Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, if it's proof you need that the Spanish are not too concerned about the honesty of their politicians, look no further than the results of the Valencia region elections yesterday. Despite facing a number of corruption charges, the PP leader there was returned to power, with an increased share of the vote.

Nationally, the ruling PSOE socialist party got an even bigger thrashing than that universally predicted. In fact, they might end up controlling only 2 or 3 of Spain's 17 autonomous communities. Or 'regions' as we used to call them. One of these is their traditional fiefdom of Andalucia, where strange things happen. 

So, the decision-averse President Zapatero is paying a high price - with more to come next year at the general elections - for, first, denying there was a recession coming and, then, for averring that Spain would ride it better than most countries. Plus various other stupidities along the way. Not surprisingly, the knives are now out for him in his own party, aimed at ensuring one of his deputies is in place sooner rather than later. Either that or an earlier-than-necessary general election with someone new at the helm, after Zap has thrown himself overboard. Or been made to walk the plank. Here's Graeme of South of Watford and Charles of IBEX Salad on the elections.

Locally, a quick summary is that generally the conservative PP advanced and the socialist PSOE retreated but gained seats in Vigo, so remaining in power there. The Galician Nationalist Block (the BNG), lost votes and seats everywhere except Pontevedra city, where they gained 4 seats. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's because all the civil servants are happy with their new HQ, the new roads, the new roundabouts, the new bridge and, most of all, the successful expansion of the pedestrianised old quarter into contiguous streets. Essentially, it would be hard to deny that the BNG mayor has made the city a better place in the last decade. And no one cares if a percentage of the spend has been kicked back. To whomsoever. 

Talking of the city . . . the encampments of The Indignants will remain in place for a while in A Coruña, Santiago, Vigo and Ourense. But not here in Pontevedra, it seems. In fact, Sunday morning saw no sign of ours, whatever this means. Perhaps our young folk are too comfortable spongeing off their parents. That said, I think I saw some evidence this evening of an encampment being set up in the Alameda. Unusually for Spain, this is not in the centre of town and is little used, even for the evening paseo.

In Segovia a mere 10 people have camped out, underneath the arches of its famous aqueduct. Cue song.

On Saturday, there was a cartoon in one of the papers which featured the standard Spanish capitalist character - a fat male wearing a suit and a stovepipe hat, and chomping on a large cigar. But we knew he was Spanish - and not the usual American - because he wasn't carrying a sack with a dollar sign on it.

Talking about cartoons, how about this for a coincidence. Yesterday I quoted Samuel Johnson and today I saw this cartoon in one of the backlog of Private Eyes I'm working my way through:-

We've all been there.

Finally . . . I had my windscreen replaced today and both my insurance company and the glass company were pretty efficient, with all communications coming to me in Almost-English. Including directions to the workshop. Of itself, this wouldn't make them right, of course. And they weren't.


Ferrolano said...

My input from the PP here in the north is that the leader of the BNG in Pontevedra is “un ser querido” by your city folk. That to me is refreshing to see that in local elections, people do matter.

ANA said...

Quite a few are still camped out here in the main square although once the fiestas kick in it will be interesting to see. The protesters say they are fed up with the two main parties but on Sunday I voted for an alternative to those two and maybe if others had voted, the result would have been different, who knows.

Colin said...

Are we talking Madrid here, Ana?

Graeme said...

Hi Colin,
Just seen that the Pontevedra acampada is holding a debate on the electoral law at 8 p.m. today in the Rua da Alameda - just in case you're interested.

Colin said...

Thanks, Graeme.

Will take a look.

Colin said...

But not if they insist on having the proceeds in Gallego. Easy enough to read but tougher when verbal.

ANA said...

No, Huesca a small town in Aragon. I just don't know where any of this is going. The protests, not my ramblings.

ANA said...

By the way, it took several attempts to send this comment. It says comments won't be accepted anonymously everytime I tried to send it.

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