Monday, October 30, 2006

Breakfast With Laporta

Voting in the Catalan regional elections will take place on Wednesday this week, and as the campaign draws to a close it is clear that the candidates of the main parties have got their priorities sorted out. The weekend has given us an interesting insight into Catalan power structures, and at the centre of it all was Joan Laporta, president of Barcelona football club.

I didn't pay for this breakfast...

Laporta first had a “private” breakfast (i.e. on a terrace in the Ramblas of Barcelona) with Artur Mas, candidate of Convergència I Unió (CiU), the right-wing nationalist alliance. Given that he cannot be sure how the elections will turn out finally, he had to balance this the next day by meeting Jose Montilla, the candidate of the Catalan socialists (PSC). Both breakfasts were very intimate affairs, just the candidate, the football club president, and a couple of hundred journalists and photographers to record the occasion. We don’t know what they talked about in these meetings, perhaps Laporta is deeply concerned about the lack of access for young people to adequate housing, or maybe he is more worried about hospital waiting lists. Or alternatively, perhaps they just talked about football, we don’t know and it doesn’t matter anyway because the meetings were largely symbolic; Laporta revelling in his position as someone who the main politicians want to be seen with, and the candidates happy to be associated with the club.

...and I'm not paying for this one either

Meanwhile the latest opinion polls suggest that CiU are going to emerge as the largest party after the elections, and that they could even have the possibility of forming a majority government with just the support of Esquerra Republicana (ERC). This assumes that the two competitors for the nationalist vote can reach agreement on forming a coalition. CiU will be desperate to return to power in the regional government, so the often bitter rivalry with ERC is unlikely to impede negotiations, and ERC in turn will be looking forward to exercising the decisive role in the formation of a new government. It will be ironic if the main achievement of the outgoing three party coalition has been to reinforce the nationalist parties by making the reform of the autonomy statute almost the only visible result of their time in office.


El gran pepino said...

You never know. It is difficult to say with Cataluña. It all depends on the results (OK, this is a very stupid statement). If CIU wins with enough margin to form a coalition with ERC, they could do it. If not, they could also go with the PSC (if they had to, they would do it). As a matter of fact, in Cataluña all the parties could form coalition with each other. Mmmmhhh, OK, nobody would share the goverment with the PP, but apart from that anything is possible.

I agree with you. After all the noise in the rest of Spain with the statute, and they don't seem to be proud of it. At least they don't talk much about it during the campaign...

Graeme said...

Welcome oh wise and mighty Gran Pepino, seeker of the truth and leader of the (soon to be) world famous White Nipples. My house is your house, your words are like shimmering jewels in the desert.

19 A znardidit

Evaristo said...

Isn't he cute? God bless him.

19-A lomojó (perhaps, or perhaps not)