Sunday, November 30, 2003

I fancy I have read somewhere that the Spanish are the most anti-American people in Europe. Perhaps in John Hooper’s excellent book, ‘The New Spaniards’.

I am reminded of this by some statistics quoted in this week’s papers. In a recent poll, 57% of Spaniards confessed themselves to be worried about the consequences of American unilateralism. This was significantly higher than even the Germans and the French. And more than double the percentage in the UK.

I can’t say that I understand this, not having seen any evidence of this attitude since I came here 3 years ago. Perhaps it goes back to the Franco era. Or even further, to the war between Spain and the USA at the start of the 20th century and the subsequent loss of Spain’s last colony, the Philippines. Or to fears [or resentment] about the USA’s alleged economic imperialism. I have heard each of these mentioned, albeit all by the same single individual, who might not be totally representative. As they say, a sample of one is always useless.

On a happier note, I am impressed that the Spanish national press contains articles on the current depressing events in Northern Ireland [are there any other?]. It strikes me that the UK press does not accord Spain the same honour of reporting on tensions between the central government and both the Basque and Catalunian autonomous communities.

Finally – a possible sighting of another gerund…. ‘stepping’. This is the aerobics exercise, of course. But I have a suspicion it is more of a French than a Spanish usage. Vamos a ver

No comments: