Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Traffic deaths over the holiday weekend were well down on last year and ever further down on those the last time this particular holiday was over a weekend. Hard to argue against the general impact of the tougher traffic laws, even if they are being used in some places as revenue generators.

The other bit of good news is the arrest of the latest ETA leader in France, only a couple of weeks after that of the previous one. This, I believe, is the fruit of the sort of cross-border cooperation that should have been taking place for 40 years but only really began after 9-11, when the French suddenly found it harder to justify their laissez-faire attitude.

Then there was the odd bit of news that the national rail operator, Renfe, has announced more cheap tickets on the Madrid-Barcelona route provided you buy online and use only Microsoft’s Explorer to do so. I’m guessing this is more convenient for Renfe and that customer preferences can go hang. It reminds me of the time you could only buy on line by first taking your ID to a station and when the CEO of the company said he didn’t care that other service providers didn’t impose such ridiculous conditions.

Justice may well be snail-like here but, first, it has to be preceded by equally slow credit- collection measures. It will come as no surprise that I’m in dispute with Ya.com over bills for the period after my ADSL went down. “Just pay our bill and call us on this [premium] number and we will refund it if it’s wrong”, they say. But I am holding out against the second of two dubious bills. The first one I paid on 24 November so I was rather surprised to receive a letter on Friday – ten days later - asking me to cough up. Or, rather, I wasn’t surprised. I guess it will be a pointless court summons next.

Talking of dilatoriness and news items . . . “Almost two thirds of the beach establishments along the Costa del Sol will be denied licenses when they come up for renewal next year, the regional government has warned. The Andalucian coastal authority has announced plans to enforce a 1988 law designed to prevent construction within 100 metres of the waterline.” Better late than never, I suppose. Perhaps they’ve run out of concrete.

Nearer home, the Galician government is rather concerned that the pampas grass imported to adorn the edges of the region’s spinal autopista is now colonising the coastal fringe. Not to mention my garden since I borrowed a couple of plants from the forest. And they do get big. I might just take them back.

Finally . . . I saw an ad recently for a place near Benidorm called The Villaitana Wellness, Golf and Business Sun Resort. Which just about covers all the bases, I guess. Maybe it’s even been built. Possibly legally.

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