Saturday, April 05, 2008

Slow news day. The Zap government is in favor of an aqueduct bringing Ebro river water to Barcelona; the plan is not to take more water from the river, but to buy part of the excess water dedicated to irrigation from the farmers it's allotted to.

Zap also has a housing plan: cut the VAT on renovation work on older houses, build 150,000 public housing units, provide €5 billion for loans to public housing buyers, subsidize "young people's" rental payments by €210 a month, spend €400 million retraining construction workers, spend lots more money on public building projects, and refund everybody €400 on their income tax.

Cutting taxes on anything always makes sense. None of the rest of Zap's proposals sound like good ideas to me, unless the public building projects are actually useful rather than Forum-like boondoggles. And, of course, all this is going to play hell with the balanced budget.

More boat people: a cayuco with five people aboard washed up on Grand Canary. Since cayucos normally leave West Africa with a full load of 50-100 immigrants, I hope that what I think happened didn't really happen. Of course the international media ignored the story as usual.

A 23-foot shark has been sighted off the Catalan coast, both at the Puerto Olimpico beach in Barcelona and at Vilanova to the southwest. He is apparently injured or sick, since it's very rare for sharks to come in so close; I've never heard of anyone being attacked by a shark at a Mediterranean beach. This one is a basking shark, which feeds on plankton, so it doesn't attack anything anyway. They think it's been hooked or tangled in a net, and they're going to go out and try to rescue it today.

I ate shark once in Mexico, back when I still ate fish. It's actually not bad, though it's a very meaty fish, if you know what I mean.

Fact: Ronaldinho's out for the rest of the season with some kind of "injury." Rumor: AC Milan has offered €20 million for him. That would be buying high and selling low, but I'm starting to think Ronaldinho's a sunk cost and you might as well get anything you can out of it right now.

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