If you’ve missed pictures of the head of the Pakistani suicide bomber, click onto the web page any Spanish newspaper and enter cabeza in the search box. Shouldn’t take too long.
Which reminds me . . . Recently there’s been a spate of hits to my blog using search terms such as:-
arab blood in Spain
are the Spanish white
hola comes from Allah
Spaniards are part Arab
Actually, my suspicion is these originate with ultra right-wing Spaniards who can think of nothing better to do than sit at their computer all day looking for evidence of liberal thinking on, say, immigration so they can then send a stream of bile to the blogger. Anyway, the most intriguing search of the week was:- The burning of red knickers in spain on new years eve. Can anyone shed any light on women shedding scarlet panties?
To be more serious - The end-of-the-year financial overviews are dominated by tales of liquidity problems in the debt-burdened construction industry. Some developers are even said to be selling at cost, simply to get hold of the cash banks aren’t able/willing to lend. The National Association of Estate Agents has demanded the government helps by simplifying the task of buying and selling land. Strange this never surfaced during the decade of what are called fat-cow years here.
I see it’s not only in Spain that the government dictates the dates on which shops can hold sales; the same holds true of France and Italy as well. This is in addition to telling them what dates and at what hours they can open during the year. I have to admit to a degree of ambivalence about all this. I’m a supporter of capitalism but I detest its inevitable progression towards unbridled commercialism. And I quite like the fact Sundays here are how they used to be when I was a kid in the UK. But the Anglo in me rebels at the thought of civil servants telling shop keepers not just when but how they can actually sell their products.
The new high-speed train link between Madrid and Valladolid opened this week. And immediately ran into operating problems. The same happened, of course, with Madrid’s magnificent new airport terminal. Bigtime in that case. I wonder if this is because large projects such as these never come in on time and political pressure builds up for them to be inaugurated before they’ve been fully commissioned. If so, stand by for some huge cock-ups with the much-delayed Madrid-Barcelona link. On top of those which have already happened in the last few weeks, I mean.
For those who think I write a contentious blog simply to maximise traffic which generates advertising income, I should advise I’ve made 96 dollars in 8 months. Or around 60 euros, I think. Just enough for an end-of-year outing.
Finally, my best wishes for 2008 to everyone. And my apologies if a malfunctioning keyboard has led to even more typos than usual. I leave you with the rhetorical question – How come there are mouse droppings in the detergent drawer of my washing machine . . . .?