Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Motor-cycles deaths have soared in Spain in the last year. So – having first relaxed the requirements for riding these – the government has now understandably decided to go into reverse and to tighten them. However, as there’s an election coming up, the original plans are said to have been watered down a little. Controversy, it seems, is too high a price to pay for saving a few more deaths.

For those young people here who don’t kill themselves on bikes or in cars, the biggest challenge is finding somewhere to rent. The government has recently introduced measures to make this easier and cheaper. There is a lot of scepticism that they will have this effect but, anyway, here’s an admirable government web page giving information on the improved regime, for both lessors and lessees.

And here’s a brilliantly incisive comment on our times from one of Spain’s national dailies yesterday. I’m sure it’s not merely true of Spain - Although it seems odd, our self-esteem can be affected by the defeat of Fernando Alonso but not by the poor level of our education.

A Spanish consumer organisation has protested against Ryanair’s 2008 calendar featuring some of its [female] employees in very little apparel. The organisation is considering legal action against what it sees as an affront to women. Needless to say, this has given Spanish newspapers a perfect excuse to feature this alleged insult on their front pages. Presumably to give us all a chance to make up our minds about it.

Plans are afoot to make Galicia even more exotic by introducing brilliant plants from Australia and New Zealand. These are expected to colonise the region over time and should be a lot more welcome than the bloody ubiquitous eucalyptus tree. Or ‘Tasmanian oak’ as it’s apparently called down in the antipodes. And not as a joke.

Talking of colonists . . . If your Spanish is up to it, here’s an article on the Brits who are buying property up in the hills near Ourense. And here’s something about an Anglo Galician Association in formation. I imagine it includes Americans as Anglos. If you’re interested, write to me at and I will instantly put you in touch with the founder. A man about whom opinions are divided.

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