'Spain is full of Spanish people': Ousted PM's gaffes

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 02 2018 05:05 AM

Spain's ousted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy enters a car as he leaves parliament following a motion of no confidence vote in Madrid, Spain, June 1, 2018. Sergio Perez, Reuters

Regardless of what Spaniards think of their ousted prime minister Mariano Rajoy's track record, they all agree on one thing -- his truisms and slips of the tongue are legendary.

After the veteran leader was toppled by a parliamentary no-confidence vote on Friday, Spanish media and social networks were flooded with his most embarrassing -- and sometimes endearing -- quotes from over the years. 

Here are some of his most famous and infamous gaffes:

- Who deceived people? -

"What we did -- which you didn't -- is de... deceive people," he told parliament in 2016, hesitating a little as he said it.

- 'ETA is a great nation' -

"I want to give Spaniards a message of hope, ETA is a great nation... Spain, sorry, is a great nation," he said in 2007 when he was opposition leader, confusing his country with the Basque separatist group that waged decades of violence.

- Spain: full of Spaniards -

Spain "is a great country full of Spanish people" Rajoy declared in 2015.

- Same but different -

"It's not the same if one person governs than if another does, it's not the same, otherwise said, it's very different," was another of his infamous truisms.

- Mysterious sky water -

"This is not like the water that falls from the sky without really knowing why," he once declared.

- 'Can't read my handwriting' -

In February 2011, just months before he would go on to be elected prime minister for the first time, he got stuck in a television programme during a Q&A with audience members.

Asked to respond to a question, he said: "I wrote it here and I can't read my handwriting."

- Spanglish -

Known for his poor grip of English, Rajoy in 2012 told then British Prime Minister David Cameron: "It's very difficult todo esto," using a mix of English and Spanish.

- 'Mr PM' no longer

And in 2013, Rajoy started a parliamentary speech by saying "Mr Prime Minister", forgetting that was him -- but it's a phrase he may have to use again if he comes back as opposition leader.