How desperate must you be to raise the spectres of civil war or a military coup-d'etat in spain. Or, as the besieged VP of the PP Party put it this week: “If serious politics disappears, we'll have populism or the generals.” As opposed to democracy, I suppose. In which politicians are truly accountable to the electorate. And resign now and again.
The PP party has also proposed a Pacto de Estado (all-party agreement), “For the recovery and recuperation of politics as a guarantee of economic stability.” Herein lies the opportunism and the deceit. Everything is to be sacrificed – including integrity – to the holy grail of economic stability. The standard line of all dictators. Hitler, for example.
First Nerja observation: Is there any nation on earth worse dressed than the British?
There's only one thing absolutely certain about the EU meat scandal/crisis – the price of beef will rise, on one pretext or another. 'More border testing' is the obvious one, should the EU abandon its previous stance that this was discriminatory. Rumanian beef!? You must be joking!!
Conversation with my GP on Monday:-
I need one of my medications. It's run out.
That's not possible. It can't have.
Well it has. Several days ago.
Hmm. [Tap, tap, tap on the computer]. Here you are. [Gives me a schedule of medications, which I have yet to understand]
Is that it?
As you can probably tell, doctors are still close to God in Spain. You're not supposed to argue with or contradict them. I'd hate to think what would happen if you said you'd been researching your condition or medication on the internet.
Still on the health kick . . . I confirmed today that the Spanish national health service isn't, well, national. It's that old British anathema – a 'post code lottery'. When I gave the pharmacist my card, she looked at it in semi-disgust and asked me what I was. I said it was a Galician card.
“I can't take that”
Surely it's a national system. Isn't it on your computer?
No. You'll have to go to the Health Centre and get a doctor to give you a prescription.
I can't be bothered. How much is it to buy?
OK. Give me [the 'Prescription Only' item]
This, of course, is all in line with Spain's traditional priorities, in ascending order of importance – village, town, comarca, province, region, nation. I used to think corruption was an exception, in that it didn't operate at a national level. But I appear to have been wrong on this score. Though we await confirmation.
Although bullfighting is a a minority sport/ theatrical event in Spain, the Spanish parliament has initiated a process which will probably see it being sanctified as a Cultural Good. The objective is to stop other regions copying the example of Cataluña in banning it.
Toledo: Chapter 2
- Has an ex-synagogue – now an ex-church – dedicated to Santa María La Blanca. Or 'Holy Mary the White'. I suspect this is a reference to virginity, rather than anything racial.
- And it also has an ex-mosque-ex-church dedicated to Santo Cristo, as I recall. Or 'The Holy Christ'.
- Boasts several museums. The inevitable one being the Museum of Products of Castilla La Mancha. The most unusual is the Museum of Olive Oil. Though there's probably a Museum of Deadly Toledo Steel somewhere.
Finally . . . The Good News is that international voices are beginning to endorse the Draghi view that, as a result of stellar growth of exports, Spain will one day soon be 'the new Germany'. Let's hope so. Earnestly. If so, maybe all the deserts of empty flats I passed on the south west of Madrid could well be populated one day.