Friday, May 25, 2012

How petty and counter productive of Madrid to veto the attendance of Queen Sofia at Liz's grand lunch, especially as they're cousins. This is because of some piddling dispute over the attendance of William and Kate at celebrations of the jubilee in Gib. And this from a government whose first act in coming to power was to end the tripartite negotiations which had gone well for a few years. Pathetic posturing fools.

Which reminds me . . . The Falkland Islands changed hands many times before they became British in 1713. The British took them from the Spanish, who'd nicked them from the French. In the process, the name changed from Îles Malouines to Las Malvinas and then to The Falklands. Needless to say, Argentina has never owned them, despite various attempts to plant a flag.

I've mentioned Spain's vanity projects and hugely expensive under- and unused airports. Well, now comes the news that the government is to partially close at least 30 of the country's 47 state-run airports. Hard to believe but some of these are fully staffed despite not having any flights. Only in Spain? I know it's hard to sack civil servants. But impossible?

And here's news that may or may not be a joke. Spain's Eurovision entry has been ordered to 'not win'. On the grounds that Madrid couldn't afford to host next year's event. I would have thought that, given Spain's record in this competition, this instruction was utterly superfluous.

And now some very local news - A worker at a branch of the La Caixa bank in Vilagarcía de Arousa, Pontevedra, has fled after taking a million euros. The man worked in the debt collecting department, chasing late payers. Perhaps he's run off to buy an airport. Or 30 of them

Some time this summer - you don't need to know when - London's Hayward gallery will host Britain's "first exhibition of art that explores invisibility and emptiness, with around 50 [interchangeable, I guess] works by artists including Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and Maurizio Cattelan." "This" insists the director, "is not a joke." Obviously not, as there'll be the piece of [blank] paper that an artist stared at for 1,000 hours over a period of five years, as well as evidence of the movie that was shot without film in the camera. Sounds like a must-see; though you won't be able to buy the tickets with invisible banknotes. Damien Hirst is not exhibiting as his blank canvases were found to have been produced by one of this factory workers. More here.
Finally . . . On Sky News yesterday, they were discussing how to stop the supermarkets diddling you with their special offers. After the four Sky folks had all had their say, the only male there introduced an expert with the comment:- " I have lady here with big tips." Which brought proceedings to a momentary halt.


Perry said...

Airports, airports, gitch yaw airports 'ere. Luverlee airports, all fresh and un-used. Gitch ya...... yes madam? Tell you wot, free fo' the price o' two. Can't say fairer than that. Gitch ya luverlee airports 'ere! Wot, no takers?

Bill said...

Whilst I think it is necessary for the British in Spain to make at least some attempt to understand Spanish psychology (which lamentably few make any effort to do) it is equally necessary for the Spanish to make at least a cursory attempt at understanding British (and Gibraltarian) psychology.

If Spain ever wants to [re-]gain sovereignty over Gibraltar (the same could be said of the Falklands in relation to Argentina - although the '[re-]' could be dropped in that instance) then it needs to make the Gibraltarians positively hunger after becoming Spanish by 'wooing' them; threats and obduracy will only make their desired outcome the more distant. My gut feeling is that if the Gibraltarians and the Falklanders petitioned the British government to allow them to become Spanish or Argentinian respectively the very last people on the planet who would try and dissuade them would be the British government.

Incidentally, if and when the Spanish government ever decides to accede to Moroccan demands by returning Ceuta (Sebta) and Melilla to Moroccan control then one could take their stance on Gibraltar more seriously. I recall when I lived in Casablanca in the 1970s how sensitive a topic this was there then, indeed the 'Green March' during my time there was used to re-take control of what was then 'Spanish Sahara' (now 'Western Sahara'), now de facto re-integrated back into Morocco, although the territory is still under dispute as the UN still recognises Spain as the formal administrative power.

There are many hold-overs from history and, Gibraltarians willing, there would seem no reason why Spanish desires may not be achieved one day, but given their current immature behaviour that day most probably still remains distant.

As with Argentina, however, Spain seems far too willing to use such relatively-minor territorial disputes as a way of trying to deflect attention domestically from the country's parlous financial situation.

Bill said...

... as for airports, well the saga of the as yet unopened 'Corvera International Airport' in Murcia Region continues; whether it will ever open is anyone's guess, but I am not holding my breath; with the recently-enhanced Alicante airport not so far away it seem to me more and more unlikely that there is a genuine economic case for Corvera as the region already has an admittedly less-effective local airport at Murcia-San Javier, which shares it with a Spanish militray air academy.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

On Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla read my old article 'Phoenicians Go Home!!!' at this spot

Alfred B. Mittington

Colin said...

Spot on, Bill. Government papers show that the British government has been trying to get shut of Gib for decades. It's just a bloody nuisance. All attempts to show Spanish anger and pride simply awaken the tabloid press and take the aim back several years. The FO must pull their hair out at the stupidity of the spanish government. He may not have achieved much else but Zapatero seemed to understand this. Hence the tripartite discusions.

Colin said...

@ Anonymous. The point is that they are supposed to be continuous, solving problems as they arise, by the politicians. Not by some solo Spanish politician sticking his chest out like a cockerel so that the stupid public can be diverted from real problems such as the economy.

Your comment might be true of Iran but not of the UK/Gibraltar and Spain.

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