"The last 35 years are an anomaly in the Basque Country. In this society there is an unbreathable atmosphere, without freedom or democracy, which places it outside the West. Since when are the Basques people who put up borders, sad people who wear their hair cut with an axe?". These are the words of Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, advisor to the president of the Community of Madrid, on April 29 in the town of Durango (Bizkaia). There were two weeks left before the start of the electoral campaign.
A figure known 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 fell apart in July 1998 when he served as government spokesman. He was terminated by President Aznar for a controversy that today, with everything that has happened in Spain in the last twenty years, could seem childish to us. Real estate developer Donald Trump was not yet involved in politics and had not gone to school. Social networks did not exist.
Aznar's Minister of Education, Esperanza Aguirre, criticized the Generalitat for the teaching of the Spanish language in Catalonia, which she considered insufficient. Despite the legislative pact with the Catalan nationalists, the Popular Party was beginning to question the Linguistic Standardization law, one of the pillars of Catalan autonomy since 1980. CiU was angry and recalled the clauses of the Majestic pact. Rodríguez answered with a certain acidity, an acidity that if we consult the newspaper library will seem very little, compared to the language of Durango.
Jordi Pujol, irritated, called Aznar and he fired his spokesman, who replaced him with 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 Piqué's serenity. An absolute majority that Aznar himself squandered by letting himself be carried away by Spain's claim of castles.
MAR has reappeared twenty years later as a plenipotentiary advisor to Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who is being modeled 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 hair cut with an axe". As a provocation it is not bad. Rodríguez went to Durango to warm up the atmosphere, since he occupies the last place on the PP list in this 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 in some municipal lists of EH Bildu, denounced by the association of victims of terrorism Covite, which we could not define as a satellite of Ayuso.
Alberto Núñez Feijóo barely talks about Bildu this week, but the Madrid PP maintains its parallel agenda. After proposing to outlaw Otegi's party, Díaz Ayuso has just described the PNB as "racist" and Aznar warns that Sánchez will carry out a mass release of ETA prisoners. Votes for EH Bildu and many nerves in the Basque Nationalist Party, with which Feijóo would one day like to agree.
Politics is sometimes a hair cut in two by an axe.