Slaughterhouse tactics

© US Department of State on Wikimedia commons

GARCIA-MARGALLO: He has a point.

AL ASSAD is a butcher but he’s a supermarket assistant compared with the Daesh killers

ACTING foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo claimed recently that Bashar Al Assad should have a role in Syria peace plans.  Mentioning Syria and peace in the same sentence is optimistically oxymoronic but Margallo has a point.

Al Assad is a butcher but he’s a supermarket assistant compared with the Daesh killers, who initially received encouragement and arms from the West. The West is as responsible as Al Assad not only for the rise and consolidation of Daesh, but also the thousands of refugees hammering at Europe’s door. 


Born to it

RODRIGO RATO is a former cabinet minister and government vice-president, bank president and president of the International Monetary Fund. He is also up to his neck in corruption, embezzlement and money-laundering allegations, and faces four-and-a-half years in prison.

Rato’s own father was jailed for fraud in 1967, at a time when few paid for monetary sins. Rato junior would be an unsatisfactory example in the nature or nurture debate because he is clearly a case of 50-50.


Mind the gap! 

AS it does each year, Spain remembered with a shiver the attempted coup of February 23, 1981.

Beleaguered Adolfo Suarez had thrown in the towel on January 29 after five years as president. Lt Colonel Antonio Tejero and his men stormed parliament 25 days later to save Spain from ‘a vacuum of power’.  


Four-way stretch

MARIANO RAJOY and Pablo Iglesias have both manoeuvred for another general election. Rajoy wants to believe that he, and only he, can improve the PP’s showing in another election. Iglesias is confident that Podemos would overtake the PSOE given a second try.

Gamesmanship doesn’t always win games and both could lose votes. Rajoy for becoming the PP’s problem and not its solution. Iglesias for revealing himself as petulant and arrogant. Between them they make Pedro Sanchez and Albert Rivera look like emerging leaders.

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