19/04/2021

20/4: A sum

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I read in the press: "According to the polls, Ayuso and Vox will obtain an absolute majority in Madrid". And I try to reread this headline with Angela Merkel's eyes. I imagine her surprise, shock and indignation. In the 2018 elections in Bavaria, the CSU - the Bavarian version of Merkel's party - won 85 seats out of 205 in parliament. Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), the far-right party equivalent of Vox, won 22. So the two parties together arithmetically had an absolute majority. But it did not occur to anyone either in the polls or when the results were made public to write a headline saying that the CSU and AfD had an absolute majority. Simply because this arithmetically possible majority was politically impossible. Worse, disgusting. A few Bavarian MPs dared to hint at the possibility, not many, and were quashed by Merkel. And the CSU sought alliances with other parties. Merkel would be scandalised by the naturalness with which Madrid takes for granted an alliance that in Bavaria would be aberrant. Vox is like AfD, but Madrid is not Bavaria, nor is the PP the equivalent, when it comes to forming coalitions, of the German Christian Democrats. Nor is Ayuso Merkel. Even if they share a group in Europe.

Vicenç Villatoro is a writer

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