Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fast Eddie Makes His Move

The departure of Eduardo Zaplana yesterday from the parliamentary group of the Partido Popular (PP) should not have come as a great surprise to anyone. Zaplana was already finished politically, having been edged out of his job as parliamentary spokesperson and having lost the war for control over the Valencian PP to Francisco Camps. El País claims today that Zaplana is leaving because he is discontented with the direction in which Mariano Rajoy is taking the PP. This may or may not be the case, but anyone who has studied his political career will also be aware that the prospect of a reported annual salary of a million euros with Telefónica will probably have had some influence on his decision. My first reaction to the appointment was to wonder what Zaplana could possibly offer to Telefónica. According to El País it’s his connections to Berlusconi – again I have no way of knowing whether this is true or not but I can at least say that it sounds like it could be.

Meanwhile, economics super signing Manuel Pizarro continues to be one of those left without a position by Rajoy. I read a report the other day of a conversation between the two men where Rajoy is said to have opened the chat by saying “What are you going to do now Manolo?”, to which Pizarro is said to have replied along the lines of “I was hoping you might tell me that!” The problem that Rajoy has, even the new hard talking Rajoy, is to get it through to Pizarro that he is simply not very good politically, as the election campaign demonstrated. Putting him in any position where he might be exposed is a significant risk, so the most likely outcome is that he will be left on the backbenches until he resigns and goes back to counting his money. Pizarro of course left a lucrative position with Telefónica to come and join the PP’s election campaign, Fast Eddie Zaplana saw his chance and took it before Pizarro was able to beat him to it.

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