• Spain's news in English

'Ugly' tweet heats up Euro elections in Spain

The Local · 20 May 2014, 12:49

Published: 20 May 2014 12:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The European election campaign of Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) threatened to come off the rails recently when candidate Miguel Arias Cañete came under fire for his sexist attitudes.

It all started when he alleged he had gone easy on opposition PSOE Euro candidate Elena Valenciano during a live TV debate because "it’s complicated to show intellectual superiority" and not come across as a "chauvinist for cornering a defenceless woman".    

The comments caused a storm on Twittersphere and even won Cañete unwanted attention in the world press, with newspapers including the UK's Guardian and Germany's Die Welt taking aim at Spain's 'caveman' candidate.

Cañete's party have since attempted to protect their man, with Estabán González Pons telling TV station 13TV that tiredness could have caused the gaffe.

On Monday, González Pons went a step further by turning defence to attack. 

When, during a second European elections television debate, the topic of Cañete's comments came up, he held up a large piece of cardboard on which was printed a 2012 tweet from the embattled politician's main rival Valenciano.

Screen grab: TVE 

"Have you ever seen an ugly guy than (French footballer) Ribéry?' the tweet from the socialist politician reads, a reference to the attacking midfielder, who was disfigured in a car accident when he was two years old.      

Valenciano apologized shortly afterwards for what she called a "stupid" message, emitted during a match between Spain and France in the 2012 European Cup.

She also said she had been unaware of Ribéry's car accident at the time.

"This a tweet from Valenciano," said González Pons during Monday's debate.

"I could also say that Elena makes fun of everyone who has had a traffic accident. No, Elena had a bad day. We can all have a bad day but to draw conclusions is turn an anecdote into a fact," he added.   

Story continues below…

Valenciano responded by saying she had apologized immediately, something Cañete has yet to do.

A recent poll by the left-leaning El País newspaper found the ruling Popular Party (PP) and the chief opposition party, the socialist PSOE, running neck and neck. Some 32.6 percent of people said they would vote for the PP while 32.2 percent were planning to cast their ballot for the socialists.

A separate poll run by the right-leaning El Mundo newpaper found, however, that the PP were far ahead of the PSOE, with the ruling party predicted to win 33.8 percent of the vote against 25.7 percent for the socialists.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter. 

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make classic Spanish ham croquettes
Photo: thespanishcuisine.com

Learn how to make this all-time Spanish favourite at home.

Halloween weekend: Sunny skies and nightmare traffic
Authorities expect 5.5 million cars to take to the road over the 'puente'. Archive photo: AFP

Spain is set for great weather over the long weekend. But be prepared for nightmare traffic.

Southern Spain will become a desert with global warming
Photo: Steven Stralton / Flickr

Southern Spain will become a desert if global warning continues, scientists have warned.

Eight Spanish films to truely terrify you this Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell / Flickr Creative Commons.

Looking for something to give you goosebumps this Halloween? The Local looks at eight Spanish films that are sure to have you cowering beneath the covers.

Spain's Socialists refuse to go easy on Rajoy once in power
Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists may have reluctantly decided to let Mariano Rajoy govern again but they will not go easy on the acting conservative premier once he re-takes power, they warned on Thursday.

Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available