Spain: Good/Bad News
- The economy continues to grow, albeit slowly, and the government has increased its growth forecast (always wrong) to 1.2% for this year and 1.8% for next year. So far, none of this has done much for the country's astronomical levels of unemployment.
- For the second year running, Spain's population has fallen, taking the total down to 46.5m. Part of the reason is that there was another 'negative migratory balance', last year, with the number of people leaving exceeding that of incomers.
- Spain has been slapped down by Brussels over the stone blocks used by Gibraltar to create an artificial reef in what it says are its waters. The EU says it found no reason to interfere in this matter.
- On the same subject, someone has reported that analysis of timings and flow rates confirms that Spain is manipulating things so as to slow down traffic during peak hours on the Spain-Gibraltar border. A la Franco.
- Same subject: Although the current PP government has massively ramped up the number of incidents in and around Gibraltar - presumably for media consumption - Madrid has angrily criticised Britain for raising the temperature "between allies and fellow EU members" by regularly calling in the London ambassador for a talking to. Transference? Smokescreen?
One of the joys of Spain is that, in Galicia at least, if you josh with waiters or waitresses, they will invariably join in the fun. None of that snottiness for which their French (and English!) brethren are famous. Of course, it helps to do it in Spanish.
If you want to know why the EU "is not a torchbearer for human progress but a corporatist cartel divided by competing national interests. And its members are also far too myopic even to recognise what their interests really are", click here.
Finally . . . An about-to-retire priest down in Malaga has found a way to counter the Church's problem of rapidly shrinking congregations. Or his church's at least. He dances flamenco with the ladies who attend his services. Can't see it catching on in the Vatican. Although the new Pope seems willing to try anything to recover the lost faithful. The faithless?