Friday, February 28, 2014

Nasty bills; Judicial reservations; Political 'discussions'; New Spanish words; & Honda Russia.

The most controversial bill going through the Spanish parliament as the moment is one that will return the abortion law to that of the 80s. You might have expected the President to say something about this when addressing the nation on Tuesday but, in fact, he said zilch. Just as with corruption. But, then, it was a transparent Good News exercise, ahead of elections.

I can't pretend to know the law-making process here in Spain but it does seem as if the top judicial body has a part to play. Perhaps this is because the members are charged with deciding whether the proposed law fits with the country's constitution. It seems, though, that individual members of the body (the Judicial Council) can express their views prior to any communal judgement. So it is that one member has pronounced that the abortion Bill is 'out of date' and shows that the compilers are 'totally out of touch with Spanish society as it now is.' We wait to see whether these, and similar, comments result in the Bill being modified or even dropped. I expect the former.

The Judicial Council has also heavily criticised the draconian 'Public Security' Bill which provides for swingeing fines for demonstrators or people snapping the police on their phones. It would also give the police powers which the body says are unacceptable. So, another Bill that may be softened. Vamos a ver.

I was watching a politics program on the TV last night in which Sr Rajoy's performance was being dissected. There were 6 to 8 participants, in the usual horseshoe. As ever, they were trying to talk/shout over each other. At the peak, they were all bawling at the same time, like a pack of demented chimps. I turned to my Spanish companion to ask what she thought of this. But she was too busy shouting at the TV to hear me.

Some days you know you're fated to learn a new phrase. Yesterday, while getting a lift from my neighbour, the lovely Ester, I heard her telling her young son that he was sacandome de mi casillas. I didn't know what this meant (though I could guess) as I understood casillas to mean a box, as on a tax return. But then I heard the same expression on the TV last night and had to look it up. Sacar a uno de sus casillas turns out to mean 'To molest, tease or harass someone'. As with mentira, there seem to be shades of meaning, from soft to hard, so perhaps it's the tone of voice which tells you which is relevant. Or its loudness.

Talking of Spanish words . . . A friend wrote to me from the UK yesterday to say her AS Spanish exercise was all about drugs. Among the vocab she had to learn was the verb esnifar. Whose meaning is pretty clear, I guess. In a cocaine context.

Finally . . . I'm in dialogue with Honda over a faulty sensor in my newish-car. Said car was taken to Vigo as there's no longer a dealer here in Pontevedra. Honda paid for a truck to take it to Vigo but seem unwilling - illogically - to arrange for a truck to bring it back. But, anyway, the gentleman with whom I'm dealing in the Customer Service department of Honda Europe goes by the wonderful Spanish name of Borislav Borisov. Fortunately, he's not using Google or Babel for his Russian into Spanish.

The Environment: Well, it did rain every day in February. Whether this was as unprecedented as in the UK ('Wettest winter since 1710' or something) I guess we'll soon learn.

1 comment:

Perry said...


It's raining on another west coast & it's being greeted with some delight.



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