Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Oh, Lordy, the stock market's taken another dive, this time down 5.2% to 12,800 points late this afternoon. The construction firms did worse than average, and the blue chips fell less than average. La Vanguardia blames it on Wall Street's 2% decline. The other big European markets were down about 3%.

32,000 real-estate agencies closed down in Spain during 2007, which is 40% of the total. Most of these were shoestring speculative one-person shops that thought the boom would go on forever.

Food prices in 2007: through the roof. Sunflower oil went up 34%, milk 25%, flour 22%, chicken 16%, pasta 16%, onions 15%, bananas 13%, eggs 11%, and sardines 10%.

We're definitely having a major drought, despite Sunday's rain, and the water restrictions the Generalitat told us wouldn't be needed are going into effect: no more watering gardens or filling swimming pools with drinkable water. They're already working on getting tankers to deliver water from the Rhone and from desalinizing plants, and they're also going to reopen a bunch of old wells closed down years ago.

Judge Garzon charged the president of the ETA-front party ANV, along with two other party leaders, with collaboration with a terrorist gang and conspiracy. This is apparently a necessary legal step previous to banning the party and prohibiting it from running in the March 9 election.

Here's a good one. Something called the Barcelona Observatorio came out with a quality of life ranking for world cities and guess what? Barcelona came out on top! Number One! King of the hill, cream of the crop, top of the heap! For the tenth year in a row!

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