Politics

Political rivals with a twist – they’re twins

The González brothers may look identical, but they hold views that sit on very different sides of the political spectrum

Nabor González Fariñas (l) and his brother Adrián.
Nabor González Fariñas (l) and his brother Adrián.OSCAR CORRAL

Nabor González Fariñas is Adrián’s older brother and twin. Aged 20, even though they are almost identical, they have few things in common – other than the drive to compete for university honors, a love of music (one plays guitar and the other the bagpipes) and a lack of sporting ability, particularly in soccer. Many more things divide the twins, namely politics, to which they dedicate almost all their free time. In this area they are rivals. Adrián has been the secretary of the Popular Party's youth organization in Ourense since June, while Nabor was named, only two months ago, as the leader of the youth branch of the Spanish Socialist Party in Galicia (PSOE).

Both share a university flat in Santiago, where Nabor studies political science and Adrián economics. Two years ago, they shocked their liberal-voting parents when their political streak came out. “They’re not worried that we are rivals, but rather that we’ll leave our studies and dedicate our lives to politics,”  Nabor explains.

The hard part is managing and governing during a crisis Adrián González Fariñas

Nabor, who claims he is “clearly the more responsible of the two,” says that while he is excited about his new position in the political party, his goal is to work in a consultancy agency. “Right now I am committed to the two electoral campaigns that are approaching, next year’s municipal elections and later the regional elections; in order to change the political situation, because migration, for example, still continues to be a problem for young people,” he says.

Adrián, of course, disagrees with his brother. He admires Nabor for his hard work, but insists “I am the more organized and meticulous one, especially at home. Politics is a subject we don’t agree on, but we are used to it now. I tell Nabor that it is very difficult to spend so much time without being in government and that’s why there is a certain degree of resentment when he defends his position. The hard part is governing and staying in power during a crisis like the one we went through and I believe it is possible to renew the PP government in Galicia,” he says.

Despite their opposing views, the twins’ situation does not come close to that of the brothers José Manuel and Luis Cendán Fernandéz, who governed together for eight years for the PP in the Galician municipality of Ares. José Manuel was the mayor with an absolute majority and his brother was part of the local government’s executive branch. But the partnership ended badly when the two decided to compete to be mayor at the municipal elections in May 2007. The heated electoral campaign destroyed the relationship between the pair.

We will not change our ideologies because every day our convictions grow stronger Nabor González Fariñas

In the case of Nabor and Adrián, politics is unlikely to have a long-term role in their lives, since they both see it as just a hobby. “We are not going to change our ideology because every day our convictions grow stronger and therefore more confrontational, but I envision a life of other battles that aren’t to do with politics,” says the leader of the Young Socialists.

“I don’t consider politics to be a profession, but rather a dedication with an expiration date. The professional politician is in crisis because there is great dissatisfaction from the people, who have endured economic difficulties in the face of corruption that has discredited the political elite, and that’s why we need change and new projects,” Adrián says. Neither of the two have considered the benefits of being identical twins. They laugh thinking of how useful it would be for ousted Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont to have a twin. But neither would ever pretend to be the other in a situation like Puigdemont, who has fled to Brussels to escape Spanish justice. “It would be bizarre and surreal,” Adrián says. “I wouldn’t want to be an accomplice to a fugitive,” explains Nabor.

English version by Laura Rodríguez.

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