Campaign rhetoric: Looks like Rajoy has hit a popular nerve with his declaration that immigrants should have to sign some kind of contract in order to stay in Spain. As an immigrant, I'm in favor; Rajoy's proposal wouldn't force people to do anything outlandish, but it would require them to learn Spanish and not cut off their daughters' clitorises. Zap's comeback was weak; he claimed that Rajoy's statement was an insult to immigrants, which this idea is not. Anyway, it looks like the PP has found an issue.
There's been some talk that Zap should have called elections for last fall, before the economic slump began. Now, the slump hasn't been too bad thus far, and it's mostly due to the standard business cycle, not Zap's policies. Still, he should have known a slowdown was coming, planned accordingly, and dissolved parliament back in about September.
Judge Garzon "suspended the activities" of the ETA front parties ANV and PCTV, making sure that they won't be able to run in the March 9 general election.
ETA set off a fifteen-kilo bomb in front of the courthouse in Vergara, in the Basque country. No one was injured, fortunately. Serious material damage was done.
The first high-speed train did its test run into Sants station in Barcelona yesterday, so they may actually have it up and running by election time. The question is whether that will help or hurt--it may remind people of the whole Great Transport Snafu.
Bad simile department: The guy in La Vanguardia reporting on the space shuttle launch said that the flames of the rocket lifting off were the color of gazpacho.