Friday, July 31, 2009

Aguirre Apologises....Almost

I mentioned in one of my comments the other day that La Lideresa has been behaving a bit strangely recently. The singing aside, absolute proof of this came when she called Zapatero to apologise for any offence she might have caused him with her remarks following the breakdown of negotiations between the government and the empoyers association. The video below shows her describing ZP as a "sindicalista retrógrado piquetero". Admittedly, it was a half-hearted apology. Espe said she was sorry if anyone felt offended by being described as a "sindicalista", a word which is not generally regarded as an insult although I imagine that its use in the aristocratic Aguirre Gil de Biedma household is rarely very friendly. This is a bit like calling someone a stupid piece of shit and then saying "I hope my use of the word 'piece' won't be considered insulting".

Despite the reservations, this is simply not standard Aguirre behaviour. Apologising to her political opponents is so out of character that it has me concerned about her health. The breakdown of the "social dialogue" between the unions, employers and the government came as no great surprise after the employers association decided to demand the right to fire. The president of this association, Gerardo Díaz Ferrán, has since loudly defended the political independence of his organisation. The problem is that we know that Díaz Ferrán thinks that Aguirre is "cojonuda", because a stray microphone captured him saying so a few weeks ago. So cojonuda is she that Díaz Ferran is said to have donated around €250,000 to the mysterious foundation Fundescam used to fund the PP's election campaigns in Madrid. This foundation is really only mysterious in the sense that it appears to be the only one in the region that is not required to comply with the law and publish its accounts. Meanwhile Gerardo is apparently having problems paying the salaries of his employees. Perhaps if he hadn't given so much money to the PP....


moscow said...

@Graeme- On Eta...what you wrote in your last comment to my last comment: that is assuming ETA has something like a strategy besides their own autistic, demented desire to kill.

According to some former IRA sources in N.Ireland, it was successful police action (through the use of informants) that finally drove Adams and his acolytes to sign a peace accord.

ETA has survived so long because it has financial backing. That is going to end soon, or as late as 2011, when the local elections take place.

The Economist has a good article this week attacking ZP on his lack of reforms. When you say that labour reform won't take Spain out of this recession, you are actually right, but the point here is: 1) how fast will Spain get on a 'sensible' growth path again, 2) and what happens in the long term? If, as the Economist says, lack of reform and the unwillingness to take painful measures, continues, Spain will become more like Italy (so the Economist says). Some have mentioned (perish the thought) Argentina as a possible future model.

I won't argue with you. I would think it would be too much to expect you would ever come off your usual (maoist??) line. Never mind.

Graeme said...

It's a bit difficult to juggle commments on two posts in the same space, but here goes. ETA does have a strategy, I think, albeit a profoundly mistaken one. They all count. I don't agree with your take on the Norther Irish situation. After an initially complacent response by the British government to the chance of lasting peace, the IRA demonstrated an ability to return to activity with devastating effect. The key factor was a recognition by both sides that neither was going to win.

Oh the reforms! I don't know why people bother using the plural because it alsways seems to come down to one thing and if that one thing is not the answer to the problem then it's hard to see where, to use a good Maoist phrase, the Great Leap Forward is going to come from. I have a question for you. We know that the money from Spain's long boom years didn't end up going on salaries - so where did it go? Now if you'll excuse me I've got a Long March to do.

Lavengro said...

In my view the key factor in Northern Ireland was that Adams and McGuinness saw the demography working in their favour, especially in the light of the UK's stated policy that it had no strategic interest in maintaining NI against the will of its people. That led to their strategic decision that politics could give them more than fighting could.

ejh said...

The Economist supporting labour market reforms and privatisation is a bit like the Catholic Church supporting attendance at Mass.