Not much other news from these here parts. Supposedly the high-speed train to Madrid will go into service on February 16. I'll believe that when I see it. The number of new mortgages in Catalonia in November was down 25% over November 2006; it's down 15% in Spain as a whole. At noon the Ibex 35 was up 1.8% on the day; it was down 0.9% when it closed yesterday evening. The French cops busted an etarra who was in on three murders in the late '90s. Barcelona supposedly spends €12 million a year on lighting the streets, but it seems like half of them are blacked out most of the time.
La Vanguardia stresses that Zap did not get invited to the summit between Brown, Merkel, Sarkozy, Prodi, and Barroso about the economy, thereby demonstrating his international insignificance. Zap has received a bunch of criticism for his "I'll refund everybody €400 if I get reelected" promise; the opposition parties are saying, if the government doesn't need this money, why not refund it right now? The Moroccans arrested a guy implicated in the March 11 Madrid bombings named Abdelilah Hriz, whose DNA turns up in the Leganes apartment and the van the terrorists used. Since Spain and Morocco have no extradition treaty, Morocco will try him.
Looks like the Barcelona abortion clinics that were doing the illegal late-term abortions are going broke. Good. Barcelona midfielder Deco got busted for drunk driving. That doesn't help his case to stay with the club. Look for a massive housecleaning this summer, with Ronaldinho, Deco, Edmilson, Thuram, Ezquerro, Oleguer, and Zambrotta on their way out, along with Rijkaard. They're almost certainly going to buy Cesc back from Arsenal. I'd get rid of Puyol as well, but the fans would go nuts.