Since winning the November 2011 elections, the People's Party (PP) has distinguished itself mainly with relentless cuts in social spending and a vertiginous drop in support from the Spanish people [es], which slipped from 46.6% to 24.5% in a little over a year.
Another notable feature of this administration has been its lack of deference and transparency toward the public. Since the PP came to power, many Spaniards have felt that their leaders have hidden information from and shown contempt toward them, which comes through most clearly in the confusing—if not completely unintelligible—explanations offered on the part of senior officials about corruption within their party or the controversial occasions on which President Mariano Rajoy has refused to meet with journalists, preferring to read statements from a plasma screen [es].
This attempt to avoid giving the explanations requested by the Spanish people has led to situations that verge on the surreal, like the unfortunate speech of PP General Secretary María Dolores de Cospedal attempting to justify [es] the payments her party made to its former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, who is accused of—and currently incarcerated for—taking part in one of the biggest cases of corruption in the country's history, when in theory they should have ceased.
On Friday, June 28, President Rajoy, at an appearance following a meeting at the European Council in Brussels, starred in one of these moments. A journalist asked him if he supported the educational policies of Minister Wert [es] and if he thought that the incarceration of Luis Bárcenas was good news for Spain, to which Rajoy responded, “La segunda ya… tal” [es] [“The second already… such”], avoiding the question about the alleged crime.
That expression, which prompted laughter from those attending the press conference, including the president's own team, became the theme of the day, and in under an hour, the label #LaSegundaYaTal [es] was a trending topic on Twitter, although the president's phrase was unfamiliar to everyone. El Mono Político explained it on his blog [es] as follows:
Image from Twitter user NeizaN
Pese a su apariencia inocua, “ya tal” encierra el siguiente mensaje: “Mire, no le voy a contestar porque paso de usted y de la opinión pública, y el hecho de que yo haya elevado a ese individuo al cargo de tesorero del partido no me obliga a darle ninguna explicación a nadie, porque no me viene en gana”.
Despite its innocuous appearance, “ya tal” embodies the message: “Look, I'm not going to answer your question because I don't care about you or the public, and the fact that I promoted that individual to the position of party treasurer doesn't mean I have to explain myself to anyone, because I don't want to.”
On El Ventano [es], Qaesar said:
Hay quien le gustaría escuchar lo que dijo el traductor…
Some of us would like to hear what the translator said…
And on Menéame [es], pleyano said:
The second already such [sic]…. viene a decir lo mismo que su versión española
The second already such …. it means the same as the spanish version
On YouTube [es], Trece MTrece interpreted it thus:
Os resumo su contestación: “Como diga algo negativo de Bárcenas va a cantar todas las miserias de las cuales estoy acojonado por si le da por hacerlo”.
I'll summarize his answer for you: “If I say something bad about Bárcenas he'll reveal all the stuff I'm terrified he'll decide to come out with.
But the majority of reactions were on Twitter. Conde Chico [es], Javier Mesonero [es], Veneno Hyde [es] and La Peich [es] expressed their feelings about President Rajoy known:
@El_Conde_Chico: — Pero Mariano, tú eres tonto o te lo haces?
@El_Conde_Chico: — But Mariano, are you stupid or you just pretend it?
@javierM: jajajajajajajaja. #LaSegundaYaTal esto es Moncloa Shore, está lleno de canis [Moncloa: sede de la presidencia / cani: tribu urbana especialmente inculta].
@javierM: hahahahahahahaha. #LaSegundaYaTal this is Moncloa Shore, it's full of canis [es] [Moncloa: headquarters of the presidency / cani: especially uncouth urban tribe]
@Veneno_Hyde: España, un país que apuesta tanto por la integración que hasta tiene un presidente subnormal. #torosyflamenco #marcaespaña #LaSegundaYaTal
@Veneno_Hyde: Spain, a country so supportive of integration that we even have a moron president. #torosyflamenco #marcaespaña #LaSegundaYaTal
Rajoy's stick shift. Image from Twitter user GuillermodelPalacio
@_Peich: Juradme por los clavos de Cristo que con #lasegundayatal nuestro presidente no hablaba de legislaturas. PORDIOROSLOPIDO
@_Peich: Swear on the nails of Christ that with #lasegundayatal our president wasn't talking about his term.
Isaac [es], fs monster [es], GonzaloHierro [es] and Alfonso Martínez [es] took the occasion to remember other shocking situations in which we've seen the president and his ministers:
@IsaacParraZ: Por favor! Qué [sic] vuelva la tele de plasma! #LaSegundaYaTal
@IsaacParraZ: Please! Hope the plasma tv comes back! #LaSegundaYaTal
@diospastafari: Todo es falso salvo algún finiquito en diferido en forma de becas para teles de plasma y viajes a Eurodisney #LaSegundaYaTal #PPStyle
@diospastafari: It's all untrue except for any deferred settlements in the form of grants for plasma tvs and trips to Eurodisney #LaSegundaYaTal #PPStyle
@gonzalo_hierro: “La primera vez que recibí un sobre me sentí mal, cierto remordimiento… pero #LaSegundaYaTal“
@gonzalo_hierro: “The first time I got an envelope I felt bad, I felt some remorse… but #LaSegundaYaTal“
@Alfonso__MG: Del creador de “It's very dificult todo esto”, “Todo es falso, salvo alguna cosa” y “España no es Uganda” llega… #LaSegundaYaTal jajaja
@Alfonso__MG: From the creator of “It's very difficult todo esto,” “It's all untrue, except for some things” and “Spain isn't Uganda” comes… #LaSegundaYaTal hahaha
Twitter users JLP [es], Manolo Mellado [es] and Rex Joker [es] weighed in:
@porterojlp: Lo peor de la vida política española son los guionistas #LaSegundaYaTal
@porterojlp: The worst thing in Spanish politics are the speechwriters #LaSegundaYaTal
@ManoloMellado: #LaSegundaYaTal no existe. Son los padres
@ManoloMellado: #LaSegundaYaTal doesn't exist. They are the parents
@jokerREX: Rajoy prepara un nuevo libro titulado: “#LaSegundaYaTal como concepto geopolítico en el marco globalizador de la economía mundial”.
@jokerREX: Rajoy is writing a new book called : “#LaSegundaYaTal as geopolitical concept within the globalizing framework of the world economy.”
Lunática Lovegood [es] and Ángel de los Ríos [es] came up with other uses for the expression coined by the president:
Image from Twitter user Angel Flores
@SraTorposopla: — ¿Hechizo poderoso para confundir a una persona?
— 10 puntos para Gryffindor.
@SraTorposopla: — ¿What's a powerful spell to confuse someone?
— 10 points for Gryffindor.
@AngeldelosRios: He descubierto que te puedes ir de la oficina antes diciendo #LaSegundaYaTal
@AngeldelosRios: I've discovered that you can leave the office before saying #LaSegundaYaTal
Eva [es], (PUNTOS SUSPENSIVOS) [es] and Kim Jong-un [es] demonstrated how to use the phrase to avoid saying something unpleasant:
@evarf: El Rey: mi primera hija es tontita y.. #LaSegundaYaTal
@evarf: The King: my first daughter is a little fool and #LaSegundaYaTal
@Carlos_94SR: — Cari, me he comprado un vestido, ¿te gusta? ¿Crees que me hace gorda?
@Carlos_94SR: — Cari, I bought a new dress, do you like it? Does it make me look fat?
@norcoreano: A los que me preguntáis qué uso para el pelo y si he torturado inocentes: #LaSegundaYaTal
@norcoreano: To those who ask me what I use in my hair and if I have tortured innocent people: #LaSegundaYaTal