Here we are, reporting from the sunny costa of austerity.
Spain, in case no-one has noticed, is having the odd financial problem.
This is partly because, to put it extremely simply, they borrowed lots of money from the German banks who are now clawing it back.
Thank you Angela. It was exceedingly kind of you to lend Spain money for development of flats and houses that no-one had a rat’s chance in hell of selling because no-one had the money to buy.
Lecture Spain on overspending and speculating when you were funding it? And now you want the dosh back? Interest free? No, I doubt it. Just make sure everyone in Spain suffers for your greedy German bankers. Great European spirit of community there.
Just to be clear, this money-lending and property speculation has been going on since we arrived, some eleven years ago. So it’s not a clear-cut political issue, ie blame Aznar and the Partido Popular, or blame Zapatero and the Partido Socialista. It’s really, just blame all parties, all banks, and all greedy people.
In the meantime, what is happening in Spain? Well in the north of Spain, miners from Asturias, Léon and Aragón have spent the last few weeks marching 400kms to Madrid, in a gesture reminiscent of the famous British Jarrow march to London in the 1930s, over a similar distance.
According to Revolting Euorpe:
8,000 mineworkers will lose their livelihoods and a further 30,000 jobs will be affected indirectly if the 64% cut to government mining subsidies, from €703 million to €253 million, goes through.
Spain’s miners, who walked off the job at the start of June, are the first major group of workers in Europe to go on indefinite strike against the austerity measures that wreaking havoc across the Continent.
The cuts by the right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy are in breach of a five-year Plan for Coal agreement signed between government and unions last year.
They are due to arrive in Madrid today for a demonstration in the capital on Tuesday against the savage cuts to the coal industry. Anybody British remember that? But it wasn’t due to austerity measures back in the 80s in the UK, it was due to destroy-the-union measures.
Meanwhile, what was happening on the Costa del Sea Fret? No-one gave a shit. Everyone piled into their new coche and went down the beach, as you do in Andalucía, home of the poverty-stricken agricultural worker.
That’s not quite as flippant as it sounds. When Partner was busy buying two packs of San Miguel, two jars of capers and a bag of dog biscuits, he was chatting to one of our neighbours.
She’s Swiss and speaks perfectly good English. He’s Welsh and doesn’t really speak very good English although his Spanish is ok. Either way they chatted in Spanish about work. Was there enough in Gibraltar? Yes, for a few weeks. There’s nothing here, she said.
Miners on strike in the north of Spain, people without work for years in my village, holiday makers with bright shiny new coches enjoying summer on the beach. Who does the austerity hit?
Who’s going to fret?
And for those of you who complain about Pippa’s blog not being updated – a quicky picky of him waiting to get on the road.