Video star stays at home

THE PUIGDEMONT AFFAIR: The ex-Catalan President said he had been ‘sacrificed’ by his own. THE PUIGDEMONT AFFAIR: The ex-Catalan President said he had been ‘sacrificed’ by his own. Ed Brown/Twitter

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 next names down on the closed voting lists.

This exercise in self-sacrifice gives pro-independence parties JxC, ERC and CUP the overall majority they need to install Puigdemont as president.

Trouble is, the Catalan Speaker called off the first investiture debate because Madrid and the Constitutional Tribunal stepped in to prevent Puigdemont from indulging in the political equivalent of internet dating and accepting the job via videolink from Belgium.

“He refused to propose an alternative candidate”, Roger Torrent said. Carles Puigdemont was the legitimate candidate with an overall majority.

“The president of the Generalitat will be chosen by the MPs in this Chamber, not a Tribunal or a minister 600-kilometres away,” Roger Torrent said.

Meanwhile, according to the national daily El Mundo, Puigdemont’s text messages the same day to Toni Comin - a former ERC counsellor now in Brussels - proclaimed that the independence process was finished.

He had been “sacrificed by our own,” he said, and insinuated that someone else would have to take his place.

The former president’s Twitter account meanwhile spewed out the same old fighting slogans, but that’s the usual routine for Puigdemont who all along the way has so often failed to say what he means or mean what he says.

Spokesman puts a spoke in

IÑIGO MENDEZ DE VIGO, minister of Education, Culture and Sport is also spokesman for the central government in Madrid.

Recently he apologised to the people ‘who felt ill-treated’ during the police charges of October 1 as Catalans were prevented from voting in the unauthorised independence referendum.

But at least no-one was seriously injured, Mendez de Vigo said, “Just one person who lost an eye after being hit by a rubber bullet.”

So that’s okay then. What a relief, just one eye lost. But for someone who is a spokesman, he doesn’t exactly have the gift of the gab.

The dissembler

“DON’T let’s get into that,” said Mariano Rajoy when asked what he intended to do to balance the wage gap between men and women in Spain.

A surprising answer when you bear in mind that on average a woman in Spain earns 85.1 per cent less than a male doing the same job, it would have been interesting to hear his views.

Instead he explained that it was not within his remit to interfere with employers’ decisions or policies.

Surprising, really, that he didn’t trot out his usual solution of announcing with self-righteous aplomb that he was putting the matter in the hands of the courts, and that justice would take its course.

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