THE SPANISH MILITARY CONTRIBUTION: A week or so ago, the Spanish government announced it had offered to take over patrol duties from France in Mali, so that French troops could be used back home against terrorists. Then came the incident in Mali and the offer was suddenly withdrawn. The French government says it's surprised and that it's awaiting clarification from its Spanish counterpart. Well, I think we know what this will amount to. Especially as there's a general election imminent
ODD SPANISH AIRPORTS: I mentioned the 'ghost airport' of Castellón yesterday. Reader Sierra has cited a facility up in the Galician hills near the city of Lugo which I didn't even know existed. This is an airport built by the Nazis during WW2 in which the regional government is investing €55m to convert it into an 'Aero Transport Centre'. Some this total may well get to be used for this purpose. It will, it seems, be dedicated to the development of drones. And I thought we had quite enough funccionarios in Galicia.
CORRUPTION: The left-wing, campaigning judge, Baltasar Garzón, gives these as the perfect recipe for the appearance of skulduggery:-
- A local planning officer with low ethics. (Hardly a rare creature)
- A businessman with good connections to a political party
- A city that's developing rapidly
- A property market that's taking off
FINALLY . . . THE SPANISH TIMETABLE: My elder daughter has visited me for a couple of days, en route to a tango session in Oporto. Taking her to the bus station this morning, I was surprised to see the number of people out and about at 7.30, given that this is the equivalent of 5.30 in other countries. I apologise, by the way, for writing 'the number' of people, when the standard (but wrong) phrase these days is 'the amount' of people. I simply can't override that bit of my education, 'back in the day'. Which reminds me, a Sky News reporter this morning - reading from an autocue - spoke of someone who'd been fatally murdered in Paris. As opposed to the unfatally murdered survivors, I guess.