Thursday, December 22, 2005

The government has announced Telefonica’s fixed charges will rise by only 2% next year. For this relief much thanks. They’ve only grown 46% since I signed up in 2000, when the market was ‘liberalised’. This is what competition means in Continental Europe, it seems.

No great surprise to read that Galicia leads Spain in the percentage of road accidents attributed to excess speed. I suspect the fatal combination is speed, bends and wet surfaces but I guess the accuracy of my observation makes little difference to those who end up dead. Or, worse, bereaved.

As regular readers will have appreciated, there’s no shortage of surveys in Spain. And one of the consequences of the regionalism/localism I often talk about is an obsession with ranking oneself against everyone else, even to the point of absurdity. So, in one if today’s headlines, we read that ‘Galicia is the 7th worst region in Spain as regards loss of students from public universities’. There’s a steady stream of this sort of stuff but I suppose it’s inevitable when there are 4 or 5 local papers which bring out issues every single day of the year.

Just in case you were still wondering, the general view in Spain is that what she got from the EU budget fight was better than anything previously forecasted or expected. The opposition, on the other hand, is still trying to convince us the outcome was ‘worse for Spain than the battle of Trafalgar or the Cuban War with the USA.’ The former saw the destruction of the entire Spanish fleet and the latter the loss of Spain’s last colony. Frankly, I think they’re urinating against the wind.

Some of you might be confused by the last paragraph, in view of Spain’s continued possession of Ceuta and Melilla in Africa. This would be because you don’t appreciate that these are not colonies but enclaves. Unlike Gibraltar, of course.

In a market today, I saw jackets on sale celebrating the achievements of young Fernando Alonso, the Formula 1 World Champion. It came as a surprise to me but it seems he drives for that well-known French company, Renaull.

Today was the day of Spain’s big Christmas lottery – El Gordo, The Fat One - when vast amounts of money are distributed. The numbers are drawn in an elaborate, morning-long ceremony which involves the chanting of the number by young choristers. When I first saw this, I was quite charmed. Now I wish I had a machine gun handy. Could this be age?

1 comment:

Portorosa said...

You know, more or less, what I think about this, but yet I think your comparison between Gibraltar and Ceuta and Melilla is unfair, Colin.
Geography goes for you, but not History. You can disagree about what you want to, but why do you insist (although in an ironic way) on saying both situations are the same?