ETA again: They set off a truck-bomb loaded with 60 kilos of explosives on the beachfront street in Guecho (Getxo), Vizcaya, at 1 AM today. They called in a warning an hour before the bomb went off, so nobody was hurt. For a big explosion--it left a crater a foot deep and six across--it did surprisingly little structural damage.
Constitutional Court confusion: Justice Roberto Garcia-Calvo, a conservative, died suddenly yesterday, leaving another vacancy among the court's twelve members. The Court had been divided six to six between "progressives" and "conservatives," with the progressive Chief Justice breaking ties. No one knows who's going to replace Garcia-Calvo, especially since four of the current Justices' terms expired in December and the PSOE and PP haven't been able to agree on who'll replace them, either.
Here in Catalonia the focus is, of course, on the controversial Catalan statute of autonomy (= regional constitution), which was passed by the Catalan and Spanish parliaments, but which has been held up by judicial appeals from both the opposition PP and from other Spanish regions. With Garcia-Calvo dead, the "progressives" would have an advantage if a decision on the statute were to be made now. Which is highly unlikely.
The Spanish construction sector's production was down 10% from a year ago as of March, the highest drop in the EU; the EU average is a mere 0.1% decline.
72% of Spanish soccer fans would rather watch soccer than have sex, which might have something to do with the birth rate around here.
ERC Catalunacy: Pepelu Carod-Rovira is going to Portugal to request support for Catalan independence. Why would he possibly think he's going to get any? Meanwhile, accused embezzler and influence-peddler Joan Puigcercos wants to be the party's candidate in the 2010 regional election so he can get Catalonia all ready for independence in 2014.
Defense Minister Carme Chacon said yesterday, "I am a pacifist woman, and the Army is pacifist too."
They had a big old demonstration in Amposta, a small Catalan city on the Ebro River, against sending any of their precious liquid to keep us clean and hydrated here in Barcelona. As usual in Spain, the organizers and the authorities claimed radically different turnouts; this time the organizers said 35,000 and the authorities said 6000. The selfishness is appalling, since the Ebro Valley towns and farms don't need the water to be sent to Barcelona through the new "mini-transfer" aqueduct supposedly already under construction. The whole point of sending this Ebro water to Barcelona is that Barcelona is buying the excess water that the Ebro Valley farmers aren't going to use.
I bet the murder in Reus becomes a big stink; the victim was a law-abiding citizen, a 37-year-old engineer from a nearby small town, while the alleged killer is a Spanish gypsy. That is not going to go over well around here, where gypsies are stereotyped as knife-wielding criminals. Which some of them are.
The Spanish First Division soccer season is over. Real Madrid is champion; other Champions League teams next year are Villarreal, Barça, and Atletico de Madrid; Racing, Sevilla, and Valencia (Cup champion) will play the UEFA Cup; and Levante, Murcia, and Zaragoza are relegated to Second. Just wait till next year. Meanwhile, this summer we'll have the Eurocup to keep us entertained.