However it ends for Josep Borrell, by renouncing taking his seat as an MEP and staying as Spain's foreign minister, an agreement he's reached with prime minister Pedro Sánchez, he's pulling our legs. This is so at least for three reasons: firstly, the notion that Borrell was merely Spain’s PSOE’s electoral hook in elections such as the European ones which are always person-centred and where the minister would develop his marked anti-independence profile at length. Secondly, to give Pablo Iglesias the responsibility for his decision given Podemos’ insistence on forming a coalition/cooperation government and the foreseeable delay in the formation of a new government, all of which sounds like a pretext rather than an excuse. And finally, Borrell, in accepting to lead PSOE’s European election candidature, we now know, was taking a return ticket: he was promised a position in Brussels, either with the Parliament or the European Commission. The first has not happened and the second must not be certain, at least as of now.
All the rest is peanuts. That the foreign affairs portfolio would be taken up by some existing minister since an interim government cannot make new appointments is something that's been well known from the start. So we are not buying that. Otherwise, we would not be talking about a relevant news story and everybody would have taken for granted that Borrell would not go to Brussels because Sanchez's investiture had not happened. The certainty was precisely based on the opposite. It is also probable that, added to all this, the interim president, who is a fabulous short-term player, wanted to inform Podemos that he does not really care if the investiture takes longer if the discussion is about a new government having Podemos ministers or not. And he has sent Iglesias a message: I am ready for any eventuality, even for calling a new election.
Borrell is staying and with him a poor management of the foreign affairs ministry which has neglected its portfolio, one capital for any government, in favour of exclusively being a bulwark abroad against pro-independence demands. For this purpose, what he's used least is diplomacy, being the protagonist of incidents with various international media outlets in connection with the Catalan government's demands, the referendum, the Supreme Court trial or the political prisoners. He has also failed in the management of several consuls of foreign delegations in Catalonia whom he has forced to resign, even high-ranking numbers of his own ministry abroad, like the consul to Edinburgh whom he dismissed without hesitation a few weeks ago because he had said that an independent Scotland would enter the UE.
The most curious thing is that Pedro Sánchez should thank him for his sense of responsibility towards the state in his decision. It is the state that is really in a pitiful situation.