I mentioned a while ago I wasn’t convinced that, with the Spanish economy in free-fall, President Zapatero would continue to get away with his masterly inactivity and his Gordon Brown-like claim that everything was all the fault of the Americans. Who used to be nasty people when George Bush was in charge of them but who are lovely folk now that Barrack Obama is at the helm. Except for the bankers, of course. Well, needless to say, he now has an 8% lead over the opposition PP party. However, in this he might just have been helped by an internecine struggle for power taking place in the latter. And by the fact that the biggest circulation right-of-centre party newspaper – and the Catholic Church’s radio channel – are relentlessly fierce critics of the party’s leader.
With regional elections coming up in both the Basque Country and Galicia in March, PP bigwigs in both regions are reported to be pulling their hair out at the price that’s being paid for this internal dance-of-death. And it’s widely expected here that, despite rocketing unemployment, etc., etc., the socialist PSOE party will end up with a higher percentage of the vote than four years ago. However, it’s not expected to achieve an absolute majority and so we’ll have another four years of a coalition of them and the BNG nationalist party. So, the only interesting question left open is whether the latter will keep its hands on certain key ministries despite its electoral support reducing for the 3rd or 4th election in succession. With all that implies.
My impression is that, down in Andalucia, David Jackson is a tad sceptical about the investigations announced at national and regional level into over-billing by all the country’s electricity suppliers this month. Reader Trevor suggests blind eyes have been turned to these abuses in compensation for a government refusal to allow unit prices increases at the level demanded by the companies. And who’s to say he’s wrong. But, if David is right that there’ve been estimates 200% above what they should have been, then I appear to have got off lightly with a mere 56%.
One takes for granted that the winter fashion for Pontevedra’s women will include denim jeans in some form or other. And so it is this year - the required combination being skinny jeans tucked into boots with a flat heel. A quick survey this lunchtime, suggests that somewhere between 80 and 90% of women below 40 here are now wearing this uniform. So ubiquitous is it that I felt like rushing up to the few women still in boots with stiletto heels to tell them that, although they looked a lot sexier, they were risking opprobrium and banishment from the city. Especially because they looked a lot sexier, I guess.
You may recall that Ryan was banished to the garden at night after he’d deposited what I think is known by some as a flight of starlings on the wall of my hall-cum-porch. Well, I relented last night and let him sleep inside. Big mistake. Which I first appreciated with my nose as I came out of the bedroom.