Thursday, May 07, 2009

Rosa Catches The Last Train From Cordoba

I'm trying to blog, but this thing called work constantly gets in the way. Then when I'm not working it's a puente. Not to mention the Champions League; well done Barça! It's now a couple of weeks since we saw the carefully programmed succession in Andalucia's regional government, following the departure of Manuel Chaves to work for a Mr Zapatero in Madrid. His (interim?) successor, José Antonio Griñan, managed to liven up an otherwise grey takeover of power with something of a political coup by convincing Rosa Aguilar to join his administration. Aguilar was mayor of Cordoba, but not in the name of Griñan's party, the PSOE. Cordoba was the last provincial capital in Spain still being run (albeit in coalition) by Izquierda Unida, and Aguilar's abrupt departure went down very badly in that party. In many ways it was no surprise, she hadn't hidden her discontent with the way things had gone in IU in recent years and had even acknowledged voting for a PSOE candidate to the Senate in last year's general election.

She asked for her decision to be respected by her former colleagues, and was roundly abused for it. No surprise in that either, if you want to be respected for acting on your principles it doesn't help when you hold on to the job you have until something better comes along. If Aguilar no longer felt any sympathy for the party in whose name she occupied her post, then she could have gained more respect by simply standing down. It reminded me of the case of another Rosa on the Spanish political scene. Rosa Diez held on to a seat in the European Parliament which she won as a member of the PSOE just long enough to give herself time to set up her new party, UPyD, without having to suffer the indignity of losing that sweet salary from Brussels. Now it seems that Aguilar proposes to apologise to Felipe Gonzalez for linking him to the GAL group that murdered or kidnapped several innocent people in the name of "anti-terrorism". Nobody seriously doubts any more the links between that group and the administration led by Gonzalez, I suppose it forms part of the price for being in charge of Public Works for Andalucia.

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