ETA exploded a bomb at around 6 AM today outside a Socialist headquarters in Bilbao. They called in a warning first, so the cops were able to evacuate the neighborhood. Serious material damage was done, as the bomb contained five kilos of explosives. Good thing nobody was killed, but seven Basque police officers were slightly injured.
A lot of Spaniards get very indignant when the English-speaking press calls ETA a "Basque separatist group," when it is in reality a gang of terrorists who have killed more than 800 people. They have a point.
We finally had a good rain today, both in the morning and the afternoon, including a thunderstorm, which are comparatively rare in Spain. The cats and the dog don't like thunderstorms at all, and there was some yelping and cowering going on here. It rained all over Spain, since there's a low-pressure system over the Bay of Biscay bringing in counterclockwise moist Atlantic winds. It's supposed to be rainy all weekend; they said it already rained more than an inch in the Pyrenees, and this should fill up the reservoirs a couple of percent. The stinky season has been put off for another couple of weeks.
The incompetent lying greenie-Communist Catalan environmental counselor, Francesc Baltasar, now says we won't need to go into the "drought pre-emergency stage" until May, as the recent rains have increased reservoir contents by a percent or two.
Good news: The cops carried out a mass raid in Madrid, arresting 87 Nigerians for running the well-known Internet e-mail fraud. They may have scored upward of €170 million; the cops have evidence that they took in at least €20 million. Most of the 1200 victims defrauded were foreigners in Europe and the US, and they got taken for an average of €18,000 each. More than 200 computers were confiscated, along with reams of other documents.
Archaeological update: In Constantí, near Tarragona, a ruinous medieval building collapsed and the remains of a Roman aqueduct, later renovated during the medieval era, was found under it. The arcade is 60 meters long, and the aqueduct seems to have been for irrigation. They're taking this seriously enough to change the plan to build a new train line between Barcelona and Valencia, which would have passed right by the site.
Check out this headline on La Vanguardia's website today: "Hundreds of Palestinians mourn cameraman murdered in Gaza." Neutral. Objective. Unbiased. I like that in a newspaper. Naturally, the usual gang of idiots showed up to post anti-Semitic comments, which I won't bother to quote.
Economics update: The Spanish savings banks association predicts GDP growth for 2008 to be 2.0%, and to be 0.9% in 2009. Unemployment will top 11% in mid-2009, housing starts will drop 7% this year and 15% next year, and there will be an 0.6% budget surplus this year and a 1.2% budget deficit next year. Household consumption will rise 2% this year, down from a 3.2% increase last year. Even Pedro Solbes had to admit that his ministry's forecast for this year was outrageously optimistic.