Monday, August 06, 2012

FT: "The silent Rajoy is deaf to the Spanish emergency" And that's just the headline...

The piece is informative and accurately explains many blunders by Rajoy, but there's a bit which is plain silly: "When the government rammed through by decree last month’s €65bn austerity package, Mr Rajoy was absent from parliament. When he announced the measures earlier, each cut was rapturously applauded by government MPs, one of whom greeted benefit cuts for Spain’s legions of unemployed by saying que se jodan (let them screw themselves)."

It's unfair, let alone disinformative, to say that the cuts were rapturously applauded by government MPs (as if the cuts made them happy) without mentioning that they were being rapturously jeered by the opposition MPs. The applause was an act of support by government lawmakers to their boss who was being booed by the other guys, at some points he had difficulty making himself heard. Remember, this is a country where people routinely applauds at funerals... does this mean they are happy the dead guy is dead? Of course not. It's a —weird, to be sure— way to show support.

As for the "screw themselves" it's certainly unacceptable and the lawmaker should have resigned or forced to resign, but it's clear she was referring to the opposition, not to the legions of unemployed, as the article says. Not only it's the logical thing unless you want to create a straw man, it's also what she explained later. You may not believe her, of course, but you can't just write a piece assuming the worst possibility as if there had not been any explanation whatsoever.