Friday, December 17, 2004

A leader of one of the Catalunian ‘nationalist’ parties this week urged fellow Catalunians not to support Madrid’s candidacy for the 2012 Olympic Games. Apart from whatever else it was, this was a masterpiece of poor timing. In the run-up to Christmas, the immediate reaction from the rest of Spain was a boycott of the Spanish version of champagne, cava, which is only brewed in the north east. Under pressure from the producers, a humiliating retraction was hastily arranged, leaving most of Spain in one great smirk.

Good to see that common sense continues to prevail in the tripartite discussions over Gibraltar, with the colony being given a right of veto over any proposed developments. Despite this being a reflection of reality, the President of the PP [Conservative] party has reacted with apoplexy to what he seems to consider an act of treason. No wonder nil progress was under the last government, despite the British Foreign Office’s long-standing desperation to get shut of the place.

Such is the prevalence of nepotism and cronyism in Spain, anyone who gets a job is normally assumed to have been enchufado, or plugged-in. If enchufes [plugs] could be sold on the open market, their value would be enormous. So the resignation of David Blunkett for helping his lover’s nanny get a quick visa leaves most Spaniards utterly dumbfounded. Doing favours for your family and close friends is the essence of responsibility in Spain, whatever job you are in. Funny people these Anglo-Saxons.

A court in Valencia this week ordered a wife and her lover to pay €100,000 to the ex-husband who had not, it turned out, fathered 3 of her 4 children. Payment covered reimbursement of his expenditure and compensation for both damage to his morale and psychological consequences. Plus, naturally, damage to his honour. The judge criticised the couple for being negligent in conceiving the kids in the first place and then deceitful for not owning up to their real paternity. I have never heard of a case like this under UK family law and am left wondering whether, as in car crashes for example, it’s possible to plead ‘contributory negligence’ on the part of the cuckolded husband. Nice prospect, though.

No comments: