Friday, February 22, 2019

Thoughts from Madrid, Spain: 22.2.19

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
            Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
  • While some don't, the PSOE government certainly does believe in AGW, and is proposing that something be done about it. Via a very large investment of public funds. Its plan might or might not see the light of day. It has to get elected, for one thing.
  • Spain - understandably - continues to use the leverage which the Brexit negotiations give it to play the awkward squad around what it labels the colony of Gibraltar. But not everyone sees things in the same way and the European Parliament has rejected insertion of the word 'colony' in official documents, even as a footnote. Thrice.
  • Needless to say, ahead of a general election and with the country's 'Spanish nationalists' to appease, the right wing parties are accusing the Spanish PM of failing to take as much advantage as he could. Even accusing him of treason, where - ironically - others see great success on his part. Such is the impact of nationalism everywhere. Matthew Bennet gives an overview of the eternal dispute here.
  • As for us Brits, the eternal Gib spat brings a very immediate threat; we might have to pay for visas to visit EU countries for less than 90 days.
  • At a wider lever, the EU technocrats are said to be worried that the emergence of a far right wing party here in Spain could Italianise the country. And threaten The Project, of course.
  • So . . . Has Spain really swung to the right? asks El PaĆ­s here.
  • The real Spain. There are, says Guy Hedgecoe here, 2 wildly contrasting ideas of the country and its democratic credentials. GH gives an off-the-top-of-his-head list of his impressions. I can certainly relate to most - well, nearly all - of the items on it. And could certainly extend it, for good or bad.
  • Several more cities have joined Lugo in using archers to cull wild boars, among them Madrid and Valencia. I used to be dab hand with a bow. Maybe a profit opportunity, though the bows I've seen seem to be Olympics-level high tech. And would possibly confuse me.
  • Not for the first time, there are reports that the UK-Vigo-Lisbon ferry is to be restarted. I'll believe it when I board it.
Brexit and The UK
  • Richard North this morning: We're beginning to burn through the uncertainty - but only in the sense that the little optimism there was has almost disappeared, leaving no deal as the prevailing expectation. . . Most ordinary people are yearning for the drama to be over and some semblance of normality to be restored. . . We may end up with a no-deal exit simply because Brexit is so well and truly broken that there is no way of stopping it. Which would be catastrophic.
  • FWIW . . . I still believe there will be a 3 month extension to the Article 50 process. Though what this will achieve, GOK.
The EU
Finally . . .
  • A few more Elvis songs, reggae style - here, here and here.  I'm hooked . . .

1 comment:

Maria said...

We need one of those archers in the field behind our house. There seems to be a hole in the fencing, and we've been getting nightly visitors in our garden. Yesterday, one boar had the temerity to grunt at us when we shouted it away.