The town council of Pontevedra, located in the northwestern region of Galicia, voted on Monday to declare the acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy a ‘persona non grata’ after Madrid made an unpopular decision over a local environmental issue.
The motion to declare Rajoy an 'unwelcome person' was taken in response to the decision by the Environment Ministry to extend a contract to a local pulp and biomass company despite opposition citing environmental concerns.
Although Rajoy was born in the regional capital of Santiago de Compostela, he has made it clear that his affections lie with Pontevedra, for it is there that he met his wife, served as a local councillor, and stood as an MP.
But the city, it seems, does not return the affection.
“Not even Hitler or Stalin were declared persona non grata by the people of Pontevedra,” bemoaned the conservative leader in an interview with Antena 3 on Wednesday.
“It has upset me and my family,” he said adding: “I have feelings too.”
He admitted he failed to comprehend why the people of the town where he “grew up, got married and had a home” should so take against him.
“It was meant to upset me and it has upset me,” he confessed.
It is not the first time he has been surprised with a bad reception in the city. Last December, while on a campaign walkabout ahead of the general election, he was punched in the face.
And to add insult to injury, it turned that out the chap who accosted him was a relative of his wife.
But Rajoy should have bigger worries than a snub by the good folk of Pontevedra as Spain’s Socialist party moved closer on Thursday to forming the next government after striking a pact with centrist party Ciudadanos.