Saturday, April 21, 2007

Not a whole lot of news from around here, which is why I've been lax in posting. The big international news is the French election. The latest surveys put Sarkozy between 27% and 30%, Royal between 22% and 26%, Bayrou between 15% and 20%, and Le Pen between 13% and 16%. All the other candidates, mostly far-left, are way behind. The fun will be to see whether Bayrou can knock Royal out of second place, as Le Pen did to Jospin in the last election. By the way, it's an international disgrace that more than one-eighth of French voters support Le Pen.

Latest bit of Catalunacy: Josep Huguet of ERC, who is the counselor (=minister) of Innovation, Universtites, and Business and in charge of the Tourism department, just showed what stupidity extreme Catalan nationalism is capable of by, get this, calling on Catalan passengers to boycott Madrid's Barajas airport and fly through Frankfurt or London instead. Yeah, that's going to look just great in the rest of Spain. Remember last time ERC called for a boycott (if I remember correctly, of products not labeled in Catalan), a bunch of Spainiacs like my former boss hit back with a boycott of Catalan products, especially cava, and some serious damage was done to the Catalan wine industry.

Huguet's words: "Barcelona, for political reasons, is forced to turn over its market to the service of another airport...Madrid wants to move from Second Division to First, and in order to achieve it, it is forcing Barcelona to stay in Third...Madrid will never catch up to the big hubs, not even by opposing Barcelona...(Boycotting Barajas) is an important instrument in the hands of Catalan society, which would sent a signal to Madrid to turn over the management of El Prat to Catalonia." Envy and spite, I say.

They ran another one of those citizens-interview-politician things Thursday night, this time with Mariano Rajoy. As with Zapatero, he said nothing new or interesting. The reviews I've heard are pretty good--he came off all right, didn't look like an extremist or a dumbass or a jerk.

No comments: