The following comment about Manuel Valls is attributed to his compatriot, president of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, who knows him well from when he was economy minister and Valls was head of government with presidential airs: "I don't trust him, because I think he's capable of tricks". Even following French politics only superficially, you enter into a world of conspiracies, treachery and occasional alliances which far outstrip the prancing practised in Spanish politics which is much less sophisticated and, doubtlessly much less bloody. There, they leave home with their daggers already between their teeth, they're capable of agreeing anything necessary with their enemy and, of course, what they don't do is go on the radio to cry about it.
It's clear that there's a shadowy part we still haven't found out about in the agreements reached between Manuel Valls, Ciudadanos and En Comú for the reelection of Ada Colau as mayor of Barcelona. Among other reasons, because the now-official break between Valls and Ciudadanos could have happened before Saturday and the vote, which then wouldn't have worked out for her. Far from all that, the cogs for the separation started turning just a few hours earlier and, by coincidence, of the six councillors they achieved on 26th May, the three independent members stayed with Valls and the three members of Albert Rivera's party stayed faithful to it. What a coincidence that they only needed three votes to reach a total of 21 and thus the absolute majority which left Ernest Maragall, the winner of the election, without the mayorship.
But the comedy still has a final (or, who knows, maybe penultimate) act to be written. This Tuesday, Celestino Corbacho (former mayor of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, former Catalan Parliament deputy and former labour minister with PSOE at a time when Spain was reaching its worst employment figures following the financial crisis) still had an ace up his sleeve: to auction off his support between Valls and Rivera based on who would guarantee him a seat as a deputy on the Provincial Deputation. A body, the Barcelona Deputation, he knows well having even been its president between 2004 and 2008. With the promise under his arm, Corbacho abandoned Valls and joined back up with Rivera's party.
It's a curious game Ciudadanos is playing: breaking with Valls for voting for Colau and, at the same time, making space for Corbacho who did exactly the same. Would it be that behind the break-up between Valls and Rivera there's something more personal and that the Colau vote has just been used as an excuse? Because it's quite the coincidence that Valls should have kept his promise to prevent a pro-independence mayor, that Rivera should have had a way out to be able to explain that they didn't really vote for Colau (exactly the same thing they say time and again when asked about Vox) and that those who funded the whole party, about whose actions there is ever more documentation, are more than satisfied with the result.