Tabarnia started as a parody of the Catalan independence movement, supporting the creation of a new autonomous community from parts of Tarragona and Barcelona provinces (whence the name), where support for Catalan independence tends to be lowest. Now, however, some people are starting to take it seriously. Indeed, today, Spanish public broadcaster TVE has presented Albert Boadella as president of Tabarnia in its live coverage of a press conference analysing the political and social situation in Catalonia. Boadella is an actor and director well-known in his youth for left-wing, pro-Catalan, anti-Franco views, but who has become one of the most outspoken opponents of the Catalan independence movement.
At the start of their live feed of the press conference, the channel writes the title in inverted commas, but removes them within nine seconds, changing the lower third to read "the president of Tabarnia analyses the political and social situation in Catalonia". The presenter on the 24-hour news channel, meanwhile, introduced Boadella "who defines himself as president of Tabarnia in exile".
This isn't the first time Spanish public television has taken the joke to be real. Little over a month ago, when people around Ciudadanos were starting to discuss the idea, TVE decided to discuss it without context (link in Catalan), describing it as a "phenomenon with an uncertain future".
It's also been brought up by private channels, like Antena 3 (in Catalan), or, again today, La Sexta's Al Rojo Vivo. The presenter, Antonio García Ferreras, even greeted Boadella as president of Tabarnia.