Thursday, August 22, 2013

More fun around Gib; The Santiago rail crash; Buskers and Thinnies; Golden times: And Pope chat.

Well, what do I know? The outcome of the summer spat over Gibraltar has been a triumph for Spanish diplomacy. This, at least, is how the PP-supporting paper El Mundo sees things. The rationale? Well, the group of EU officials who'll be here in September - or maybe October - have agreed to Spain's request to look at and think about all the aspects of The Rock's activities which upset Madrid. Except the most important, of course - British sovereignty over the place. Well, of course they have. Whoever heard of bureaucrats and time-serving politicos being unwilling to expand their remit and maximise their expenses? I look forward to reading their report sometime next year, long after life has returned to normal and Gibraltar has disappeared from even the Spanish media. Meanwhile, Madrid has said it's willing to discuss all relevant matters in a forum involving the governments of Spain, Britain, Gibraltar and Andalucia. The very thing which was scrapped the day after the PP government came to power. So, progress.

Having rejected independence as a neat solution for Gibraltar, I realised there's another that's even tidier. British sappers (or whatever) should cut a channel at least an inch(2.5cm) wide, so that Gib loses its terrestrial connection with Iberia and becomes an island. This will make it equivalent to the 6 or 7 islands 'owned' by Spain that lie off the Moroccan coast. This shouldn't be beyond British engineers.

Responding to recent statements of the judge investigating the Santiago rail crash, the president of the national operator, RENFE, has averred that "Security is down to politicians, not technicians." Which may actually be true. Incidentally, I had thought that RENFE was a state-owned company but, in fact, it's private. As is the company, Adif, which manages the tracks. Doubtless we'll hear from its president soon.

Bloody beggars and buskers. God how we need this in Pontevedra.

Talking of Ponters, I've mentioned several times just how thin the young - and even not-so-young - women are here. This is one such, though it's possible she was only visiting.

 And here's another one, whom I saw right in front of me yesterday. She's a major contender for the annual prize for the biggest gap between trousers and top. I didn't dare glance at how she looked from the front.

Raising the tone a tad . . . There's a short period, as the sun sets, when the city's granite buildings - i. e. all of them in the old quarter - become a rich gold. I happened to be standing near the basilica of Santa María when this happened last night and here's snap of the facade and another of the nearby house. Quite magical.

The story of Spain's attempts - initially very successful - to establish a solar energy industry is a sorry one. At the outset, investors were subsidised. Then the subsidies were withdrawn. And now, to pile on the injury, the investors - large or small - are going to be taxed. If there's anything more calculated to make Spain a no-go zone for international investors, I think we need to know what it is. More here, from The Local

Finally . . . The Pope has said he had a 'mystical experience' during a dialogue with God and that this convinced him He was telling him to resign. My question is - How on earth(heaven?) did he know it wasn't the Devil? Do they use divine passwords when they start to talk to each other? Anyway, as one reporter put it - "His remarks will do little to dampen speculation about the more worldly reasons for his departure." Which are many.

Finally . . . Finally: Back to Gib. And an official announcement from the government there: Anyone of any nationality who has been inconvenienced by the delays of between three and seven hours at the border is asked to send 'details of their experience' via email to


Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

So much for your policy advice. Read this article please:

I read a comment (from someone British) on how Britons living abroad tend to become and behave "Ueber-British". I immediately though of you.

I might not be something terribly important, but should I or should I not be feeling a certain disquiet at the thought of a man nearing his 70's & surreptitiously taking pics of young ladies and posting them on his blog?


Ferrolano said...

@Moscow, I'm more concerned with the pics that he doesn't post......!!!