However, Philip/Felipe is getting some good press at the moment. He is said to be very popular and well thought of for his educated, well-informed and considerate attitude. Somebody in the royal household has to be popular, I suppose. Having said that, Sophie/Sofia does quite well, especially for someone who in the early days was criticised for speaking better English than Spanish.
Other people connected with the royal lot continue to come off very poorly. A judge has just asked for a bail of 8.1 million for the royal son-in-law Iñaki Udangarín (someone find me a translation into English of that name!) and his ex-associate in the case being brought against them for misappropriation of public funds, corruption of various types and goodness only knows what else. And they’ve got 5 days to pay it.
In another part of Spain, down in the south, ecology groups are putting up a protest because of proposed extraction of natural gas from the Parque Nacional de Doñana. This is one of those areas of natural beauty, wetlands where many types of migrating birds stop off en route and where endangered species have a little more chance of surviving. The project has the backing of ex-president of Spain Felipe González but ecology groups say the work will upset the delicate eco-system of the area. There it is again, that delicate balance between getting resources for a country in crisis and protecting the environment.
And the crisis continues. I read that 82,595 household in Galicia are in severe financial difficulties. Severe financial difficulties, according to the newspaper report, means that a family meets at least four of the following conditions:
- unable to go on holiday once a year;
- unable to afford to eat meat, chicken or fish at least twice a week;
- unable to heat the house adequately;
- have no money for unexpected expenses;
- fall behind in payment of the mortgage or other household bills;
- cannot afford a car, telephone, television, computer or washing machine.
A more light-hearted indication of the impecunious state of society is the increase in what they call “sponsored weddings”. You can get a 20% reduction in the cost of your wedding by having publicity notices around – visibly around – saying who made the cake and provided other aspects of the wedding feast. It is an American idea – there’s a surprise – but I read that it’s been seen in Galicia. It’s one way to help pay for an expensive celebration, I suppose.
Or you could just have slightly quieter affair and save the money for something more essential!