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ELECTION

WATCH: Deepfake video transforms Spain’s political leaders into ‘The A Team’

Just hours after the election in Spain deepened the political crisis and threatened more deadlock, someone imagined that what Spain really needed to sort this mess out was.."The A Team" or rather "The E Team" with an E for España.

WATCH: Deepfake video transforms Spain’s political leaders into 'The A Team'
Spain's political leaders transformed in the A Team. Photo: FaceToFake/Youtube

Fans of the 80s television series will remember the introduction of every episode: “If you have a problem… if no one else can help… and if you can find them… maybe you can hire… The A-Team.”

The video produced by ‘FaceToFake’ using controversial Deepfake technology transforms each of Spain’s political leaders into a character from the show.

The PP’s Pablo Casado is imagined as cigar smoking team leader, Hannibal Smith.

While acting Prime Minister and leader of the PSOE Pedro Sanchez becomes Face. Pablo Iglesias of Podemos takes on the role of Amy and Albert Rivera, who resigned as leader of Ciudadanos on Monday after a drubbing at the polls is depicted as Murdoch.

Vox leader, Santiago Abascal, whose far-right party more than doubled the number of seats in parliament was transformed into the gold chain-wearing Mr T.

'Deepfakes' are made using artificial intelligence to create realistic videos in which a person appears to say or do something they did not by seamlessly crafting the image of one person onto another. 

They are controversial because of the potential danger of manipulating video to influence public opinion.  

Watch it for yourself: 

The video has gone viral on social media in Spain, the parody capturing perfectly the unlikelihood of party leaders working together anytime soon.

 

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ELECTION

Madrid puts off separatist talks over Catalan snap election

Spain's central government on Thursday said the announcement of snap elections in Catalonia would delay planned talks between Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the region's separatist leadership.

Madrid puts off separatist talks over Catalan snap election
Catalan regional president Quim Torra (R) meets with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at the Palacio de Pedralbes in Barcelona on December 20, 2018.Photo: AFP

News that the regional election would be brought forward was announced by regional president Quim Torra on Wednesday but he did not give a date, suggesting some time after mid-March.

The date was brought forward following a major dispute between Catalonia's two ruling separatist parties, Together for Catalonia (JxC) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC).

The announcement came ahead of a key February 6 meeting in Barcelona between Torra and Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to lay the ground for talks on resolving the separatist conflict.

In response, Sanchez's office said the meeting would go ahead but that the negotiations would not begin until a new regional government was in place.   

“The government is hoping to be able to begin the dialogue after the Catalan people have spoken… as soon as the elections are over and there is a new (regional) government, then we will begin talking,” said a statement.

“The government remains willing to start the process of dialogue with the Catalan institutions to resolve the political conflict.”

The talks had been agreed as part of a deal with ERC in exchange for its support in getting Sanchez through a key investiture vote earlier this month.   

But the delay was swiftly denounced by the ERC as a “flagrant breach of the agreement which was completely irresponsible,” its party spokesman Sergi Sabria said.

Sanchez, who himself is in a fragile position at the head of a minority coalition government, still needs ERC's support to pass Spain's own much delayed national budget.

In a radio interview Thursday, Torra said he would bring up the right to self-determination and amnesty for the nine jailed Catalan separatist leaders when he meets Sanchez — both of which have already been rejected out of hand by the Socialist leader.

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