Thursday, October 18, 2007

More corruption: The president of the Valencian Socialist Party, Joan Ignasi Pla, was forced to resign today. He got some land in Denia rezoned so that a contractor friend of his could build a new subdivision. Nobody is surprised. Political parties do that all the time.

Weirdness: They've been digging up the Plaza Lesseps just up the hill from my house for what seems like the last decade, and today they found two skeletons buried under it. The cops are investigating.

Get this: There is a shantytown on the western outskirts of Madrid (right next to the landfill) called the Cañada Real Galiana, with about 2000 buildings and 30,000 inhabitants, mostly gypsies, Moroccans, and Romanians. The cops were ordered to tear down a shack that had been built in the public right-of-way. The residents put up a fight, which ended up with 22 injured, including eleven cops and eleven Moroccans. Nine Moroccans were arrested. This shantytown is the area's largest center of drug dealing and crime. The administration plans to tear down all shacks in the right-of-way, which is apparently a lot of them. Sad situation. Hard to know what to do in cases like this. I suppose you have to deport the Moroccans who are here illegally and help the rest of them find temporary shelter of some kind. After arresting all those wanted by the police, which is probably a pretty high percentage.

Barcelona's 2007 budget: €2.35 billion. €875 million comes from municipal taxes and fees. I guess the rest comes from the central government in Madrid, of course from everyone's taxes.

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