CASSANDRA NASH

A weekly look

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

QUIM TORRA, regional president of Cataluña and acknowledged front man for his self-exiled predecessor Carles Puigdemont, is the charmer who once described the Spanish as dirty and lazy. Since the regional parliament declared the Catalan republic on October 27, it’s no surprise that Torra - like many Catalans and even…

The princess and the pea

Cassandra Nash June 28, 2018
IÑAKI URDANGARIN, erstwhile Duke of Palma de Mallorca, brother-in-law to Felipe VI and son-in-law of Juan Carlos I, is now in prison. He got five years instead of the 17 requested by the public prosecutor and is inside a cushy women’s jail for misappropriation of public funds, tax evasion and…
IT’S an old Spanish formula to proclaim ‘My house is your house’ on inviting a stranger into your home. Nobody expects to be taken up on that but that’s what Pedro Sanchez said and did after Italy and Malta refused to allow the Aquarius rescue ship to land at any…
PEDRO SANCHEZ, Spain’s latest president, immediately took advantage of the Partido Popular’s disarray following the Gurtel verdicts by calling for a vote of no confidence in Mariano Rajoy. That it succeeded, thanks to Podemos, the Basque nationalists and the Catalan secessionists flummoxed everyone. The motion had little chance of prospering…
MARIANO RAJOY and the Partido Popular are on the skids, but Spain’s president is in denial and unblushingly proclaimed that Eduardo Zaplana’s €10 millions’ worth of kickbacks on government contracts was an ‘isolated case.’ That was a few hours before the Gurtel sentences were announced: 51 years and 11 months…
WHY shouldn’t Pablo Iglesias buy a rather nice €600,000 house in a rather nice area like Galapagar? Are he and his partner Irene Montero expected to live in a slum because Podemos sets out to represent the marginalised? As it happens they are: Podemos politicians are supposed to live in…
WHETHER or not Cataluña needs independence splits the region down the middle. But, apart from secessionist politicians who forget that they were elected to run the region, Cataluña does need a government. And to form a government it first needed a regional president and now five months after the inconclusive…
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…

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