Three lush, magnificent bouquets of flowers were delivered yesterday afternoon to the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires for Argentinian President Ms Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
The first came from Don Juan Carlos I, the King of Spain. The second from Mariano Rajoy, his Prime Minister. And the third from José Manuel Durâo Barroso, Plenipotentiary Supercommissar By The Grace Of God of the European Union. All three had reasons to be grateful to Ms Fernandez for last Monday’s expropriation of YPF, the Argentinian branch of the Spanish Oil Company REPSOL.
I understand you are all a little bit baffled by this unexpected turn of events. So I will explain.
Ms Fernandez’s roguish theft of a foreign company, performed with the usual bombastic patriotic bluster and chitchat about National Sovereignty and bloodsucking multinationals in front of a portrait of – of all dubious national icons – the gold-digger Evita Peron, caused such a tremendous scandal in Spain that it diverted attention from all other prominent news items.
This could not have come at a better moment for Don Juan Carlos, who is presently caught up in an immense scandal over a hunting trip to Botswana, accompanied by a lady not his wife, paid for by a businessman of dubious credentials, in order to shoot – of all sympathetic, endangered and cuddly animals – mama elephants. This by the honorary president of the Spanish WWF who is head of state of a country plunged into ever greater misery. Surely my readers understand that His Majesty is grateful to Ms Fernández for taking some of the pressure off the kettle…
But he could not possibly be more grateful than Mr Rajoy, who – in between the appropriate war cries and expressions of indignation – managed to announce, in the silent shade of the Argentinian umbrella, a handful of draconian measures his government is taking to pacify the ‘financial markets’ and their lackeys, the Brussels Beurocrats. Such as increasing the size of classes from 22 pupils to 35 or 40 (this in a country whose educational system is such that Spanish schoolchildren score the lowest of all European countries, including Albania!), or making sick pensioners pay through the nose for their medicines out of the plenty of 800 Euros a month. A bouquet of flowers was surely the least he could do in exchange for such help in his public relations!
Finally there was Mr Barroso. His was in fact the greatest piece of luck. For Ms Fernandez’s idiotic action gave him the opportunity to come out plainly and loudly on the side of Spain in the conflict, as if he were Spain’s faithful friend and protector, instead of the primary agent of its misfortunes. Believe it or not, but an entire cocktail-party with Our Argentinian Friends was ruthlessly cancelled yesterday afternoon! And sources have it that that a directive went out to all Brussels EU officials that it is forbidden, from here on, to listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber operettas during working hours. That’ll teach them uppity pampa people down under!
So there you have it, dear readers: all that glitters is not gold. And all those who send flower are not lovers!
NEWSREEL NEWSREEL NEWSREEL:
Believe it or not, but Don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, just stepped out of the hospital and immediately voiced an apology. This unheard-of thing is not easily done for one in his position, and shows you that the man, for all his human faults, has the balls to face his demons! Bravo, Your Majesty! You just gained back some of the points you lost with me last week when shooting pachyderms!
Meanwhile, it is interesting to see whence he got his lines. He spoke the following three terse sentences: ‘Lo siento mucho. Me he equivocado. No volverá a ocurrir.’ The translation of this is: ‘I am sorry. I was wrong. It will not happen again.’
Compare this with the lines spoken by Bob Haldeman in Oliver Stone’s 1995 film Nixon:
HALDEMAN: Eight words back in '72 -- "I covered up. I was wrong. I'm sorry" – and the American public would've forgiven him.
Someone in the Madrid Royal Palace sure knows his classics…