Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Corruption trials; 'Clean Hands' v. the Princess; The Royal plight; Traffic taxes; Havana; & More Spanglish.

Given the extent of corruption here in Spain, I've often pondered the conundrum that so many important people - including members of the royal family - are brought before the courts. One answer, it seems, is that it's the younger generation of judges who are doing this, not the generation tainted with attitudes closer to those of the Franco era than those of modern, democratic Spain. All strength to their elbows.

Talking of court cases . . . The organisation which seems to be making most recourse to Spain's infamous denuncia system is a far-right group, Manos Limpias (Clean Hands). It was these who initiated actions against the celebrated left-wing judge, Báltazar Garzón. And who have now done so in respect of one of the King's daughters, after the state had displayed a singular lack of appetite for doing so. Strange bedfellows (benchfellows?). And I, for one, don't understand the logic. Unless they are far-right republicans. The Tea Party of Spain?

Talking of the royal family . . . A French TV channel recently aired a pretty damning exposé of their current plight, under the title of The Twilight of a King. You can view it here with either French or Spanish subtitles. Though you may have to fiddle a bit with icons to get the latter on their own, as opposed to superimposed over the French subtitles. One of the key points emerging is that, under the post-war Constitution, the King is above the law and able to do just what the hell he likes. Which he has and does. So, no Rule of Law in 21st century Spain. Another point emerging - from fotos never seen in Spain - is that the lovely Letizia really is anorexically skinny.

Down with the plebs at street level . . . It had to happen. Reports are now emerging of the Spanish traffic police fining people for such things as talking to their passengers or having a drink. It's just possible that their financial incentive scheme has something to do with this. As one of my Spanish friends has said - "You just have to regard the fines as part of your tax burden". So, nowt to do with being dangerous behind the wheel.

My connection with Spain goes back further than I thought. Close to the town in the UK where I used to live was a village called Havannah. This, I discover, was created back in 1763 to mark the capture of Havana from Spain the previous year. For some reason, we didn't keep it but gave it back to Spain at the end of that particular war. Unlike Gibraltar, of course. Incidentally, for some reason or other, the Spanish garrison in Havana included the Edinburgh Dragoons. Perhaps they, too, had a financial incentive scheme.

Finally . . . Thanks to watching videos yesterday, I learned the following have entered the Spanish languages:-
- Un gag: Meaning 'gag', 'joke'. With the un-Spanish plural of gags, instead of gages.
- Fashion: Meaning 'fashionable'. As in Estás muy fashion. You're very 'fashionable'.

I suspect both of these have been around for a while but that you won't find either of them in the dictionary of the Royal Academy.


Perry said...


Somehow or other, the Spanish government is to spend more billions on the railways in 2014, including over a billion Euros on the route from Madrid to Galicia.




Anonymous said...


Renewed sympathy for fascism in Spain could have arrived, or maybe is just round the corner?


Seems hard to believe, but as Government spending falls and unemployment rises, who knows?