The government’s senior VP – the ubiquitous María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz – was photographed in a Muslim part of Nigeria this week, next to a local entrepreneur and his three wives. When acquainted of this fact, she bizarrely pronounced herself horrified this had been allowed to happen. Not the multiple marriages, of course, but the taking of a photograph which she presumably felt would be interpreted as her personal endorsement of polygamy. One wonders what sort of message this sends out to Spain’s millions of Muslims. Perhaps MTFdLVS should stay at home until she is more culturally attuned.
Relatedly, one is forced to ask in how many countries a national paper would print a headline about 10 little nigger boys, assuming I am translating negritos correctly. But maybe I’m not, as the term is said to be ‘the name originally given by the Spaniards to the aborigines of the Philippine Islands’.
What I’ve called the PP party’s renovation by attrition continues apace. The latest departure from the senior ranks of the Opposition is a Basque lady who doesn’t like the idea of a softer line towards nationalists there and in Cataluña. And possibly in Galicia too. If she knows where it is. Helpfully, the wife of the last PP president, Sr Aznar, has chucked in her tuppence-worth by telling us she shares this concern. How much more of this can the leader of the party take before throwing in the towel so that his successor can be chosen way ahead of the next election? Or before the party tears itself apart.
If, like some readers, you doubt that British society is as violent as it is now regularly painted, here’s an article you probably don’t want to read. It’s by a youth worker in London and it talks of attitudes there among young women. Very disturbing.
Back in Spain, that old corruption issue keeps coming up. The Prosecutors’ Office is reported to be investigating seven ministers in the Catalan Government, on the grounds they’ve spent a trifling €31 million on specious studies handed out to their friends. Hard to credit. My guess is they’ll go to jail for a few months in about eight years time.
Just in case you read this blog to know how your electricity prices will be moving, here’s the latest news from ABC - The National Energy Commission will decide today on an electricity price rise of between 7 and 11%. This will come into force in July and there will be another larger increase in December. So know you know.
Statistical evidence is to hand today for my contention yesterday that the ‘overhang’ of unsold properties must increase. El Pais reports that the stock may already have grown from 600,000 to 750,000 and that, despite this, “there are still a lot of new developments under construction”. The paper also quotes me – and everyone else with common sense and basic maths – in suggesting “The worst is yet to come”. “Although planning approvals and housing starts are nose-diving”, it says, “the number of new properties coming onto the market is still rising, whilst sales have collapsed”. QED.
Telefónica has announced its Rural ADSL service will end on July 1. Does anyone know whether this is good news or very bad news?
Galicia Facts: Down in Pontevedra’s gem of an old quarter, there has been a series of archaeological digs over the last year or so. Walking past one next to our old theatre yesterday, I was surprised to see someone cleaning a ‘grinning’ skeleton lying right on the surface. This turned out to be from a 9th century cemetery and there are several more, it seems - all lying immediately below the old flagstones. Click here for a photo.
Finally - On 13 May 1665, Samuel Pepys confided to his dairy that he was a bit OCD about his new timepiece - But, Lord! to see how much of my old folly and childishness hangs upon me still that I cannot forbear carrying my watch in my hand in the coach all this afternoon, and seeing what o'clock it is one hundred times. Imagine what idiocy he’d get up to if he were writing his diary today as a blog and had a hit counter . . .
The Anglo Galician Association – open to all who speak English – now has a Forum on the web. If you have a query about Galicia, why not register and post it.