I see that San Sebastian has been chosen as one of the European Cities of Culture for 2016. It'll be interesting to see how it's referred to in the non-Spanish press, as it has two names – San Sebastian (Spanish) and Donostia (Basque).
Reader Sierra has pointed me in the direction of the news that the AVE line from Toledo to Cuenca and Albacete is being cut because it costs 16,000 euros a day to carry an average of nine people. Does nothing to reduce my pessimism about the year in which we'll be able to get to Madrid in less than 7-8 hours. I'm currently going with 2018, against the official prediction of 2012.
Talking of sad news, I heard this on the radio this morning: “Pecha Galicia Hoxe. A crise económica e o radical recorte das axudas institucionais converten en inviable o proxecto do único diario en galego. Herdeiro de O Correo Galego, publicouse por primeira vez o 17 de maio de 2003. Dezanove profesionais, entre periodistas e filólogos, quedan sen traballo. O Grupo Correo Gallego manterá o espírito do xornal na rede dende www.galiciahoxe.com.” I would translate this but there wouldn't be much point, if you don't already understand it. Suffice to say Galicia's only newspaper in Gallego is closing because La Crisis has reduced subventions. Though I will, on second thoughts, add this view from a Professor of Gallego in the UK:- “It was indeed a dark day yesterday for the pluralism of the Galician media, and for Galician-language media. Note that no government intervention in the form of a rescue package was forthcoming. There may be a link between this failure to intervene and the very critical tone taken by many writers from Galicia Hoxe towards the Feijoo government. There are now no all-Galician print newspapers in Galicia. Thirty-six years of normalisation are being dismantled with alarming rapidity. Even more alarming is the lack of a collective, dynamic response to these measures in the vein of the Nunca Mais movement or from a political grouping. That suggests a lack of policy-making in the opposition and/or a lack of collective will to defend Galician interests. Either way it is not encouraging.” On a point of detail . . . “normalisation” is the term used for the process of increasing the number of Gallego speakers in Galicia. Sometimes by compulsion. I always find it a very Orwellian term.
With two days to go to the deadline, I finally got round to submitting my 2010 tax declaration today, on line. This was tremendously efficient, once I got past the problems of finding out what they meant by my NIF (turned out to be not my NIF but my NIE) and which of my three names they regard as my 'First surname' (turned out to be David, as in Davies David Colin.)
Following up Edward Hughes' comments on Spanish banks yesterday, here's the comment of someone who thinks that the French/EU plan for Greece is seriously flawed:- “One theme of Spain’s economy returned to haunt it yesterday as El Confidencial reported that her banks have hidden some 50 billion euros of bad housing related debts. This was likely to be concentrated in the savings banks, or cajas, where the official policy of mergers has done little to sort out the obvious problems." Still waiting for that transparency.
Finally . . . The Quote of the Week:- What else is Twitter but a Darwinian process for sorting out the human race very efficiently into leaders and followers. Well, I'm pleased to say I'm neither. But I've no idea where that puts me on the evolutionary ladder/tree.