Sunday, December 17, 2006

Most of the 120,000 people stuck without a ride home in Europe and Latin America in the wake of Air Madrid's suspension of activities are still there. The Fomento ministry has chartered five airliners, who have transported 5000 people so far. Looks like ticket-buyers are only going to get some of their money back. Air Madrid was selling tickets up until the very morning they closed down, and there's obvious breach of contract here, so somebody is going to jail in about 12 years, given the way the wheels of Spanish justice turn. The people hurt are almost all Latin American immigrants in Europe, who can't afford to lose this money.

Get the latest genius Generalitat plan to deal with the high cost of housing. If you own a dwelling that is vacant for more than two years, you will be legally obligated to rent it out, even if you don't want to. One reason many people don't want to rent out property they own is because of government rent control. So how do we solve the problem? More government interference in the market, of course. This trial balloon is going to get shot down in flames.

Barça choked again this morning, losing 1-o to Internacional Porto Alegre in the world club championship match. They played OK, but couldn't score; one reason was that Internacional slapped two guys on Ronaldinho and pretty much shut him down. This is arguably the fifth big choke of the season, after the loss to Sevilla in the Euro Supercup final, the loss and draw vs. Chelsea in the Champions' League first round, and the loss to Real Madrid in the League a few weeks ago. Hey, I know you can't win them all, and nobody is about to jump off the bandwagon here. Still, Barcelona hasn't done well this season in big games.

Wacky Art Watch: Some local brilliant artist has rewritten an Ionesco play, I don't know why. Naturally, it is now set at a McDonald's. One of the three characters has been recast as Uncle Sam. This is actually playing at a Barcelona theater. Can't wait for the Broadway version.

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