Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Transportation chaos continues today in the Barcelona metro area. Everything is snarled up. Three RENFE (State-owned) and one FGC (region-owned) commuter lines (serving the southern and western suburbs from Sants central station) are cut off because of complications from construction on the parallel AVE (high-speed) line which is to connect Madrid and Barcelona. Vice-prime minister De la Vega admitted the RENFE lines would be down for two weeks, and the FGC line is going to be down for two months. At least. Those train lines transported 160,000 passengers a day, which I assume means 80,000 people daily on round-trips. The fleet of buses that was hastily improvised to cover the transit gap is not doing the job, and city street traffic is up more than 10%, which the system can not handle without massive traffic jams. And the AVE will definitely not have been completed in time for Christmas.

So get this. De la Vega blamed the contractors doing the work for delaying construction, presumably for political reasons. SER Radio, which belongs to pro-Socialist media conglomerate PRISA, specifically accused a company named OHL, which belongs to a well-known PP supporter, of creating intentional delays.

As usual in Spain, the best defense is a good offense. We, the Socialists, look bad because a major transportation screwup is happening on our watch? Let's just blame the PP and other assorted conspirators who care about nothing but damaging us politically.

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