Sunday, 1 August 2010

Fun and fiestas and safety considerations!

Oh, the Spanish are very mixed up. A report in today’s El País newspaper tells us that although 60% of Spaniards say they don’t like bullfights and only 37 % actually say they like them, 52% of the nation think they should be maintained. Clearly they don’t dislike them enough. Some 57% say they disagree with the Catalan government’s decision to ban bullfighting. Of course, some of that is because they think the Catalans have only banned it because it is seen as the Spanish national sport. So they might not really disapprove of the new ruling just the reasons for it’s being made. How complicated do you need to make your thinking?

The newspaper had a rather nice cartoon demonstrating the mixed, and mixed-up, feelings the anti-bullfighting legislation has stirred up.

Other fiestas go on apace and the G
alicia police are promising to be out in force to catch drunk drivers. Because most fiestas are related to food and drink, alcohol consumption is almost inevitable, it seems. Another factor is that many of them take place in small places out in the country, a kind of village party, which means it’s almost impossible to get there without a car. The idea of having a named driver who opts not to drink seems rather a foreign notion. Younger drivers, however, appear to be more open to this new-fangled idea; numbers of 18 – 25 year olds convicted of drink-driving are going down while middle-aged men remain the worst offenders. Numbers of women convicted are apparently on the increase though: some strange declaration of equality I expect!

According to José Hermida, someone fairly important in the Guardia Civil de Tráfico the problem is that «En Galicia la gente está acostumbrada a beber y cuesta desterrar muchos hábitos arraigados». Well, it’s all very well saying that it’s hard to get rid of long established habits; you’ve got to take action but that seems to be what the Galicia police are planning. As Pontevedra province has some of the worst statistics, they’re starting the concerted effort here. So, if you’re heading for a fiesta, be warned!

Someone else who has been caught breaking some traffic laws is the leader of the Partido Popular, Mr Rajoy. This gentleman, leader of the opposition in Las Cortes and frequent critic of Mr Zapatero, is spending some holiday time in Galicia. I do hope he’s enjoying the hot and sunny weather conditions. Now someone on his team decided it would be a brilliant idea if Mr Rajoy was to send a message from his car to his followers on Facebook. Excellent notion! A bit of positive publicity! Just what every politician needs!

The trouble is that the excellent footage which appeared of Mr Rajoy sitting in the back of a car, smiling and chatting away, explaining how he was having a few relaxing days in Galicia, also showed quite clearly that he was not wearing a seatbelt. And neither was the member of his team sitting next to him.

I can’t say I’m terribly surprised as I have been told on many occasions not to worry looking for the seat belt in the back of whichever car I’m travelling in on the basis that no-one bothers to check up on you or that you don’t see many police on the route we are following. So it would seem that the most important thing is not so much actually obeying the law but not getting caught disobeying it!

Well, this time Mr Rajoy has been caught on camera. I wonder if he’ll get a fine. A spokesman for the Partido Popular has published an apology on his behalf, saying that it was a mistake and one that that neither Mariano Rajoy nor anyone else should make. He hastened to add that Mr Rajoy is usually very careful about such things and recognises that everyone should be. The life of every Spanish citizen, including the leader of the opposition is too valuable to be put at risk!!!

I wonder of this bit of publicity will make any difference!!!

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