When asked what aspect of life worried them most at the end of 2005, 49% of the great Spanish public answered Unemployment. Second came Immigration, with 29%, followed by ETA terrorism. Only 3% felt very concerned by increasing regionalism/ nationalism and a mere 2% plumped for the revision of the constitutional arrangements between Madrid and all the regions. Which all rather puts us fevered scribes in our place, doesn’t it.
The major Spanish papers can sometimes seem a bit heavy but, in truth, it’s a pleasure lost to UK readers to pick up a serious paper whose front page isn’t dedicated to bloody whales or to pathetic politicians who’ve either just been kicked off Celebrity Big Brother or who are vainly trying to explain their sexual life to a bemused public. If Spain ever gets a tabloid press, I’ll have to move on. ‘Thoughts from Kurdistan’ should at least allow me to brush up my Persian.
Tomorrow, Galicia will see its 11th ‘national’ fox hunting championship. No horses - just men, dogs and more guns than you’d see in the UK in a century. I rather doubt there’ll be any protesters. But, if there are, I won’t be surprised to read of a hunting accident or two in Monday’s papers.
Only in Spain?
The government of Catalunia has issued a 2006 calendar which not only refers to the anniversary of a brothel but also contains ads for its wide range of services, including ‘shows eróticos’. But at least it doesn’t, like all our local papers, features dozens of pictures of transvestites who’d be at home in the UK’s Lib Dem party.