There's been yet another highly questionable fine under Spain's fascist "Citizen Security" law. A few hours after a woman in Petrer facebooked a foto of a local police car parked in a disabled parking space, there was a knock on the door and she was fined €800 for "attacking the honour of the police". A spokesman for the latter said they'd have preferred a different solution but they had the legal right to impose the penalty. Poor dears.
The EU: This is an excellent debate in Harpers magazine on the future of the eurozone and the EU [What future? Ed.]. One of the participants - John Gray - is on record as asking:-
- Can a united Europe survive — and should it?
- Does European integration represent the transcendence of the continent’s bloody twentieth century, or its continuation by other means?
- Has a project begun in a spirit of liberty, equality, and fraternity turned authoritarian, hierarchical, and antagonistic?
- If the union is as bad as its critics claim, why does it remain so popular in many member nations?
All excellent questions, of course.
Gray, like many of us, views the European currency as a misconceived project from the outset and thinks the austerity policies imposed on Greece are destructive and self defeating. "Attempting to maintain the euro at any cost can only result in mounting desperation, which will seek expression in violence if no practicable policies are on offer to ameliorate the situation." Near term, he thinks that "the euro will survive in a dysfunctional way. Over the longer term, it seems to me that the preconditions of functionality cannot be met. There isn’t going to be true political union in Europe, or anything resembling it. I think that the project of creating democracy at a supranational level in Europe, even perhaps with a slightly smaller number of countries, remains in the realm of impossibility. But you see, if it is a folly, then it’s not going to be abandoned because of rational argument. It’s not going to be abandoned because we’ve learned from mistakes. It’ll be abandoned only in a crisis larger than the ones we’ve seen so far. And that may come many years hence." I fear Mr Gray is spot on. Though (ex?)reader Moscow would surely disagree. Especially with the contention that, not only has the EU failed to effect convergence of economies but has actually increased differences and divergence. Time will tell.
With a 4th death this weekend, the total for fatal gorings during bull-running/baiting events in Spain rose to 7 for the summer so far. So, seven families traumatised. If this were happening in another activity - 'sport' is clearly not an apt word - there'd be new regulations. But not with this one, I fear.
You won't be terribly surprised to hear that the Franco family ended up with quite a lot of property and a few titles, as the dictator was never ousted from power. His granddaughter is a regular participant in our awful TV gossip shows and a few months ago, she invited one of these to visit her castle in Sada, here in Galicia. The new left-wing town council is now trying to get the place back so the public have free access to it. To succeed, they'll have to deal with the right-wing regional government, which tends to be - guess what - rather averse to upsetting Franco's relatives and supporters. It's a nice demagogic move but unlikely to result in victory for the council.
Finally . . . In terms of size, the sequence runs greyhound, galgo and then whippet. The galgo is Spain's version of the racing breed and, if you're an animal-lover and wish to upset yourself, here's something about their fate once they're no longer useful. If you're thinking of adopting a dog, you could do far worse as they have the lovely temperament of the breed. And there are a number of refuges across the country who'll be only too happy to let you have one.
Anyone want to contribute to the cost of a car/ferry trip to the UK and back c. 2 and 23 Sept.? Santander-Plymouth. Ultimate destination, Hoylake on the Wirral. Or Manchester, if my first grandchild arrives early. Only the ferry costs; free car travel. Snorers excluded. Suit beautiful woman. GSOH etc. WVT nothing beyond reducing my costs.