The Spanish Elections: These are just round the corner now. And, if you believe the polls, the centre-left socialist PSOE will be shoved into 3rd place by the far-left United-Podemos party, with inevitable implications for the leadership of the party. Here's the FT on the recent 4-way 'debate' between party leaders. And here's The Guardian on the origins of United Podemos and its impact on the political situation. Finally on this, in his Business Over Tapas bulletin to today, Lenox Napier cites this caustic overview of the new party from Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo: Like recycled waste, Leninism has resurfaced in our country hand in hand with the new Made-in-Venezuela party. When foreign media talk about this party, they happily label it as populist. Wrong. It is a much dangerous creature: hardcore Leninism. Having been born as the outcome of an economic crisis, widespread corruption, and a lacklustre political culture, it has thrived as a result of the suicidal alliances of a paralysed and baffled socialism and of the protective covering fire that the governing party has irresponsibly provided to its benefit through the media and other institutions.
Brexit: HT to Lenox for this advice for worried Brit expats on how to keep your EU citizenship should the UK actually opt for the exit. I continue to think(guess) that they won't but who really knows? Whatever happens, I'm armed with an Irish grandmother and can join the thousands seeking Irish nationality, should I decide I prefer this to the Spanish version. It might just be less expensive and take less time and hassle. Plus I speak Irish even better than I speak Spanish.
Spanish Women: I've just come across this 2005 blog response – from my friend Manoel – to something I wrote 'back in the day', probably about the confusion caused to northern European males by the tactility of young (and not-so-young) Spanish females. It's pertinent to note that Manoel never told me of the place he cites when he lived here in Ponters. Possibly because he was dating my daughter.
Football Hooliganism: First it was Eurovision and now the European Championship has been politicised. The ineffable RT News yesterday reported on the 'international' mayhem and on its impact on the heads of English fans. No mention, of course, that the vicious attackers were Russian. See here for a commentary on the attacks and their international context. This morning RT TV- taking time off from its relentless attacks on Turkey and in normal martyr mode - sees everything as more evidence that Russia is being treated as an international punchbag. One wonders why. As usual, they had an (unknown) western commentator to endorse their sense of victimhood.
Finally . . . The Portuguese Camino: I've mentioned that there are many more foreigners in Ponters this year than usual. Last night I had a delightful dinner with 12 Californian 'pilgrims' (11 female and 1 male!) and it's suffice to note this is far more than the total number of fellow pilgrims I and my colleagues met during the entire Tui-Santiago stretch back in only 2010.
Another day, another nice pic from my eyrie - of a thin cloud hovering above the river Lerez down in Ponters city . . . And, as yet, no rain.