SPAIN goes to the polls on November 10 for yet another general election but in a break from politics – who hasn’t had enough of the Brexit shambles – we checked out the main candidates’ cultural credentials to see what makes them tick.
Pedro Sanchez – PSOE
Alongside officiating at friends weddings where he reads poems he has personally chosen for the happy couples, the current Spanish Prime Minister has a wide range of interests. Speaking fluent English, he cites Shakespeare as one of his favourite playwrights. That’s in complete contrast to his musical choice as you’re likely to find indie bands Arcade Fire and Muse along with rocker Bruce Springsteen on the acting PM’s Ipod playlist. Spanish cinema is high on his list of ways to relax, as is chilling in front of the television. But even in his own living room Snr Sanchez is never far away from politics with The West Wing and Game of Thrones among his favourite shows. Let’s hope he is not getting too many ideas from either of these cutthroat epics.
Albert Rivera – Ciudadanos
Books and films take up much of Snr Rivera’s time away from the political arena. His favourite read is The Human Factor by John Carlin which tells the story of how Nelson Mandela challenged apartheid in South Africa. It was also the basis of the film Invictus starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon which focused on how Mandela’s work brought a nation together to see the Springboks triumph at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. Rivera’s favourite literary quote is from French writer Victor Hugo: “There is nothing more powerful than an idea that has reached its time.” No doubt he will be putting some of those ideas forward during the campaign.
Santiago Abascal – VOX
Passions of a different nature float the VOX leader’s boat. He is a true nature boy, enjoying hiking and mountaineering, and is a member of the Spanish Ornithological Society. Photography is a passion and friends say he has a talent for photographing wild animals and birds. He must also be a very patient man as another hobby is growing and trimming Bonsai trees – not the easiest of horticultural species to cultivate.
Pablo Iglesias – Podemos
His career might have put him on a different side of a camera as the Podemos leader studied television at the Metropolis Professional School of Audiovisual Arts, short films at the Carlos III University School of Arts and speech and programme presentation at the RTVE. Phew! He was also the founder of the political theatre company Antigona and has acted in some of their works. Given his studies, it’s no wonder the cine visual style of Game of Thrones is a firm favourite in his casa. When not checking out the machinations of the Lannisters and Targeryens, he listens to godmother of soul, Aretha Franklin. He has confessed to buying some of his clothes at discount hypermarket Alcampo.
Pablo Casado – PP
Less is known about about Snr Casados’ cultural leanings but he confesses to being a keen chef – and apparently is quite talented – although he admits he could never better his wife Isabel’s signature squid dish. Looking after himself, staying fit and eating healthily is his thing so not surprising his dishes are Mediterranean-based and include heaps of local fresh fish.