Ilivetolearn's Blog

March 13, 2007

Zapatero, man of the people

Filed under: food/groceries,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 2:48 pm

Spain is always taking popular TV shows from other countries and translating them into hits here. My favorite is the local version of American Idol, entitled “¿Cantas…o que?” (“Are you singing…or what?”)

One of the most recent is imported from France; J’ai une question a vous poser has become Tengo una pregunta para usted. (“I have a question for you.”) This is sort of a town-meeting show for elected officials and candidates, in which each of the 100 audience members gets to ask one question. Zapatero was the first guest and it was said his media advisors were hoping to make him seem more personable and approachable, less reminiscent of Mr. Bean, whom he resembles.

Unfortunately, the plan backfired. He not only addressed everyone–young, old, male, female—as “tu” even though they all used “Usted” (which made him seem condescending), but also when asked if he knew what a cup of coffee cost, he promptly replied, “About 80 cents.” In the real world outside the subsidized cafeteria where his gofers pay that much for his java, you can’t touch even a tiny cup for less than a euro. So he was lambasted for being out of touch. Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the oppositional Popular Party, is the next victim and you can bet he is busy memorizing the prices of bread and eggs.


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