Monday, September 10, 2007

News: ETA let off a small bomb last night around 12 AM at the Defense ministry building in Logroño. No damage was done. However, the small bomb was supposed to be the trigger for a 80-kilo car bomb, which would have blown the whole thing to hell and gone. ETA also sent a communiqué to their front papers in the Basque Country blaming their recent campaign on, get this, the government, for, get this, "breaking its word," and announcing that the bombings will continue.

On Sunday afternoon they had a nice big riot in San Sebastián; the pretext was a homage march called by ETA front group Gestores Pro Amnistia in honor of ETA prisoners. The Basque government quite legally banned the march, and when the demonstrators showed up anyway, the cops read the riot act. Then the fighting began. Eleven people were injured, including a cop whose neck was badly cut open by a flying broken bottle, and nine were arrested.

Other notes: The Dalai Lama is in town. They asked him what he thought about an independent Catalonia and he said it wasn't any of his business. The slaughter continues with 32 deaths on Spain's highways over the weekend. Car racing scandal: Spain's big hero Fernando Alonso is suspected of industrial espionage, specifically of sharing Ferrari technology with McLaren Mercedes. Alonso is extremely popular here in Spain, but everyone else in the world thinks he's a jerk. The US soccer federation is extremely popular right now in Catalonia because it's asked the Spanish federation to allow the October 14 Catalonia-US friendly match in Barcelona. I'm not often sympathetic to the Catalan nationalists, but it does seem silly not to allow them to play a soccer game. If the teams and players want to play and the people want to see them, why not?

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