Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Two major political events in two days…

Firstly, a parliamentary commission yesterday approved the draft of Catalunia’s new constitution, in the preamble of which the region is referred to as a nation. A taste of things to come was the [rejected] demand that Spain’s co-official languages of Catalan, Basque and Galician be given this status not only in the relevant regions but throughout the whole of Spain.

Even more momentous [and a lot more positive] was today’s announcement by ETA of a permanent truce. In the past few weeks there's been a blizzard of accusations and denials about members of both the current and previous administration meeting with the Basque terrorist group. It will be interesting to see if tunes are now quickly changed to ensure credit is seized. My own take on this development is that it was inevitable after France finally decided to assist Spain in the fight against ETA, most specifically by extraditing members from France and denying them safe havens there. Quite why France had to wait until after the Twin Towers massacre before deciding to assist a fellow EU partner is anyone’s guess. If I were Spanish, it wouldn’t endear them to me.

I received in the mail today a questionnaire from a marketing company, asking me dozens of questions about my lifestyle. Do I have a burglar alarm, for example. And whether my income is below, above or much above the Spanish average. Astonishingly, they also ask for my full name and address and even my phone and email details, though they don’t actually demand my identification/tax number. You’d have to be mad to fill in the 3 pages but I guess enough people must be influenced by the accompanying gift of a cheap pen and the ‘chance to win a camera’ to make it all worthwhile. What a world.

No comments: