The PSOE socialists are in an awkward position regarding the Fornalutx bull-run. | L.L. Garcia


The row about the Fornalutx "correbou" bull-run will be given an airing in the Balearic parliament on Tuesday. Podemos will be putting President Armengol (PSOE) on the spot, with a Podemos parliamentary deputy, Carlos Saura, wanting to know if she believes that the Fornalutx bull should not suffer. Saura is to raise the issue as it is understood that a majority in PSOE do not want the bull-run to be banned and had been looking to amend accordingly the text for the upcoming reform of animal-welfare legislation.

In the end the only one amendment that was accepted had to do with the Minorcan horse fiestas. This was a joint amendment by PSOE, Més and Podemos to rectify an "error" in the original draft. This would have meant that the horse fiestas would be outlawed.

Some PSOE members, however, do not understand how the Minorcan fiestas can be exempted and not the bull-run. They believe that a positive law to prohibit bullfighting has been allowed to get out of hand and so lead to the banning of a traditional Majorcan fiesta (the bull-run). They do not consider that harm to a bull in Fornalutx is comparable with what occurs in the bullring.

PSOE members are certainly not unanimous in thinking this way, but sources suggest that Armengol has been upset by the way the legal reform has gone. For PSOE, though, the problem is how they might now backtrack on reform, given that a closed meeting of members last week voted in favour of maintaining the bull-run. One possibility is that deputies in parliament may support an amendment from El Pi to exempt the bull-run.

The Partido Popular, for its part, has tabled an amendment to allow both the bull-run and the horse fiestas. The possibility is not being ruled out of a PP and El Pi joint agreement which PSOE will also back.

The parliamentary questions being raised will mean that Armengol's position will be known for the first time. PSOE sources suggest that she is in favour of maintaining the bull-run. Meanwhile, PSOE councillors in Fornalutx have said that they may leave the party if there is no exemption.

Podemos and Més both want the bull-run to be prohibited. PSOE, on the other hand, point out that in Catalonia there is a ban on bullfighting while bull-runs are still permitted.