After noting yesterday the use of prescription drugs was higher in Galicia than nearly everywhere else in Spain, I then read the top 3 places for ‘risk to health from alcohol’ were our provinces of Ourense [20%], Lugo [19%] and Pontevedra [18%]. At the bottom of the list were Almeria, Segovia and Las Palmas, at 5, 5 and 3% respectively. No wonder our car insurance premiums are higher than elsewhere. But the question left on every Gallego’s lips must be - Why is the province of La Coruña letting the side down and preventing a clean sweep of the awards?
El Pais poses a daily question for its readers to debate. The one addressed yesterday was ‘Has Spain lost the custom of saying Please and Thank-you?’ I found this confusing as I’m often [politely] laughed at for my [Ancient] British habit of saying these on every conceivable occasion. I’d rather assumed it had never been a feature of Spanish culture. Anyway, 100% of correspondents naturally bemoaned what they saw as a deterioration in manners. As for me, I’ve given up holding doors open for people simply because there’s hardly ever a thank-you. Which is a double shame.
When the first FA Cup Final was played at Wembley, the 100,000 crowd was controlled by a single policeman on a white horse. Last Saturday, there were “hundreds of CCTV cameras” and “thousands of policemen’ inside and outside the ground. And tomorrow there’ll be 8,000 police on duty in Athens for the European Cup. What a commentary on modern society. And how sad no one seems to entertain the thought this is merely a temporary state of affairs, from which we will eventually recover.
Talking of commentaries, Spanish reports of the devastatingly poor match at the new Wembley were impressively diplomatic, not to say downright kind. El Pais majored on the new ground rather than on the match, which it described as emocional. My dictionary defines this as merely ‘emotional’ but I suspect it’s one of those Spanish words which can cover a multitude of sins.
Our local election is hotting up. Someone has put a flier in my mailbox showing a photo of a local gypsy home featuring, amongst other things, a plasma TV. The accompanying text says the mayor does nothing about the illegal gypsy shacks because the votes of their non-tax-paying occupants keep him in power. If so, this must be one of those rare cases in politics in which a lack of payment is linked to tenure of office.