Another tragedy on the high seas: A Spanish fishing boat found a cayuco adrift about 400 miles off the coast of the Canaries with one survivor and seven dead bodies aboard. A total of 56 African illegal immigrants died on the boat while it was adrift for twenty days. Three days ago a boat with 106 illegals aboard was found off Tenerife, and last week a boat with 161 illegals washed up on La Palma. Something has got to be done about the crisis of the African boat people, and the place to start is by establishing free trade with those countries and writing off the interest on most foreign debt.
Sergi Xavier Martin, Mr. Douchebag Skinhead who beat up the Ecuadorian girl on the train, has had a court hearing and has been released WITHOUT bail. The judge's reasoning was: The crime wasn't serious enough to jail Mr. Scumball; there are no medical reports proving that the girl was injured; there is no risk Mr. Shithead is going to attack her again; the victim has not suffered serious psychological damage; grabbing her breast was not sexual harassment; and Mr. Asswipe has a fixed domicile.
Therefore, the judge charged him with "an attack against the moral integrity of the person with the aggravating circumstance of xenophobia," for which Mr. Cowardly Punk may be sentenced to between six months and two years in prison. If he is eventually sentenced to a year or less, his sentence will be suspended.
Completely ridiculous. This guy committed assault and battery, it's an open and shut case since the attack is on film and the scumbag admitted it anyway, and he's got priors for armed robbery. Get him off our streets. He ought to be locked up, instead of selling interviews to TV channels and scandal magazines.
The video has gone around the world, and the Latin American media is angry. La Vanguardia says, "The modern, integrating image of Barcelona has suffered a hard blow...Barcelona is associated with racism and xenophobia, and it is stressed that this is not the first serious case of attacks on immigrants."
Nota bene: Barcelona is no more racist than any other big European city, and maybe less so than some. At least for now. Barcelona has no history of foreign immigration, and as recently as 2000 there was very little. Now the number of immigrants is growing so quickly (15% of the city's population) that some conflict is inevitable as society adjusts to a brand new phenomenon.
Violent conflict needs to be stopped as soon as it starts, though, and an excellent way to do this would be to put this dickhead in jail and leave him there as an example to others.
They had a big old demonstration in the Plaza Sant Jaume to protest. 400 people showed up. Of course, they can get more than a million out to demonstrate if the United States decides to take out an aggressive and bloody dictator. The priorities of some illustrated and enlightened Barcelonese seem to be to throw lots of stones without worrying about their own glass house.
Meanwhile, more than 40 illegal immigrants, mostly Moroccans, broke out of the Center for the Internment of Foreigners here in Barcelona last night by simply climbing the fence.
The Madeleine McCann circus continues, with the parents doing an exclusive interview with Antena 3 TV and hiring a Barcelona detective agency. This story will not die, and it's become the European O.J. Simpson case. My guess is that they accidentally overdosed her with a sedative while they went out, came back and found her dead, and panicked and got rid of the body.
Unemployment in Spain in the third quarter rose back above 8%.
The transportation crisis continues in Barcelona. Yesterday's brilliant idea was to make one of the lanes of the Castelldefels motorway buses-only, which didn't work and made the traffic jams worse.
It's beginning to hurt the Socialists. Montilla is blaming Zap big time for this mess, and development minister Magdalena Alvarez looks like she's going to take the fall. Zap is pissed off because he doesn't think he deserves the blame, but the PSC is dumping it on him rather than accepting any responsiblity themselves.
Meanwhile, a while back a big deal was made out of the Madrid government's agreement to transfer control of the Barcelona commuter-train system to the Catalan government on January 1, 2008. But now the Generalitat is refusing to take over the system until the Madrid government has fixed the mess. Wait a minute, guys, isn't the whole point of your demand for more authority here in Catalonia, that the Generalitat can do a much better job than the central government? Why aren't you willing to roll up your sleeves and get to work?
So guess what Socialist-controlled TV3 is trying to whip up on its morning show today? That's right, Catalunacy. The big debate today is going to be on why it pisses Cataloonies off when they address someone else in Catalan and get an answer in Spanish. Give it a rest, people, we've got a few more important things to worry about right now.