Sunday, November 09, 2008

Navarra's New Party

Following their dispute over the vote on the national budget last month, it does look as if the split between the Partido Popular and their Navarran partners of the UPN is really taking place. Let nobody accuse the PP of being behind the times in anything except their politics, they have now unveiled a true Web 2.0 virtual headquarters in Navarra; it exists only on Internet. You would have thought that a party with such close connections to the construction industry would have managed a slightly more solid base than this, but perhaps UPN still has more influence on the bricks and mortar distribution in the region. A handful of senior UPN figures have already deserted to the Populares de Navarra and the point of no return is probably not far off. UPN leader Miguel Sanz has described the deserters as being from the extreme right and Opus Dei, which may possibly be true but he never objected to their presence whilst he had their support!

The newly formed division of the PP has more serious problems than the question of their headquarters or their still meagre support. They have already got themselves into a political mess over a constitutional clause which theoretically permits Navarra to be incorporated into the Basque Country. You would have thought that the PP would simply have opposed the existence of such a clause, but anything which smacks of a change to the Spanish constitution is now anathema to the party which originally opposed the entire document. So instead they have proclaimed their support for self-determination, by stating that the Navarran people can decide their future freely in a referendum. Sounds perfectly reasonable, but it hardly fits with the general position of the PP on such issues does it? Think Basque Country, and think Ibarretxe referendum. For the Basques to vote on their political future is illegal and anti-constitutional, for the Navarrans to do so is a legitimate expression of free will. The PP has attempted to excuse the evident contradictions of their position by claiming that Navarra could vote to be part of any other comunidad, presumably they could vote to link up with their very distant cousins in Sevilla. You are now entering the Comunidad Autonoma de Navarralucia.

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