The Puigdemont Pantomime

SPN Carles PuigdemontToday, fugitive, ex-President, Carles Puigdemont, will have to present himself before the Catalan Parliament, if he wants to be sworn in.

The Rajoy Government, blinded with rage, it seems, stumbles from one ridiculous overkill blunder to the next; first it was sending in the police to beat voters with truncheons and now, to ignore the State Legal Council’s advice not to approach the Constitution Court to prevent Carles Puigdemont from being sworn in as Prime Minister of the Catalan Government.

This top court ruled that you can’t prevent a person from accepting a post if he still hasn’t been officially offered it. It did say, however, that Puigdemont had to physically be present to be sworn in – he couldn’t do it via Skype or designate another person to stand in for him.

Prior to the referendum, Rajoy had sworn blind that there would be no referendum and no voting urns, but there were, which probably provoked him into sending in the riot police, handing a propaganda-war victory to Puigdemont with footage of the beatings going worldwide.

Having vehemently promised that the fugitive-from-the-law would never be sworn in, the Government is in full, panic mode to prevent it.

The Minister of the Interior made the melodramatic statement that Puigdemont would be immediately arrested if he tried entering the country, claiming that he could not even get past the police controls in the boot of a car – yet on the eve of the swearing in, the borders are bereft of police controls – another propaganda victory for the independence movement, generously paid for by the stumbling Rajoy Government.

Puigdemont’s party is handing out cardboard masques bearing his face so that supporters can gather outside the parliament building to complicate his identification and detention. Ridiculous or effective?

But maybe there is method in Rajoy’s madness because every last shaft of limelight shed on the Catalan situation keeps the heat off the massive corruption cases ripping into his political party with top party official’s admitting to the illegal financing of the party.

But this is a tango where both parties benefit, because they are both wading through corruption cases.

(Opinion Piece: Spain)

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