A RADIO presenter pretending to be Catalunya's new regional president Carles Puigdemont managed to speak to acting Spanish president Mariano Rajoy live on air – and even got him to commit to a meeting on Monday.
“Tell you what, given that this week the King's busy with his consultations [one-to-one meetings with each of the party candidates], depending upon how things go - and I don't know how things are going to go – I can call you on Monday, January 25 and, depending upon where we are, if there's a presidential investing vote or not, and depending upon how long it takes, my diary is very free so we could arrange to meet within 24 or 48 hours,” Rajoy said to the person he believed was the head of Catalunya's government.
It was at that moment when the DJ from Ràdio Flaixbac ['flashback'] admitted Rajoy was live on air and it was all a joke.
“You're kidding me, do what you want but you're kidding me,” said the flustered acting president, before demanding the name of the radio station calling him.
He found out he was on the morning comedy programme, El matí i la mare que el va parir, and that the caller had originally introduced himself as 'Marc Casanovas, assistant to the president of Catalunya', asking a secretary at the Moncloa – the national government headquarters – if Puigdemont could speak to Rajoy.
He was told Rajoy was tied up in a meeting, but that he could call back in 10 minutes.
The DJ rang back in 15 minutes, and managed to speak to Rajoy himself – this time pretending to be Puigdemont.
“President, how's life?” Rajoy addressed him.
The DJ said he was 'delighted' to be able to talk to the country's leader, and Rajoy responded: “Me, too,” then recalled that he and Puigdemont had first met when the high-speed AVE train was officially opened in Girona – back when Puigdemont was mayor of the city.
“It's high time you and I had a chat,” the DJ said, which Rajoy agreed with, and the presenter said they needed to agree on a day and time.
“Now that there's a new speaker on the issue, to start off on the right foot,” said the presenter.
Rajoy answered, “Great.”
“We already know what we're going to say, but we'll be able to do so officially this way,” the fake Puigdemont answered, to which Rajoy agreed.
It was then that the promise came to ring back on Monday and arrange a meeting 'within 24 or 48 hours' depending upon 'how things went' with the in-house presidential voting – after which the presenter, Carles Pérez, admitted the prank.
“We never thought we'd get this far, though – to actually speak to him on air,” Pérez admitted.
After owning up to the acting president, Pérez said: “We're probably as surprised as you are.”
He thanked Rajoy for his 'fair play' and asked him to make sure he and Puigdemont did indeed talk to each other.
“Okay, many thanks,” Rajoy signed off.
Photograph: Ràdio Flaixbac