A final example of the Spanish attitude to personal space (Proxemics) . . . I dined with some Spanish friends last night and when we entered the restaurant, the only other diners were a couple sitting in one corner of a room of fourteen tables. Under my influence, we sat on the other side of it. Two other couples came in while we were there and each sat in the same place as the first couple, making it a rather crowded – and, of course, noisy - corner. We remained in splendid isolation.
Strangely, I noted the same aggregation behaviour in a largely empty underground car park this morning, where most of the cars were parked unnecessarily beside others. Running the risk of scratches.
No one, of course, knows what's going to happen in Europe – other than, thanks purely to the Nobel-winning EU, there's not going to be a Third World War anytime soon. But as regards Britain's departure option, The Economist opines that:- The most likely outcome would be that Britain would find itself as a scratchy outsider with somewhat limited access to the single market, almost no influence and few friends. And one certainty: that having once departed, it would be all but impossible to get back in again.” For the reasoning behind this glum prediction click here.
In an even more interesting article, historian Antony Beever asks Will a continent turn its back on democracy. I could quote at length from this but, instead, will give you this reference.
On the inner workings of the EU – specifically the German-French axis – I read this comment of a senior German player the other day:- We only call the French once we've agreed a common position with other countries. Once we start talking to the French the trouble begins. This reminded me of a Europe-wide survey of some years ago as to who was best and worst to do business with across the continent. There were differences of opinion as to which country was the best but none on which was the worst.
So, finally here's another Economist article, entitled “The time bomb at the heart of Europe'. It's a special report on France. Which won't have made good bedtime reading for President Holland. If the intro grabs you, note there are links to several additional sections.