Sunday, January 11, 2009

Well, El País had jumped on my Sarkozy bandwagon, in the form of an article from British columnist Timothy Gorton Ash. TGA labels the petite Frenchman the President Emperor and accuses him of thinking he’s indispensable to Europe. But his main point is that Europe is failing to achieve a single voice over such things as the events in Gaza and the little problem with Russian gas. Instead, he says, Europe is seen in Washington and Peking as incoherent, hypocritical and irritating. But, above all, impotent. It reminded me of an article in the Voz de Galicia a day or so ago in which the writer said that the successors to Europe’s visionaries were the mediocrities of Brown, Merkel and, of course, Sarkozy. I suppose this might just be because it’s easier to dream than to solve tough problems when interests conflict. Especially when economies are declining and not booming.

One British paper at least – the Sunday Telegraph – did cover Friday’s demonstration in Andalucia. And in terms which surely won’t help the image of Spain with its million or so readers. There was even a mention of corruption. But I particularly like the response of the regional head of planning who said his hands are tied because he has to “work within the framework of the law." Which would surely make him pretty unique down there. And it does leave one wondering why huge blocks of illegal flats on beachfronts are still standing, when private houses in the hills can be summarily demolished. Perhaps they don’t have big enough machines.

Here’s the answer to the copyleft conundrum. Not Spanglish at all, it seems.

Finally, a few more Ponters pix:-

1. A defensive fossa/fosa [I guess] which has been unearthed by the old city walls. One side is of large smooth stones and the other of a rougher construction that I associate with the Middle Ages. So, did they dig a defensive ditch behind the original Roman walls and then erect another wall? Perhaps we will know when the new museum finally opens.

2. This is the third or fourth occupant of this place in the old quarter. In recent years, I mean. It’s called a ‘coffee and music club’ but my partner says the combination of ‘club’ and the colour pink is decidedly suspicious. You may not believe this but this hadn't occurred to me.

3. And here’s the city’s first rent-a-bike pick-up point. I’ll be interested to see how this scheme develops. Will we now have adults as well as kids racing towards us on the pavement?

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