Quick news update: Another crazy-ass drunk truck driver, this one in Almeria. He blew nine times the legal blood-alcohol level. Spain seems to specialize in these guys.
Speaking of which, remember the scuzzbag who beat up the Ecuadorian girl on the train in Barcelona, and the film went around the world? He hasn't been tried yet on those charges, but he got fined €1000 and lost his license for ten months after getting busted for drunk driving. It's the same scum who keep committing the same crimes.
The EU commissioners are predicting a 2008 economic growth rate of 2.2% in 2008 and 1.8% in 2009. That's pretty much in line with the Spanish econ ministry but well higher than what the private sector forecasts.
Home sales are down 24% in Spain over the last year, and mortgages issued are down 26%. In Catalonia those numbers are worse: 41% and 36%, respectively. Oops. Meanwhile, farm prices are up 11%, so we can now cut some of their subsidies, please.
El Periodico has a story on Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and its preparations in Algeria; they have mortars and grenade launchers, as well as satellite communications and, most importantly, money. The Algerian press says they have more than 1600 active members, present in all areas of Algeria, and with their base in rural Cabilia. They are continually training new recruits, and El Periodico reminds us that their leaders have threatened Spain specifically and repeatedly.
The health ministry annouced that of the 800 brands of sunflower oil on sale in Spain, 200 are guaranteed safe, and the other 600 present minimal health risks. Health minister Soria told a press conference, "Bring me a bottle and I'll drink it right now!" I'd still throw out any sunflower oil I'd bought recently--it's not like it costs more than one-twenty a bottle or so.