Monday, September 24, 2007

Today sees the launch in Spain of a new national newspaper – Público. The editorial line, we’re told, will not only be left-of-centre but further left than the – admittedly rather centrist - El Pais, which does on occasions criticise the socialist government. For example on the young-persons-rent-assistance proposal which everyone except the responsible Minister believes will simply drive up the cost of flats for all. Anyway, since pretty rabid anti-Americanism is an outstanding feature of Spain as a whole, I wasn’t too surprised to read here of the TV campaign for the new daily. Really rather sad.

I mentioned yesterday that both the French and German governments are notoriously two-faced about international mergers of energy companies. The Spanish government’s approach to this is simply to raise ad hoc but effective obstacles which the EU later condemns as illegal. By which time it’s all too late, of course. This was done with the attempted purchase of Endesa by the German company EON and it’s now being done – see here – with the planned takeover of the same company by a coalition of Italian and Spanish companies. My bet is that the merger will take place in due course, whatever Brussels says. Playing fields are rarely level in Europe.

The Andalucian government has charged three design companies with the challenge of coming up with an 'architectural symbol' that would be synonymous with the Costa del Sol. Apparently there’s no truth in the rumour that the front-runner is a cess pit. As least among people who don’t live there.

I’m not optimistic about my car insurance premiums. To say the least, the trend in Galicia’s mortality statistics for this year is far from encouraging. A senior police officer charged with doing something about this has made the eminently clear statement that “We can’t just resign ourselves to so many deaths on the road.” When asked to point the finger, he added cryptically - “I would say the drivers are the most culpable factor but they are not the only one.” This appears to be a reference to badly maintained cars and roads that aren’t perfectly straight. Not a few Galician drivers give the impression of seeing the latter as their right, since they would, of course, make fast driving, tail-gating and aggressive overtaking perfectly safe.

For those who found yesterday that the Voz de Galicia had changed its headline by the time they got to it, here’s where you really can see the latest car-in-a-hole. The driver fled, presumably up the ladder conveniently placed against the wall. So he’s not yet one of Galicia’s road death statistics, though he clearly has a promising future.

Finally, another reminder about the survey mentioned at the end of the post of last Saturday. Which is either 23.9 or 9.23, depending on whether you live in the USA or in The Rest of The World. We can all be anti-American when we want to be. Arrogant bastards.


Pedro J. said...

Dear Colin,

You didn´t have a lucky day about the names....

The new newspaper is called "Público", El Periodico already exist and it´s a very important newspapaer in Catalonia since 1978.

And The German utilty who wanted to take over Endesa was Eon, AON is a dutch insurrance company.

Colin said...

Blimey, Pedro, I did have a bad morning. Thanks for pointing these out. Though, in defence, I did think [apparently wrongly] that EON was called AON in some countries. So I left it like that.

I have now changed the references.

Thanks again.