Friday, October 19, 2007

Just to show you how much Pepelu Carod-Rovira's performance brought out the radicals on both sides of the Catalan nationalism issue: La Vanguardia's story (video link included) has received 1566 comments so far, which is an all-time record. Most of the comments are pro-Pepelu: his little tantrum has really brought his supporters out in force, so the tantrum was successful. He's distracted his grass-roots base from the pathetic show he and his henchman Bargalló put on in Frankfurt.

Not to mention the scene with Maragall and the crown of thorns in Jerusalem, the most disrespectful public behavior I've ever seen--Pepelu and Maragall managed to offend Jews, Muslims, and Christians simultaneously by clowning around at their holy place. And, of course, Pepelu's worst-ever error, or act of high treason, depending on how you look at it: meeting with ETA representatives in Perpignan, France, and negotiating a "truce" in Catalonia.

By the way, Maragall has resigned from the Catalan Socialist Party. There's talk about a new party in Italy called the Democratic Party, which is supposed to be similar to the US Democratic Party, and Maragall has been mentioned several times as a possible founding member of a Catalan and / or Spanish branch.

Other news: The construction of the high-speed train (AVE) to Sants station in Barcelona is being done in a tremendous hurry, since it's supposed to be ready for Christmas. There have been five cave-ins within the last week on the commuter-train line next to the AVE line, and the commuter system is snarled up every day, leaving hundreds of thousands of users stuck in tunnels or on platforms for hours. Sloppy work. Let's hope nobody gets killed.

The Cordoba-Antequera-Malaga AVE and the Madrid-Segovia-Valladolid AVE will also be ready for Christmas, and they've apparently done the work well in those two places.

I suppose everyone has heard that more than 130 people were killed and hundreds were wounded when a suicide bomber attacked Benazir Bhutto's motorcade in Karachi. I'll just bet that Al Qaeda had something to do with it.

There is a very confusing political-juridical mess going on right now in Madrid, and I'm not sure if I understand what's going on. The situation is that the ten-member Constitutional Court is divided 5-5 between a "progressive" faction linked with the PSOE and a "conservative" faction linked with the PP. In Spain the justice system is openly partisan.

The Constitutional Court is going to have to rule on appeals against the new Catalan statute of autonomy (US = state constitution) filed by the PP; the PP says that the Catalan statute violates the Constitution because its provisions interfere with the rights of other autonomous regions. They're probably right, as far as this non-lawyer can tell.

So what happened is the conservatives of the court voted to disqualify two of the progressives on the ground that they were not neutral, since they had worked for the Generalitat, the Catalan regional government. Don't ask me how they got away with this.

Now, for the first time ever, the Zap administration has filed a motion to disqualify two of the Court's conservatives on grounds I can't figure out. We'll see what happens, but no matter what, the Catalan statute is not going to make it through the courts; too many people in both big political parties are against it, as are the great majority of Spaniards.

Comments from lawyers would be welcome.

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