Thursday, April 28, 2005

I'd be commenting more often but there's not much to comment on. It's been a slow week in the news. No deal yet on the next Basque government. Housing prices are through the roof, 15% per year; the areas seeing especially high growth are Castilla-La Mancha, probably due to expansion of the Madrid metropolitan area, and Murcia, newly prosperous territory in the southeast. This looks good for us, since we're locked into a five-year lease on this place, and they can't raise the rent, while Remei has her mother's apartment in Barcelona and the house in the country, whose value is skyrocketing. Immigration is up to almost 9% of Spain's population, a dramatic change very quickly. Ten years ago there weren't many immigrants and the ones there were were your standard Moroccans and Latin Americans. Now we got all those people and Eastern Europeans and Africans and Chinese and Pakistanis as well. Hey, I'm all in favor. Barcelona's much more vibrant than it used to be and a lot of the reason is the immigrants. They're really not used to all these foreigners around here, though, and there are going to be some conflicts. I'm optimistic; I think immigrants are going to fit in here pretty well. There are a good few pessimistic voices out there, though. I'll try to go into this more in detail in the next post.

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