“The last 35 years are an anomaly in the Basque Country. In this society there is a stifling atmosphere, without freedom or democracy, which places it outside the West. Since when are the Basques people who set up borders against no one and are sad and have to wear their hair in a bowl cut with an axe? These are the words of Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, adviser to the president of the Community of Madrid, on April 29 in the town of Durango (Bizkaia), when there were two weeks to go before the start of the electoral campaign.
A well-known figure in political and journalistic Madrid by the acronym MAR, Rodríguez is the journalist from Valladolid who accompanied José María Aznar from regional politics to the conquest of Moncloa, until things broke down in July 1998 when he was acting as spokesman for the Government. He was fired by President Aznar for a controversy that today, with everything that has happened in Spain in the last twenty years, might seem childish. The real estate developer Donald Trump was not yet engaged in politics and had not created a school. There were no social networks.
Aznar's Minister of Education, Esperanza Aguirre, attacked the Generalitat for the teaching of the Spanish language in Catalonia, which she considered insufficient. Despite the legislature's pact with the Catalan nationalists, the Popular Party began to question the Law of Normalització Lingüística, one of the architraves of Catalan autonomy since 1980. CiU was angry and recalled the clauses of the Majestic pact. Rodríguez responded with a certain acidity, an acidity that if we consult the newspaper library will seem like little, compared to the language of Durango.
Irritated, Jordi Pujol called Aznar and he fired his spokesman, replacing him with the minister Josep Piqué, who did a truly Florentine job. There are not a few observers who attribute the absolute majority of the PP in 2000 to the temperance of the long-awaited Piqué. An absolute majority that Aznar himself spoiled when he once again allowed himself to be carried away by the claim of the Spain of castles.
MAR has reappeared twenty years later as a plenipotentiary adviser to Isabel Díaz Ayuso, whom he is shaping as the future president of the Government of Spain. He is a smart, experienced guy, with a strong passion for combat, who has a score to settle with history.
“Basques with bowl-shaped hair cut with an axe”. As a provocation it's not bad. Rodríguez went to Durango to warm up the atmosphere, since he occupies the last place on the PP list in that town, in the same way that Díaz Ayuso closes the Bilbao list.
There is, therefore, a Basque agenda of the Madrid PP prior to the great discussion, last week, about the presence of former ETA militants on some municipal lists of EH Bildu, denounced by the association of victims of terrorism Covite, which we could not define precisely as a satellite of Ayuso.
Alberto Núñez Feijóo barely talks about Bildu this week, but the Madrid PP maintains its parallel agenda. After proposing the illegalization of Otegi's party, Díaz Ayuso has just described the PNV as "racist" and Aznar warns that Sánchez will carry out a massive release of ETA prisoners. Votes for Bildu and nerves in the PNV, the party with which Feijóo would one day want to agree.
Politics is sometimes a hair cut in two by an axe.