In the barrel-scraping stakes, it's going to be hard to beat the Spanish government and its rationale for its controversial abortion bill. The latest claims are;. 1. that it's complying with the UN injunction about rights for disabled people, 2. that Spain's economy will benefit by having more people in it, and 3. the only thing the government cares about is fulfilling its manifesto promise to the people. Needless to say, the UN has denied any suggestion it was referring to foetuses. And the people have laughed long and hard at the notion that Spanish parties pay attention to election manifestos. Essentially because they overflow with undeliverable promises and are not meant to be taken seriously by anyone with half a brain.
The credibility of this apparently Catholic-dominated government fell even further when Spain's Interior Minister announced he believed that St Terésa de Ávila was intervening on behalf of Spain in respect of La Crisis. Events took a surreal turn when the Opposition sent a letter to the President asking for detailed information on which saints were helping in which specific areas. I don't think they got an answer.
The Catholic Church is led in Spain by hardliner Cardinal Rouco. He met the King and Queen recently and I was surprised to see the Queen bow low when shaking hands with him. Why, I wonder? Does this reflect merely spiritual power or does it also reflect long-gone temporal power? Either way, I found it rather disturbing that a constitutional monarch should be displaying obeisance to a cleric in the 21st century.
Talking about politics . . . A second new party has emerged - Partido X. This time it's on the Left of the spectrum. It's net based and no names will be available until the forthcoming EU elections. More here.
And talking about politicos . . . I learned this week that your familia política is your in-laws. As is parientes políticos. And that tio político, for example, is uncle-in-law. But there are separate words for brother and sister-in-law, of course. And other close members of your new family, such as your mother-in-law. I'm using 'close' in the technical sense, of course.
Galicia 1: My friend Dwight and I were walking along the edge of the bay which, in 1809, saw the defeat of a French army by local guerillas, fortified by a couple of British warships out into said bay. The leader of the French army was the illustrious Marshal Ney, who probably had better days. I mention this because Dwight remarked that Ney is still a popular name for dogs. They don't forget much, these Gallegos. And here's a famous example, provided by Dwight, of one such canine Ney.
Galicia 2: Here's a list of the 20 worst restaurants in Spain. Galicia merits a couple, though it seems one at least has since closed down.
Galicia 3: For a more postive take on Galcia, see the relevant video here.
Finally . . .One of the pluses of my trip down South with my daughters over Xmas was my elder daughter telling me could use the USB connection to play my podcasts over the car radio. Which meant I didn't need to get the €200 fine I was hit with a few months ago. Better late than never, I guess. Which reminds me . . . The car has a small screen which constantly pumps information at me. Driving on the autopista to Santiago the other day, I was alarmed to see the word Catastrophe come up on it, instantly wondering whether I'd lost a wheel or perhaps the braking system. But it turned out to be the title of the podcast which was just about to begin.