torrent, and the majority of the Mesa are pro-independence. Ciudanos was the most-voted party last December but is outnumbered in parliament by ex-president Carles Puigdemont’s JxC,…
SPAIN’S president Mariano Rajoy had the nerve to urge Ines Arrimadas to try to form a government in Cataluña. As Ciudadanos was the most-voted constitutionalist party, this was her obligation, he maintained, although Arrimadas knows she cannot compete with the combined seats of the pro-independence parties. Yet after the December…
THE Partido Popular has a problem on two fronts. One, as the governing party in Spain it has lost credibility in Cataluña where it nominally governs after suspending the region’s autonomous status. Following the regional elections it now has only four MPs in the regional parliament, on level pegging with…
SPAIN is shellshocked but not Cataluña. The popular theory that the pro-independence separatists were a noisy majority whose stridencies silenced the cowed and silent majority has had holes blown all the way through it. Certainly more Catalans voted for Ines Arrimadas and Ciudadanos than ever before and her party has…
EXAMINING judge Jose Castro, trod on many toes during his instruction of the Noos case which could send the Infanta Cristina’s husband to prison for fraud and tax evasion. Castro revealed recently that while handling the pre-trial instruction he was openly followed and would wake up to find excrement smeared…
DOES Carmen Forcadell, Speaker of the Catalan parliament, speak with a forked tongue? Forcadell avoided being remanded along with the eight members of the regional government who didn’t run off to Brussels by claiming that Cataluña’s UDI was symbolic. She also told the examining judge that if she remained active…
RAJOY’S go-to strategy for political predicaments has always been to hide behind the courts or the public prosecution department. Now it has come and bitten him on the backside. The Fiscalia - less detached from the government than it should be - accused the Catalan government of sedition and rebellion.…
HE’S a bit of a coward is Carles Putzschdemont (someone else’s joke, but too good not to share). Cataluña’s president Carles Puigdemont chickened out of announcing the Republic on October 10 as his separatist supporters expected. On the eve of UDI, faced with accusations of treachery, he chickened out of…
CARLES PUIGDEMONT, who dissembled for nearly a month, declared Catalan independence in a farcical vote in a half-empty parliament chamber. Seventy pro-independence MPs were considered sufficient for UDI although changes to the region’s electoral laws or the Statute of Autonomy require approval from 90. Article 155 of the Spanish constitution…
AS usual Spain takes a beating in the European press. Despite applying the Constitution’s Article 155 and booting out the Catalan president and his government, Spain’s president Mariano Rajoy emphasised that Cataluña’s autonomy had not been removed. The region would not be governed from Madrid and there would be elections…

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