Albert Rivera, the braggart of Spanish politics, the politician who had the role of prime minister at his fingertips just 18 months ago and the main catalyst and spark of the social division in Catalonia has this Monday announced his irrevocable resignation after a set of election results which have, practically, wiped Ciudadanos from the political map. The Catalan independence process claims a new victim in Spanish politics and neutered once again the centre right. Rivera has followed in the footsteps of Mariano Rajoy and only Pedro Sánchez remains active, with a tremendously difficult forecast ahead of him to put together a stable governing majority. Juan Carlos Girauta, Rivera's deputy, is going with him and leaving politics too. Paradoxes of life: at the start of the year he made the change from Barcelona to Toledo arguing he was tired of living in a pro-independence environment. Eight months later, the voters in Toledo have sent him to the wastepaper basket of history.
Rivera and Girauta or Girauta and Rivera symbolise better than any other political leaders a way of doing politics based on tension and insults as their only arguments. Their efforts to cause a linguistic and social split in Catalonia have been significant and the success they saw cannot be underrated. Firstly, because they changed bit-by-bit PP's political direction and because, in the end, they also drew PSC away from the Catalanism it had historically defended. They quickly became appealing to the Spanish media, who publicised them to the point of exhaustion, at times as if there was no other politician capable of speaking for Catalonia. In the end, even for those in power who had raised them up they were a nuisance and the orange party has dissolved.
Now its voters have gone to Vox, but voters traditionally of the left have ended up in the far-right party too. Nothing different to what is happening in the rest of Europe. But there will be time to talk about Vox and today is the day of Rivera, who will now have time enough to analyse how arrogance ruined a political career. An attitude which didn't even change in his farewell, since it's far from being true that he decided to leave politics, when the reality is that politics has abandoned him. A bit of self-criticism in his goodbye wouldn't have gone amiss, since it's hard to find a similar beating in the newspaper archives. In fact, in Spain there's none of such scale. In any case, we can't complain: farewells always tend to be sugar-coated and he won't suffer any consequences for the harm he's done in Catalonia.