Turning a blind eye

Rafael Catala Polo.

HE must be joking. Justice minister Rafael Catala Polo said that political responsibility for corruption would be settled by the ballot box. Polls routinely show that corruption is a major worry for the Spanish although they happily vote for politicians whose copybooks are indelibly blotted.

Former president of the Valencian Community Francisco Camps sidled his way out of countless accusations of corruption and was regularly re-elected. Once inextricably embroiled in the Suits for Contracts case he resigned but was finally exonerated in a Valencia court where he was found not guilty by a Valencian jury.  Something similar happens with politicians of all colours and all parties. It’s not only the political parties that have to purge corruption – voters should stop expecting and condoning it.


Other way round

THE Partido Popular blamed everyone but itself for Rita Barbera’s heart attack and death, conveniently forgetting Mariano Rajoy’s insistence that she resign from the party when investigated for corruption.

Why did no-one suggest that she resign as a senator and stay inside the party? Because Rajoy & Co wanted visible a scapegoat, that’s why.


On the back burner

JAVIER URKULLU and the PNV nationalists won the Basque regional elections by the skin of their teeth but lost a seat after a recount. 

He and the PSOE – PSE in the region – have managed to do what the socialists failed to do after the 2015 general elections and thrashed out an alliance. Pro-independence Basques have never been tempted to take the route chosen by secessionist Catalans who would not flinch from a Unilateral Declaration of Independence. 

Instead Urkullu and the PSOE have stressed any steps taken will be countenanced by Spanish law which is shorthand for announcing that meanwhile and in the foreseeable future everything will remain just as it is.


Not so very different

WHEN Franco died in 1975, Fidel Castro ordered a week’s mourning.
Castro allegedly never forgot that during the guerrilla war, Franco knew exactly where the Fidelistas were holed up in the Sierra Maestra but never passed on that information to the Batista regime.
It also helped that Franco always maintained diplomatic relations with Cuba and Spanish ships regularly flouted the US blockade. It helped even more that Castro and Franco respected each other as soldiers and recognised each other as shrewd and wily Galicians.



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