President Bauza. | Gemma Andreu

0

By Andrew Ede

The men who didn’t come to dinner

Joan Huguet is a member of the Partido Popular old guard, the one that took a more conciliatory view of Catalan language and culture in Majorca than the new guard, whose membership appears to be limited to a handful: President Bauzá, “Nipper” Gómez, the vice-president, and others who owe everything to José Ramón for their salaries. Huguet had a trip conveniently planned for Friday. He wouldn’t therefore be going to dinner. He wasn’t the only one.
The dinner in question was one to which old guards had been invited by the new in a desperate attempt to get them back on board the badly listing PP Balearics. This old guard has another collective name - “the aggrieved” - their noses having been firmly put out of joint by Bauzá and the new kids. Could a nice dinner prove to be a palliative for the peeved proboscis of the PP?
Bauzá is increasingly desperate. It isn’t just the opinion polls that are making him so. The loss of support from within the party has been great.
Aggrieved old guards like the father of the party and of Balearics autonomous government, Gabriel Cañellas, have been so disaffected that they have stopped talking to José Ramón. Cañellas was only going to dinner if there were to be genuine attempts to mend fences and to put the noses back into joint.
But what sort of a dinner would this have been? In a show of respect for the old guard, it needed to be one of traditional Catalan-Majorcan cuisine. None of this Madrid-style fancy-dan stuff or, worse still, dishes with a Galician flavour: roast Rajoy; Mariano in a marinade. Bauzá was going to have to eat humble pie, followed by a plate full of botifarra and a crema Catalana dessert. Strangely, on Friday morning Bauzá absented himself from the meeting of the cabinet, citing an “indisposition”. Maybe he had been checking the menu arrangements.
Disillusionment is at its greatest out in the Majorcan sticks. It is here that the old guard is needed the most, but the sticks are becoming ever more of a sticking point of disagreement with Bauzáism. In Alaro and Vilafranca, events of the past week could see the PP “disappear” from the local political map. This is because the PP mayors of the two towns are required by Bauzá rules to not re-stand as mayor if they are “imputado”, i.e. under investigation for possible misdemeanours. In Vilafranca the PP has already broken ranks in supporting the mayor and created another party. Alaro may well follow. So could Pollensa. In Consell four PP councillors have jumped ship and created an “unassigned” party. This isn’t because anyone is “imputado”; they’ve just had enough of Bauzá.
The Vilafranca case has echoes of the great fallout between Bauzá and Jaume Font ahead of the last election. Font was at one point “imputado”. Bauzá said he couldn’t be a PP candidate, so Font took his bat home and went off and formed his own party. History is repeating itself.
Bauzá should deserve some sympathy. He established an ethical code which made it clear what “imputado” would mean for prospective candidates.
However, he may find himself acquiring this very status, if not before the election then after it, and the “caso Farmacias” which has given rise to this possibility took a twist on Thursday when Bauzá’s accuser, the pharmacist Cristòfol Pons, told a court that Bauzá had given “express instructions” to his “inferior”, the health minister Marti Sansaloni, to not put out to tender the rights to some 40 new pharmacies. Pons also said that Bauzá did not want new pharmacies opening in Marratxi, where he owns a chemist shop. Sympathy for Bauzá?

The fast disappearing UPyD

I f the PP in the Balearics is showing signs of imploding, spare a thought for the UPyD (Unión Progreso y Democracia). If it manages to survive as long as May in order to take part in the regional elections, it will have done well, mutiny having broken out following a dismal showing in the Andalusia election last Sunday. Four members of its ruling committee resigned on Monday, alarmed by this performance but also angered by a refusal by the committee to approve the formation of a pact with Ciudadanos. The possibility of such an alignment was raised several months ago but it was turned down, and the Andalusia result just confirms what had been widely suspected: the UPyD is being eclipsed by Ciudadanos to the point of annihilation.
These two parties were formed at roughly the same time. Neither is yet ten years old, but Ciudadanos, breaking out of its Catalonia heartland in order to take part in elections across Spain, has performed astonishingly well, whereas the UPyD has performed astonishingly badly. A problem for the UPyD is that it occupies similar political territory, and its lousy showing in Andalusia demonstrates that there really is only room for one new party of the centre. If the UPyD were to disappear, it may be no bad thing, not because it doesn’t have something to offer (it has come up with some decent proposals) but because it would make the political landscape altogether less confusing and cluttered.

Magalluf is not Palma

W ith the citizens of Palma having woken up on Monday and discovered that a British Sunday newspaper was telling them that they lived in the best city in the world, they were doubtless able to adopt a superior air to the citizenry of a part of Calvia just along the coast. Yes, the flesh pots and dens of iniquity of old Magalluf town were back in the news. The Palma folk had “The Sunday Times” on their side. Magalluf sorts had to make do with The Mail, and because it was The Mail, the news was far from good. The party hasn’t stopped in Magalluf after all. No amount of Calvia Town Hall rules on street drinking, jumping off balconies, pub crawls are going to stop the youth of Britain taking delight in being ashamed of what they get up to in Maga this summer. Or so the message from The Mail went. The head of the local hoteliers’ association, Sebastià Darder, may have been saying last week that another summer “of scandals” cannot be allowed to occur, but there would appear to be those who beg to differ. Bring on the scandals. And what do you know, there will be no shortage of “moles” knocking around Magalluf willing to take the Dacre or Murdoch shilling in ensuring that the scandals make it into the British red tops. Mark my word.