At times, the Spanish President, Mr Zapatero, can come across as an unhappy combination of Tony Blair and John Prescott. Yesterday – while his Foreign Affairs Minister was toeing the EU line that Hezbollah were responsible for sparking the current Middle East conflagration – Mr Z was filmed wearing a Palestinian scarf and accusing the Israelis of a disproportionate response. He may or may not be right but his partisan stance was hardly that to be expected of the leading politician of an EU member state.
Given the regular reports of raftfulls of illegal immigrants arriving in the Canary Islands, I suppose it was to be expected the issue of immigration would now be knocking on the door of first place in the list of things that concern the Spanish public. Unemployment remains the prime concern but possibly not for much longer.
Well, 7 weeks after requesting it, I’ve now had broadband for 2 weeks. Against that, I’ve been paying for it for 3 weeks; I can only get it in my garage; I can’t make or receive phone calls when it’s connected; I regularly lose the line; and when I do have it, the download speed seems only fractionally faster than my old DUP connection. Apart from all this, things are hunky-dory. . . It is, of course, quite frustrating but, if I were in business and dependent on the line, I would be tearing my hair out. Hopefully my imminent Skype connection will be something of a compensation for all this hassle. And Google Earth is a real boon.
Car insurance here costs 38% more than in Aragón, the cheapest region of Spain. And in Pontevedra it’s double that of Teruel. But the good news is that, against the Spanish average, it’s only 19% more. Contributory factors, as ever, are said to be more rain, higher population density and inferior roads. Nothing to do with bad driving. Or young people driving powerful cars they couldn’t possibly afford if they didn’t live at home, paying nothing towards their keep.