Spain's Popular Party (PP) has apologised for the chaos caused by the Ministry of Public Works on the AP-6 motorway which left thousands lost and abandoned to their fate in their cars on Sunday after intense snowfall across the north of the country. Mariano Rajoy's PP government has a curious tactic for getting rid of problems: the blame lies with other people (the motorway company, in this case), solidarity with the poor, patient drivers and, finally, nobody resigns here, it not being the case that it establishes a dangerous precedent. Spanish politics is often like this: as nobody takes responsibility for anything, nobody has to resign and the chaos will soon subside. And what does it matter that, whilst the chaos was growing ever greater, minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, similarly responsible as civil protection depends on his Interior ministry, was in the box at Seville watching the local derby with Betis? Might Zoido be favoured because as he does everything badly it's no longer makes news?
What does it matter that the images of the governmental mess and of the head of the Public Works ministry, Íñigo de la Serna, and also of the ineffable Interior minister, the afore-mentioned Zoido, were chilling? That everything was done late and badly? Even that a director general of Traffic came out in the first hours of the crisis blaming the drivers with them having driven after multiple warnings as his only argument. And one wonders: is there management in the Spanish government which goes beyond talking about Catalonia? Because, clearly, it's one thing to spend your time discussing Puigdemont here, Junqueras there, the divisions in the pro-independence side and the imaginary Tabarnia and something very different to deal with a predicted snowstorm which just needed efficient ministerial coordination.
Even the opposition, so unaccustomed to being critical of the government, had a restrained response. This happened once before when PSOE called for the deputy prime minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría to be rebuked after the police violence during the 1st October referendum in Catalonia. Deputy Margarita Robles had to backtrack as weakening the deputy PM and boosting the independence movement wasn't part of the script. PSOE almost ended up apologising after a resounding ticking-off in an editorial in the newspaper El País.
In PP's virtual politics, in which issues solve themselves, weathering criticism is always the best strategy. In the end, everything ends up forgotten. And whoever holds out, wins.