Monday, June 12, 2017

Amancio, Alberto and Lucas: Zara and Podemos

Do you know who Amancio Ortega is? You don't. Well, you should. According to Forbes, he is the world's third richest person. He's worth the small matter of some 75 billion US dollars. And how has he come by this vast fortune? Shops, that's how. Do you know, for example, Zara? Ah yes, you do. That's one of Amancio's chains. Just one that makes up the Inditex empire.

Amancio is therefore a sort of European Bill Gates, who has a few bob more than Amancio - 89.1 billion. When you have that amount stashed beneath the bed, you can afford to be generous. Which Bill is. So is Amancio. Via his foundation, he's handed over five million euros to the Balearic public health system to assist with funding for cancer treatment and research.

Such a gesture, you might think, would receive unanimous support. But if you think this, you haven't taken Podemos into account. Alberto Jarabo didn't say that he was against the donation, but he did describe it as "alms" from a millionaire, that it was of "dubious origin" and that it was linked to cases of "labour exploitation and unfair competition". It is necessary, Alberto suggested to the rest of parliament, to question where these funds come from.

Francina accused Alberto of "demagoguery", which is a fairly standard riposte to almost anything that Alberto comes out with. Everyone else thought he was a bit of a twerp.

Meanwhile, over at the Council of Mallorca, Podemos were in the process of re-enacting the banishments of Xe-Lo and Montse that they had successfully achieved in parliament. Lucas Gálvez is another Podemos sort that no one would otherwise ever have heard of, rather like Montse for instance, were it not for them falling foul of the Podemos apparatus. Actually, it seems that few in Podemos have heard of him either. Or set eyes on him at least.

Iván Sevillano, yet another obscure name from the Podemos ranks, is the party's deputy spokesperson at the Council. He maintains that Lucas has committed some form of fraud against the citizens by not giving up his seat in the Council. This is because Lucas, who apparently has some 25 party disciplinary sanctions hanging over him, has seemingly not been turning up to meetings.

By way of punishment, they stopped paying all his salary and ultimately left him living off his allowances alone. Lucas has been scandalised. They say he's not going to meetings, but what's he supposed to do when he's left with only some 900 euros a months for which he is meant to work eight hours a day and travel back and forth from Felanitx. Well, as far as the travel is concerned, he might like to ask Balti (who also lives in Felanitx) if he can have a lift. There must be room in the parliament president's Kangoo, and the Council is hardly that far from the parliament building.

More to the point, though, is the fact, so Lucas claims, that he was the one who drafted the so-called Manifesto of Sineu. This was the sort of revolutionary movement against Alberto, whose leadership was openly being criticised. Iván says it's got nothing to do with the manifesto. It's all to do with a "lack of involvement" by Lucas over the two years since he was elected.

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