It turns out that, when the Moroccan king decided last year to punish Spain for its expulsion of Moroccan soldiers from a disputed island off the North Africa coast, another EU country stepped immediately [but secretly] into the commercial breech. This week, we learn that the same EU country is standing by to take over the business lost if the Saudi government fulfils its threat to penalise the UK for pursuing the question of local bribes. And who might this EU ‘partner’ be? Well, it begins with ‘F’. And it’s the country which bleats loudest about the need for a ‘Community attitude’ when other members threaten its interests.
Something else which won’t have surprised many to hear was the report that the volume of spam had risen even higher into the stratosphere. Allegedly, one day last week it comprised 91% of all email traffic in the USA. Spain, it turns out, is rising in the ranks of the countries distributing spam, essentially because people here don’t prevent their computers being used as ‘zombies’. As a result, Telefonica has become the world’s biggest ‘provider’ of spam. Yet another reason to love them.
Which reminds me, Telefonica may not be willing to give you a line if you live in the Spanish countryside but they are interested in buying a Hong Kong company so they can supply Chinese peasants.
Tonight I had my umbrella lifted from the rack in my regular café-bar. This is the second time in 12 months but I found my Spanish friends at dinner less than sympathetic. Amid stifled laughter at my naivety, they told me stealing umbrellas – or at least swapping yours for a better one – was a local sport. Less than impressed at this latest example of Spanish civic irresponsibility, I quoted a piece of doggerel I’d learned years ago:-
The rain it falls upon the just
And also on the unjust fella
But mainly on the just because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.
They said they hoped this made me feel better.