POLITICS: IMBROGLIO X 2:
- President I-won-the-elections Rajoy has proposed a Grand Coalition to keep Spain on track and, coincidentally, himself and his party in power. This would comprise the PP, PSOE and Ciudadans parties. Which would be very hard for the angry Spanish populace to swallow, I believe. It's widely thought such a coalition would be the effective end of the PSOE socialist party. So, not much a runner.
- President I-am-Cataluña Mas shows no sign of accepting the reality that his days of glory are over and that clinging to the reins of power is doing his secession cause no good at all. Plus it's contributing to the destabilisation of Spain. Not that he'd be particularly concerned about this.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: The Spanish media pays as much attention to this as the British media does to pedophilia, even though the statistics in both cases may well be lower than in other European countries. So, there's bound to be a lot of attention paid to the contribution yesterday of the Archbishop of Toledo. According to him, most cases occur because the woman doesn't accept the man's demands. The blame in many cases, he stressed, lies with the women, especially those who cause a macho reaction by asking for a separation. As Private Eye might say, the Archbishop is unmarried, never had a partner and is 670 years old. Last year saw the murder of 56 women by their partners here in Spain, which is well down on the number on the level of 2000. The UK figure is 104, which is proportionally higher than Spain's.
THE 3 KINGS: Today is the big holiday of the Magi, when Spanish kids used to get their Xmas presents, not on the 25th of December. Now, of course, they get them on both dates. There was the traditional rain-soaked cabalgata last night here in Pontevedra, when the 3 Kings on horseback showered the crowds with sweets. I haven't attended one of these since my first in 2001, when I was almost killed in the mad rush for these. The kids were almost as aggressive as their parents. The Local takes a look at this event here.
MAIL DELIVERIES: Yesterday I went to the Post Office to try to persuade them to give me a package for which I'd lost the note from the postman saying I wasn't in when he called. To be fair, they seemed willing to go along with this but couldn't find it and eventually said it must have gone back to the UK. They return things, they told me, after only 2 weeks. Given that most Spaniards take a month's summer holiday, this seems a questionable practice to me.
GALICIAN DRUG RUNNING: The police here have captured a gang in the act of bringing in the largest haul of this young century. The suppliers were Spanish (Galician?) and buyers were British and Dutch. So, no surprises there.
FINALLY . . . I'm off to the Netherlands today. More correctly to the Holland bit of it. From where I'll be reporting on the idiosyncrasies of the Dutch. Which appear, from my acquaintances here in Pontevedra, to be many.