Saturday, April 13, 2013

I cited the other night the government proposal to reduce the No Building seaside fringe from 100 to 20 metres. The question thus arises of whether the appalling El Algorrobico Hotel will now be rendered legal. Work on it stopped 5 or 6 years ago as it was clearly on the wrong side of the line back then. But, as this line is now conveniently shifting, no one will be very surprised if the illegal and immoral developers get their money back. So that they can make political donations again. More pictures here.

In the madness that can be Spain, funny things can happen. Several years ago, my elder daughter told me that a friend in the (then booming) estate business in Madrid was compelled to give a job to a foreigner because all the Spaniards that came for interview merely wanted some evidence they'd applied for the job. With this, they could then continue to receive the dole. I thought of this today when I read that jobseekers whose dole money has run out and who want to claim the 450 euros per month government handout, now have to show 9 paper copies of their CV stamped by companies to whom they've applied for a job. And they say the Spanish have a fondness for paper.

I know quite a lot about the little pueblo of Mojacar down in Almeria, as I read the blogs of both Lenox Napier and David Jackson. But now the place has earned itself international renown. This arises from the mayoress's decision to attack the problem of ambient noise head on. As anyone who lives or visits here knows, the suspicion that Spain is the noisiest country in the world is well founded. So the mayoress certainly merits some sympathy, if not admiration. But she has attacked the problem with both gusto and, perhaps, an excess of zeal, eschewing a gradualist approach. Her proposals include the banning of domino games in the town's bars. Said the mayoress - “If you have a group of people under your house smashing the table with domino pieces until 2am, you will understand.” Anyway, here's Lenox on the matter.

All the news seems to be coming from the south tonight . . . Down in Andalucia, the regional government has come up with a 'nice' interpretation of an existing law under which banks will be embargoed from evicting defaulting mortgagees. A scandalised, right-of-centre El Mundo has characterised this as a 'clear violation of the principle of private property' – introduced, as it happens, by a member of the Communist Party. Here's the left-of-centre El País on the development.

The lovely and talented Tomara Rojo, who's Artistic Director of The English National Ballet, has been awarded 10 thousand euros (and a statuette) for her work in strengthening British-Spanish relations. A previous awardee was the historian Sir Raymond Carr. I wonder when they'll get round to me. Probably give it to that bloody Paul Preston first.

Finally, finally . . . A good joke I've just seen in the Wikipedia article on Tomara Rojo:- Aged 20, she was offered a contract with the Scottish Ballet. Of her arrival there Rojo has jokingly said "I spoke no English at this time but it did not matter; neither did they."

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