Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Irish language has been given full official status in the EU, which has naturally led to Welsh demands for equal treatment of their own tongue. In contrast, Catalan, Valencian, Basque and Galician have been accorded lower status as they’re regarded as official languages only in parts of Spain and not throughout the country. This, however, is not a form of logic which can be counted on to appeal to the respective ‘nationalists’ of each of these regions.

President Zapatero was this weekend congratulated by the UK Minister for Europe [the ineffable Geoff Hoon] for having the courage to change Spanish policy around Gibraltar. I imagine this accolade was the last thing Mr Z wanted appearing in the media at a time of trench warfare with the opposition party around how to deal with ETA terrorists.

It was 35 degrees or more in Pontevedra again today and there were lean pickings for the stall holders and the bar owners down at the Sunday flea market. The Galicians dislike these temperatures as much as the British and were either all on the beach or indoors. At times like this I spare a thought for all those Brits who’ve bought property up in the mountains near Ourense, in complete disregard of the warning on my Galicia web site that temperatures up there can be 10 degrees higher. But the feeling soon passes.

If you’d bought El Mundo today, it would have cost you 1.80 euros. But taking all the add-ons would have set you back another 19.90 – 8.95 for a Disney DVD; 2.00 for the comic section; 1.00 for an ‘English magazine’; and 7.95 for something to do with ‘Los Lunnis’. But at least the news and the entertainment are sold separately. In many British papers they are one and the same thing.

No comments: