Friday, December 05, 2008

According to UK report, it’s the over 60s who are hardest hit by the spread of by speed cameras. It’s certainly true around here but, more generally, one wonders why this might be.

The Madrid city government has decided to crack down on night clubs in the city, many of which have been operating for years without the appropriate licences. Of course, they didn’t just get up one fine morning and decide to do this. It follows a major scandal a week or two ago, when 3 or 4 bouncers from one of these places beat a young man to death. Needs must.

Nearer home, closure is being visited on the pharmacy down the hill, despite local protests against the development. I don’t know why this is happening. Perhaps the owners have offended one of Spain’s medieval guilds – that of the well-paid, cartelised pharmacists. Anyway, one beneficial side effect would be that idiots will stop parking on the zebra crossing outside the place but, on balance, I’d be happier for the pharmacy to stay open. But customer need and satisfaction are not the criteria here.

Universities are the theme of the week and here’s an informative article for those interested in the subject. The author says he’s attended 7 universities, which must surely be some sort of record. It’s very true that it’s common for Spanish students returning from abroad to say Spanish universities are superior. Which doesn’t, however, seem to be a universal view.

And still on this theme – One of the things that shocked me when I came to Spain was the widely-held view that 'hard' teachers who fail lots of their pupils must be good at their job. I assumed this applied more to Galicia than elsewhere. But this week the front page of the educational supplement of El Mundo carries the headline “Tough professors are a real burden on the universities – Those who fail more than 90% [sic] of their students slow down their entry into the job market and cause frustration and course abandonment.”

We now learn that that the civil servants who were supposed to be monitoring the guy released from prison who killed his girlfriend and stabbed his neighbours had switched off their console because the noise of the alarms annoyed them. Will heads roll? I have my doubts.

Finally, or those with a keen sense of humour and a burning interest in how the EU operates, this is an absolute must.


Midnight Golfer said...

I've been getting myself really riled up about Spanish crime and punishment. It seems like there's no consistency, except the universal (not just Spain) law that if someone has ever been mentioned on one of the gossip shows they get better treatment in the system than 'normal' people.
People who have been found guilty of committing actual crimes get weekend passes, and then they can go on TV, and get PAID* for it!
They'll put away a mom who disciplines her son (face slap) for a month and a half, and yet won't even track the guy who actually has a GPS on his leg, and drunks who kill people with their cars often don't even get any real punishment at all. (Unless the victim's family manages to get it on a gossip show.)

(*Makes you wonder if Julián Muñoz had blackmail pictures of a Telecinco executive [or Berlusconi himself] with a transvetite.)

Sierra said...

Ref: Pharmicists

The passing of an era locally - illegible hand-written prescriptions - Sergas has been computerised.

Colin said...

Yes, all very dispiriting-