Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, of the conservative Popular Party (PP), has finally talked to the new separatist premier of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont.
Or so he thought when he got a call from a morning show on the Catalan station Radio Flaixback pretending to have Puigdemont on the other end of the line.
The host of the show passed himself off for a presidential aide in the Catalan government, and was transferred to Rajoy.
“We didn’t think it was going to work, we’re just as surprised as you are” - Radio show host
At that point, a Puigdemont imitator took the microphone and both men quickly managed to agree on a date to meet.
The feat was remarkable because Catalan nationalists and the central government have long been at odds over the separatist drive in that region. Talks have been indefinitely on hold for months, making the radio conversation between Rajoy and the phony Puigdemont all the more significant.
The conservative premier, who fiercely opposes Catalan independence and the right to a self-rule referendum in the region, said that his agenda “is quite open” to a meeting with the Catalan leader, and even proposed a date himself.
“I can call you on Monday the 25th, and depending on how busy we are, we can set a date. My agenda is very open and we could do it 24 to 48 hours later,” said an unsuspecting Rajoy.
The reply caught the pranksters off guard, and they decided to put an end to it.
“We didn’t think it was going to work, we’re just as surprised as you are,” said the program host about the ease with which they got through and secured a future meeting with the Spanish leader.
Still on the air, Rajoy is heard replying in an angry tone: “This is not serious; you can do whatever you want, but this is not serious.”
The same program, called El matí y la mare que el va parir, then attempted to play the reverse trick on Puigdemont by pretending to have Rajoy on the line, but were unsuccessful the second time around.
English version by Susana Urra.