Spain PM falls victim to prank call

Spains Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sits in parliamentImage copyright

Image caption

Upon learning he had been hoaxed, Mr Rajoy said “this is not very serious”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has fallen victim to a prank call on a radio show from a man imitating the new separatist leader of Catalonia.

A presenter on Radio Flaixbak contacted Mr Rajoy’s office, pretending to work for Carles Puigdemont.

He was then transferred to the PM, when a Puigdemont impersonator took over.

Asked if the two could meet, Mr Rajoy agreed keenly and told the fake Catalan leader he had a “very free schedule”.

Mr Rajoy’s Popular Party won the most seats in recent elections but fell short of a majority, leaving Spain in political limbo.

Mr Rajoy and Mr Puigdemont are at odds over the future of Catalonia, with the prime minster pledging to fight for national unity and the Catalan leader wanting to secede within 18 months.

‘Not serious’

The radio presenter intervened soon after Mr Rajoy told the impersonator he would call back on Monday “and we could meet 24 or 48 hours after”.

Learning he had been hoaxed, a disappointed-sounding Mr Rajoy said “this is not very serious”. The pair thanked him for taking the joke well.

The Spanish leader is not the only high-profile figure to fall for a prank phone call.

In 1998, the then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair took a call from an impressionist pretending to be opposition leader William Hague.

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2004 was enraged by a call from a Miami DJ pretending to be the then Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

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