Friday, December 14, 2007

Only in Spain? El Mundo claims the national HQ of the PSOE Socialist party in Madrid has been operating since 1981 without a licence. The PSOE has duly retaliated by saying the same is true of the PP headquarters.

Like reader Bill, I do wonder whether it’s really a coincidence that respective partisan newspapers are full of reports of PP or PSOE corruption in the months before an election. The major flaw in this thinking, though, is best summed up by a Spanish friend, who said, “Well, it this is what’s going on a it’s a waste of time and space; no one here cares how corrupt the politicians are.” A cynic’s cynic, obviously.

I’ve decided to be mature about the speeding fine I got on Monday. I’ve written to the Guardia Civil to commend them for rigorous application of the law and to nominate a place where they can surely apply it with even more vigour. This is the roundabout at ‘my’ end of the bridge into town. If they stood there for a few hours, I imagine they’d net hundreds of drivers using the wrong lane, ignoring the priority rules, chatting on their mobile phones and coming off the roundabout so fast they threaten the lives of the pedestrians on each of the four zebra crossings. Sometimes all at the same time. I’m thinking of people such as the imbecilic motorcyclist who this morning who had to swerve round me to avoid mowing me down. Or the guy last week who only stopped when his bumper was touching my leg. In his case, my instinctive response was to point an umbrella at his head, only to receive a smile which suggested he enjoyed what he took to be an imitation of a bullfighter.

The EU say it’s down to their pressure that Telefónica has now introduced a cheaper broadband option in Spain. Some victory – the quoted price is till 50% more than I pay to Long-time readers may recall what a calvario I had to endure with Telefónica to get this in the first place.

And talking of companies which are not popular in this house, I was thrilled to read that – despite all the upheavals in the international finance markets – Spanish banks have reported profits up 20% on the year to September. So they must be doing something very well. Apart from fleecing their supine customers, I mean.

I felt a twinge of nostalgia when I read that the Spanish driver Pedro Martinez de la Rosa could become McLaren Mercedes’ second driver, alongside Hamilton. A few years back, I used to enrage my half-Spanish stepsons by referring to him as Pedro de la Loser, so bad were his results. I can’t see him threatening Hamilton much. But he may persuade the Spanish sponsors to stay.

1 comment:

El Casareño Ingles said...


From the Official F1 website:

McLaren have confirmed that Heikki Kovalainen is to become Lewis Hamilton’s team mate for the 2008 season. Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa will remain as McLaren’s third driver, while Gary Paffett will assist with the team’s testing programme when required.

I'm sure the Spanish sponsors won't be leaving in their droves, there's been quite enough bad economic news recently, and the PR men won't want to join the expected 400,000 or so extra unemployed from the construction industry as it slows down.