Depressing statistics on Spain’s economy are now tumbling so fast from the ether, it’s time to stop citing any of them. It’s rather like dancing on a tomb. The worst thing is that everyone – even the Pollyanna government which recklessly [and successfully] chucked bribes at the electorate only three months ago – now agrees that 2009 will be even worse. The other thing everyone except the same government agrees on is that it’s making a very poor fist of dealing with the crisis it now owns up to. So, we wait and hope. And around 20% of us may well be praying to a Catholic god.
As for the Opposition . . . Well, its leader – Sr Rajoy – now goes under the name Lazarus. Having been written off after his second electoral defeat as a weak and charisma-less dupe of ex President Aznar, he has now confounded his critics and been re-elected as the man to take the PP into the next general election in 2012. Perhaps. The shenanigans of the party – involving competing regional ‘barons’ and the disaffected Presidenta of the Madrid community – are much too complex for me to get a handle on. Even if I wanted to. But I suspect the fat lady has yet to sing in this opera. There will be regional elections here in Galicia next year – Rajoy’s own birthplace – and, if he doesn’t lead a triumphant PP back to power, the knives will surely be unsheathed again. No wonder he’s talking about coalitions with the small nationalist parties around this Nation of Nations. Better crank up my Gallego lessons.
As I gaze across the hills above Pontevedra, I can now count at least 30 gigantic wind turbines strutting across the horizon. I am decidedly against these things on aesthetic rounds and dubious about both the claims made for them and the way they’re financed by politicians in search of Green credentials. Even the incorrupt ones. So you’d expect me to cite quotations like this - I’ve spoken before of "the great wind scam" and how its only beneficiaries are the developers, who now make nearly twice as much money from the derisory amount of electricity their turbines produce as the companies that provide 99 per cent of the UK’s power by conventional means. I guess the truth will be out one day. And I accept it may not justify my suspicions.
I can’t recall the name of the President of Czechoslovakia and I have to Czech the spelling of his country’s name as I type it but he may become very popular in this house. In an interview here yesterday he was quoted as saying, inter alia:-
- To ignore the Irish No vote would be a disaster for the EU
- Europeanism is like Esperanto – an artificial language
- Radical ecologism is a danger to both liberty and prosperity.
I fear for the safety of a man of such uncommon common sense in Brussels. Here in Spain, I think we were expected to regard these highlighted comments of his as the spoutings of a madman. Which at least 99% of readers probably did. There’s still a lot of Faith around in this country.
In October last year, I posted my list of Spain’s Positives and promised I’d follow up with Spain’s Negatives very soon. But, for some reason or other, I didn’t. Possibly my innate concern not to upset anyone . . . Anyway, I now undertake to do this tomorrow. Or possibly the next day. So, don’t forget to tune in for them. Meanwhile, you can see or reprise the positives here in the archive. Though you’ll have to scroll down to the 16th.
Until tomorrow, I’ll leave you with just the one negative of the parents of a four-year-old who let her activate her squeaky dog toy during the entire first half of last night’s match between Germany and unlucky Turkey in the bar I watched it in. What is it about the Spanish and noise? And kids. But at least the place was no-smoking. Itself a minor miracle. And, of course, a huge positive.