Monday, February 06, 2012

Following the retirement of José Luis Zapatero after last year's defeat of the Socialist Party he led, elections were held on Saturday for a new leader for the demoralised party. The delegates came close to choosing the bold option of a 40 year old Catalan woman but, by a mere handful of votes, instead opted for a veteran of two socialist administrations. And someone very much implicated in the resounding defeat by the right-of-centre PP party - Alfredo Rubalcaba. Telegenic he is not, looking rather like a bearded gnome, but he's reputed to be an astute political operator. And he's got at least four years - but probably eight - to get a strategy together and to disassociate himself from failure.

Many thousands of young Spaniards have left the country in search of work. An understandable response to an unemployment rate amongst the young of 50%, and rising. Those who've stayed home include a "rocketing" number who've decided it's probably not wise to turn up for an interview with a tattoo. Removing these can cost as much as 3,000 euros and risk hepatitis, if you go to the wrong place. But hard times demand hard measures.

The husband of the middle child of the Spanish monarchs - the Infanta Cristina - is on trial for corruption. Now a Supreme Court magistrate has called for her to make declarations of what she knows to the court. Which would be quite a media event.

The travesty of justice around the crusading judge Baltasar Garzón has been taken up by the New York Times, which published an editorial yesterday labelling the pursuit of Garzón for seeking answers to questions about Republican deaths in the Civil War an "attack on justice". I guess it's possible this will entrench those elements in the judiciary keen to see Garzón removed from the Bench.

Finally . . . Ambrose Evans-Pritchard feels that France's grand plan of the last fifty years has blown up in her face, "enthroning Germany as undisputed hegemon". More here.


Ferrolano said...

I believe that the Infanta Elena to be the eldest child and Felipe the youngest, with Cristina in the middle.

moscow said...

Hell no! Rhubarb won't be there for 8 years and neither will Rajoy. This govn't is facing 4 extremely tough years. They will lose 2 million votes from here to the next election. But I can't see Rhubarb being the candidate. Chacon was a lost opportunity. Spanish politics has now become the realm of gerontocrats. I hope UPyD gets enough votes next time to make a real impact - even if Rosa Diez is also in her sixties now.

Colin said...

@ Ferrolano. Thanks for this. Have changed the text.

@ Moscow: You may well be right.

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