Tuesday, July 24, 2007

50,000 clients in Barcelona still have no electricity, more than 30 hours after the lights went out. At least 30,000 will not have service restored until tomorrow at the earliest. TV3 is reporting on how pissed off the municipal and regional authorities are; they're blaming the whole thing on Fecsa-Endesa, which doesn't make any sense because it was a Red Electrica Española cable that went down and caused the blackout. TV3 is of course controlled by the same political parties that control the Ayuntamiento, the Generalitat, and the central government, so they're quite clearly trying to deflect the anger of the citizens in some other direction.

The most clear sign of TV3 manipulation: Antoni Castells, the Generalitat's counselor in charge of industry, announced this afternoon that everybody's electricity would come back on by 10 PM. That, of course, was complete bullshit. TV3 has taken that story off its website, and it did not make the 9 PM evening news. Communist second vice-mayor Imma Mayol, meanwhile, is posing for the cameras calling the situation "indigestible" and demanding that it stop right now and everybody's lights magically come on.

CiU and the PP are blaming Montilla, the Generalitat, Zap, and anything that smells like a Socialist for this mess. CiU has pointed out that the Generalitat failed to connect the Maragall substation, the one that caught fire, to two other substations, as they were supposed to have done back in 2005. Duran Lérida said that if the high-tension power connection to France had been built, as the right wanted to do a couple of years back, this wouldn't have happened as there would have been an alternate source of electrical supply. However, the environmentalists, specifically Imma Mayol's Commie-Green crowd, torpedoed the project. Meanwhile, Red Electrica is controlled by the central government, and you know who's in charge of that: Zap and, get this, former Barcelona mayor and now industry minister Joan Clos, known for bashing America and being the genius behind the Forum of Cultures.

Supposedly there are going to be more pot-banging protests tonight. If there are I'm going to crank up "High Voltage" on the CD and drown them all out.

Other news: They busted Spain's Public Enemy Number One in Portugal, a guy who had robbed thirty banks and killed three cops in the last few years. Can we please hang him? He sounds like a deserving case. Some judge in Murcia denied child custody to a lesbian mother on the grounds that lesbianism is bad, which is pretty ridiculous and will almost certainly get overturned. They busted a CNI (Spanish intelligence) agent for spying for Russia; he's been charged with treason, for which he may receive as much as--get this--twelve years in jail.

Tour de France cyclist Alexander Vinokurov, who won yesterday's mountain stage, tested positive for blood doping; Tour leader Michael Rasmussen, meanwhile, has been kicked off the Danish national team for missing two drug tests this summer. It's a very bad week for sports, what with the indictment of Michael Vick on federal animal cruelty charges and the announcement that a NBA referee has been fixing games. I'm amazed that neither US story has made it in Spain; many people here are actually NBA fans and you'd think they'd be interested, and they could use the race angle on the Vick story, something the Spanish media is never shy about doing.

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