MANUEL VALLS is power-hungry and now that he knows every avenue is closed to him back in France, he is looking for a fresh start in Spain, where he still carries some clout on account of his eagerness to play the part of a Catalan who opposes independence. Valls and Ciudadanos must know what is at stake for them. But listening to the former French PM warn us of the dangers of nationalism while he is standing next to Albert Rivera is pathetic: the Ciudadanos leader has stated that he can only see Spaniards when he looks around him in the street and he is someone who celebrates election wins by singing out that he is Spanish.
As the terrible history of the 20th century has shown, it is state nationalism that is anti-Europe. When a German court of law refused to extradite Carles Puigdemont last April —in tune with Belgium and Scotland’s courts— Albert Rivera put into question police and judicial cooperation within the EU, rather than ask himself whether it was Spain’s Supreme Court that was driving in the nationalistic lane.
Former French PM Manuel Valls, who was born in Barcelona, is currently considering whether to accept a Ciudadanos offer to run for mayor of the Catalan capital.