I read in the Voz de Galicia that a psychiatrist who'd treated the Santiago mother who's accused of killing her own daughter considered, back in 2009, that she was suffering more from psychotic more than depressed. And that she was "cold, controlling and with isolation issues". So I did a bit of research on the concept of contempt of court in Spain and came up with this: The absence of effective libel legislation, or laws protecting privacy, often means that investigative journalism takes the form of personalised attacks on individuals. Moreover, there is no developed concept of "contempt of court" to prevent what has been described as 'instrucción paralela' (parallel depositions), that is, the open and detailed discussion of legal cases in the media, particularly the press, while court proceedings are in train. I can't say I was surprised to read this, having seen what's going on in the media in respect of the woman. And having heard the Public Prosecutor say he fears her trial is being prejudiced. How about 'knows with 100% certainty"?
In sharp contrast to all this was the formal warning issued by the UK Attorney General this week, to the effect that users of social media will be prosecuted for ignoring Britain's strict rules on contempt of court. He also took the innovative step of issuing guidelines for those who use the internet to express their (often vicious) opinions. This has only been done in the past in respect of what's now apparently called "the legacy media".
Talking about the media here, I was interested to read that the largest press agency in the Hispanic world - EFE - is owned by the Spanish government. As are some of the main TV channels.Why, one wonders.
More bad news for Spain has come in the form of forecasts from the consultancy firm, PWC. It will, they say, take 20 years for Spain's unemployment rate of 26% to reduce to the EU average of 7%. True, the economy will grow by 42% by 2033 but never more than by 2% a year. Which is slow.
Well, if your interest was tweaked by yesterday's item about the FIFA draw for the next World Cup, you'll want to read this article on how they've now piled daft upon daft, with the result that several major teams could face each other in the first round in a riskier-than-ever Group of Death. All this, of course, reflects FIFA's greed-driven aim to have ever-more teams in the ever-longer competition - this year year in the 40 degree heat of those soccer giants, Qatar.
Football is in the domestic news this week, but only as a bit player. For, under the outrageous new laws designed to curb street protests, people who play football in the street will face fines of up to €1,000 - "when there is a risk of damage to people or property or when the circulation of people or traffic is impeded." As if this weren't bad enough, the fines are to be levied by the police, not the courts. But this is not yet a done deal, for the EU has waded into the fray, on the side of democracy. Which is a tad ironic, but never mind.
Finally . . . I forecast years ago that the AVE high-speed train wouldn't be finished in Galicia until 2018. I can't recall what the government promise was back then, probably around 2008. Anyway, we've just been told that the date is moving from 2014 to 2015. So we're getting there. Shame that no one was daft to take me up on the bet. Not even me.