Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rajoy announced yesterday that he is not going to step down: he called a party convention for June and announced that he would stand as a candidate for another term as party president. Esperanza Aguirre said she would not be a candidate, and Gallardon publicly backed Rajoy. So we'll see what happens.

It looks pretty clear that the PP hard-liners, secretary general Angel Acebes and party spokesman Eduardo Zaplana, are on their way out, to be replaced by moderates Pio Garcia Escudero and Esteban Gonzalez Pons. The name of Francisco Camps, premier of the Valencia region and also considered a party moderate, has appeared a lot lately; Gonzalez Pons is his man. Aguirre is backing Manuel Pizarro for one of these spots, and he'd be a good choice as well.

Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, the interior minister, has told Zap he wants a different job; he'd like to go back to being the PSOE spokesman in Congress. Zap's going to reshuffle the cabinet; I bet Maleni Alvarez gets thrown out on her bum, and that Pedro Solbes, Fernandez de la Vega, and (unfortunately) Moratinos will stay on.

So the Generalitat has a new genius plan to bring more rental flats on the market; they will pay the landlord up to six months' rent in case the renter is a deadbeat. See, the problem is that Spain has insane renters' rights laws, and it's nearly impossible to evict anyone, so nobody wants to rent out any vacant apartment he might own except at exorbitant prices. Besides, the rent-control laws force the landlord not to raise the rent by more than the official rate of inflation during the minimum five-year standard lease.

The little teenage bastards that set the homeless woman on fire back in January 2006 are finally going to be tried; they're looking at 28 years each, though they'll probably wind up serving no more than half that. This happened right here in Sant Gervasi, just ten minutes on foot away from my house, and the two dirtbag murderers are from nice middle-class Catalan families. I just don't see why anyone would be so cruel and cowardly. First they beat her up and then they poured turpentine on her and burned her alive. Just for fun. And they were so stupid they did all this in the vestibule of a bank branch where she was trying to sleep; of course, there was a surveillance camera there, and it filmed every single thing these shits did. They'd be looking at the death penalty in the US, and I certainly wouldn't sign any petitions for mercy.

Everyone's all bent out of shape about the Barça, because a couple of weeks ago they were only two points behind Real Madrid, and now they're eight points back after two straignt losses in the League. Barça is still alive in both the Champions' League (final eight) and the Spanish Cup (final four), though; they're the favorite to win the Cup, though I imagine that one of the English teams will win the Champions. I'd bet on any of the four against Barcelona right now. There is going to be a shakeup in the clubhouse at the end of the season no matter what happens. Out: Rijkaard, Ronaldinho, Deco, Henry, Zambrotta, Edmilson, Thuram, Oleguer, Ezquerro. In: Cesc and Poulsen, rumor has it. There's also a dumb rumor that they want to sign Lampard, which I would not do.

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