Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Minister for road traffic safety says there’ll soon be tougher measures against motorists who persistently offend. Well, let’s hope so. It’s a constant puzzle to me that the law here seems incapable of [or averse to] dealing with these. The latest case is of a drunk who terrified people in Pontevedra’s pedestrianised area this week. He’d previously had his licence withdrawn four times for driving above the limit but was still behind the wheel. Sort of.

Prospects for the peace process aimed at ending the ETA terrorist threat continue to deteriorate. The latest news from the latter is they’re stepping up their struggle against the French state. On top of this, they’ve made new demands of the Spanish government, including the cessation of arrests. These hardly sound like the death rumblings of a defeated organisation. So, all in all, it’s hard to be optimistic.

I was interested to read these comments in a UK paper – “Britain is getting both noisier and increasingly angry about noise. Last year, complaints about noisy neighbours rose by more than a third: the commonest were about loud music, relentlessly barking dogs, and people who habitually bang doors and undertake DIY at unsociable hours. . . In the past, Britons tended to value privacy above all else: an Englishman's home was his castle and, beyond the metaphorical moat of the front doorstep, he didn't wish the neighbours to know his business. But the national character has become more extroverted and the importance of privacy has been persistently downgraded. Many people don't care much who overhears their private conversations.” If any of the folk affected by this new plague are thinking of emigrating, my advice would be to cross Spain off their list. This is a great place to live but the Spanish are born shouting and they don’t let up. As for the dogs . . .

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