I laughed quite a lot at this interview in English given by Aznar a few months back. It’s not as if the man were ever intelligent, or had his own ideas about anything, but his failure to rhyme off bits from the Bush Administration War on Terror phrasebook even half convincingly left me wondering how such an apparently hapless and ignorant moron could have managed to win two elections. And you’d think he’d have undergone some intensive English tuition to help with all those lucrative after-dinner speeches and think-tank addresses that awaited him after he left office. Then again, maybe he did.
‘A load of people throughout the world are demanding that the Pope apologise for his speech, but no Muslim has apologised to me for occupying Spain during 8 centuries.’
(My translation from the Spanish in El Pais. He gave the speech in English, so I’ve probably done him a favour here.)
Leaving aside a couple of minor points- that the Muslim ‘occupation’ of Spain ended some 461 years before José María Aznar was born; that it might have been rather unreasonable even back in 1492 to ask a Muslim fleeing Spain to apologise for 800 years of ‘occupation’; that after 800 years, Spain reverted to the same old country it always had been- it is rather interesting to see how he sees apologies made by the Pope and apologies made to him as attaining a comparable level of significance.