Monday, July 30, 2007

Arrests of senior ETA members are taking place on a weekly basis at the moment. This suggests the government, as well as the terrorist organisation, was making sensible contingency plans during the failed ceasefire negotiations. Most encouraging are those made in France but I can never read about these without wondering why it took so long for a fellow-EU member to start helping in the fight. Anyway, the optimists believe ETA is now so weak it’s on its very last legs. Unlikely, but let’s hope so.

In its manifesto for the May elections which brought it to power, the Scottish Nationalist Party assured voters that "Independence means the Scottish Parliament having full control over Scottish affairs." Nice words, of course, but the sobering truth is that 84% of Scottish laws come neither from Edinburgh nor London, but from Brussels. Some control. Sooner or later someone is going to ask what is the point of having national parliaments in EU states. Especially in a multi-nation state such as Spain, where there are strong regional governments. Not to mention provincial and urban administrations below these in many cases. I guess this is why Nationalist parties are even more in favour of the EU than everyone else here. They’d prefer the Brussels yoke to that of the Castilian imperialists in Madrid. Sleepwalking to death, perhaps.

50% of road mortalities in Galicia are caused, we’re told, by a combination of speed and distraction arising from use of a satnav or phone. Well, there’s a surprise. I’m sure the news will have a telling effect on the dozens on people I see driving every day with a phone in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. Sometimes.

Finally – For anyone with an interest in Spain and the Spanish, there’s a new book which is a must-read. It’s called In the Garlic and it’s published by Santana. It is exactly what it says on the cover – “An informative, fun guide to Spain”, written by two ladies who between have over 50 years of residence here. I’d be willing to bet even Spaniards would find something revealing about themselves in it. Resisting the temptation to quote a few gems, I’ll just recommend you pop along to Amazon and order it. And, if you have scales on your eyes, prepare to shed them now.

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