Monday, October 17, 2005

More strange developments from Catalunia. Within days of securing the local parliament’s approval of the new Constitution to be sent for [non]ratification by the Spanish parliament, the President has ruffled all the feathers in a crowded dovecot by announcing changes to the cabinet which hadn’t even been seen – never mind approved – by his two coalition partners. I guess the earlier success had gone to his head.

The weekend saw Fernando Alonso confirm his pre-eminence in Formula 1 racing. And a young Spaniard also won the world 250cc motor bike championship. Back home on Spanish roads, it was one of the bloodiest of the year, with a total of 41 deaths. Today, the Ministry of Traffic announced a timely new campaign to persuade people to wear safety belts, claiming that a thousand deaths a year could be prevented, if they did. That’s a lot of grief saved.

The forecast for Spain’s economic growth this year has recently been upped to something close to twice the EU average, and 3 times that of France. Little of the resulting profits seems to be seeping into investment in R&D, where Spain is at the bottom of the league table. Another reason to worry about long-term performance.

Meanwhile, in sharp contrast to the UK where High Street banks seem to have disappeared, the major banks here are falling over themselves to open new branches. Each of the top 3 has added around 200 so far this year. Can they really all be as inefficient as mine? I fear so.

Quote of the Day

In addition to being Europe’s smallest state, the Vatican also boasts the highest proportion of [celibate] homosexuals per square foot.

Damian Thompson, editor of the Catholic Herald newspaper, in an article entitled ‘Is the Pope a homophobe?’

For new readers – If you’ve arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, you might find my non-commercial guides interesting – at colindavies.net

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