It’s been nearly 3 months since the last post here. We have been busy so we apologize for the inconveniences caused by our long absence.
Yesterday I talked with John, my boss (He-he) over at Infidels are Cool and I told him how is going everything here. So I have decided to write something about it.
Well, the situation is bad, no need to exaggerate. But it can be even worse.
Firstly, we have the economic situation. The Economist, a magazine not well-known for being a staunch supporter of the right-wingers (they actually adored Zapatero before he was elected… you know, he was the Zapateromessiah ), considers Spain as the sick man of Europe, an expression which was used on the XIXth century specially about the Russian Czarist economy. It has only one word for the actual situation in Spain: unsustainable.
Spain’s 19% unemployment rate is second only to Latvia’s in the EU. It reflects a structural hangover in a country that got drunk on bricks and mortar before its property bubble burst in 2007. Because of this, Spain entered recession in an already weakened state. As others recover slowly but predictably, Spain will need more time and extra care. Even optimists expect real recovery to come only in 2011.
Secondly, in view of the situation, any responsible (and sound) person would try to care for economy (really care). But instead of that, Zapatero’s Government is taking several astonishing measures:
1.- regarding abortion, the new Spanish law (not yet approved but in Parliament) will make possible that 16-year-old girls have one without their parents permission. Also till the 22nd week, every pregnant woman will be able to have an abortion with no special cause (now, only in one among three causes: a) rape; b) danger for mental or physical health of the mother or c) genetical malformations of the foetus and only till 12th week) and throughout all pregnancy if they are in danger. There was a demonstration (really big one) but, of course, Zapatero didn’t listen to the demonstrators’ demands (of course, Aznar was a dictator because he didn’t listen to the “streets’ demands” over Iraqi war, but Zapatero is not one even if he never listens to anybody who has a different opinion, much more if they are right-wingers).
2.- regarding religion, the Government now wants to get rid of every crucifix in the country. They say that Brussels wants them to do it, after a sentence in which European Union says that it’s against freedom of religion that Christian crucifixes are shown in public schools. Anyway, in here the far-left nationalist Catalonian Republican Left also wants that private and “concertados” (schools which receive money from State but are not public) get rid too of the crucifixes. They don’t see that as incompatible with critisizing (not directly, of course) the Swiss referendum about the minarets, even if I don’t recall any Christian politician referring to Crucifixes as “bayonets”, as Erdogan did about minarets.
3.- the last of the imbecilades of the Government is the so-called “Law of the Sustainable Economy”. Among other issues (renuevable energy sources, investment in development and technology -after cutting it dramatically from State Budget-, etc), they have tried to pass an article by which they actually will be able to take down every webpage if they think that it is infringing “intelectual property rights” (hmm, yes, Zapatero has said that no, “no web, no blog is going to be shut down“, but the Culture Minister insists the article will be maintained in the Law Project). Gizmondo writes about it clearly:
There’s a whole bunch of greedy “artists”—represented by the SGAE, the Spanish version of the RIAA, and some cinema associations—who most of the times are used by the Spanish socialist government to support their political agenda. I say greedy because, in Spain, there’s an “artist tax” on everything that can be used to record something. You buy a CD to do data backup at work? Doesn’t matter, the government’s friends assume you are a thief copying stuff, and charge you an extra for it. Maybe you want a new camera to record your newborn baby? Well, that’s more expensive too because of the “artistic” tax. Want an iPod? Pay extra. A DVD-R unit? Give them more money.
But of course, people know that we have to pay that artist tax (to millionaires like Miguel Bosé, Pedro Almodóvar or Alejandro Sanz, for instance, all of them staunch supporters of these measures) so they began buying all those things through the Internet. Greedy artist knew so… they wanted more money:
… they got it as an obvious favor, returned by the socialist government now in power. After passing the law hidden in another law, the artist associations can now close any web site they want, without a court order. They only have to argue that the site may be used to share media, and the Minister of Culture will have to the power to close the site without any judge giving the go ahead, a true “Cultural Police.” Goodbye democracy, hello National Socialism. What’s more, they also want to be able to close the Internet connection of any user who uses the internet for P2P sharing, also without any due process.
Spanish leftist blogger Ignacio Escolar has blamed US Embassy about this. In a post written yesterday, he actually writes that “some phone calls have been made to both the Government and the opposition to ask for this last reform to be maintained and to support them in being tough with Internet piracy”. Now, he must write that the Mossad, Ariel Sharon and Golda Meir are also in it to complete the picture…
Nora had a problem sometime ago when someone ordered wordpress.com to shut down her Spanish Pundit website because she had posted a photo that was copyrighted. No warning was made, just the blog disappeared.
So, as I said, this is getting too much complicated (also the conflicts between regions are getting tougher by the minute) and it’s somewhat depressing to see these developments. Makes me angry, really.
But, in the end, there is nothing to be done, just protest and protest and protest. Of course, most of the time we don’t get any result, but at least we have carried on with our duty as citizens.
Thanks to you all for your kindness and I hope we are back to blogging as soon as we can.