Friday, January 25, 2008

This afternoon the Ibex 35 was up 1.8% to 13,365 points, and it looks like the ride might be slowing down. Nobody get too excited yet: only one of the 35 stocks on the index (Sogecable) has gained on the year, and most companies listed are down some 15% since January 1.

Yesterday the market closed up 7%, the third biggest rise in Spanish history. Iberdrola was up more than 16%. La Vanguardia cites Wall Street's recovery, China's report of 11% growth in 2007, an increase in German business confidence, and BBVA's profits report of nearly 30% for 2007 as key reasons.

Unemployment, meanwhile, is at 8.6% in Spain, which is far too high and a direct result of Spain's restrictive labor laws. I mean, I know a guy who is an executive at a big company, and he has been offered a promotion, which would involve moving to the company's Paris headquarters. One of the factors he is considering, when making his decision, is that if he is fired from his current job in Spain they have to pay him an indemnity of more than one year's salary. By law. He would lose that security if he moved to France.

They busted 51 Internet kiddie porn pervos throughout Spain yesterday. Don't those idiots know everything they do can be traced?

Well, they can't call us "fat Americans" around here any more, since a health ministry study says that the percentages of overweight and obese Apaniards are now the same as in the US. It also says that Spaniards have reached the average European height. If you look at older Spaniards, one of the first things you'll notice is they're all short, and I mean the men are five-foot-four; this is, of course, the result of malnutrition in the postwar years. People under about 40 are a good bit taller.

Election update: It should be easy for the PP to make political hay out of the Barcelona terrorist cell. First, they can blast Zapatero's immigration policy and especially his amnesty for illegal aliens. Second, they can argue (sort of unfairly) that the Socialists claimed that Spain wouldn't be an Islamist target if Spanish troops left Iraq, and look what's happened now. Third, if the statements made about the imminent danger of the cell turn out to have been exaggerated, the Socialists look incompetent at best and like liars at the worst. Fourth, Joan Saura is a dope. If I were the PP I would make a documentary short showing exactly what a dope he is, and stress that this pseudo-Catalanist tree-hugging multiculti Commie was placed in charge of the Catalan police by Zap and the Socialists. I'd make sure that everyone in Spain saw it, and I'd tell them, hey, look, this is what we're running against.

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