according to the bbc 54% of catalans disapprove of the catalan parliament’s declaration of independence. 52% are in favor of dissolving parliament and holding new elections. a few weeks ago this later number stood at 46%. since the illegal referrendum held in september. *this post has been updated*
Archive for the ‘spain’ Tag
as our watch on the european union, we at ablogaboutwhatever would like to make a belated comment about germany’s recent federal election. ok. drum roll please. according to our research, in order to make it into the federal parliament, a political party needs to amass at least 5% of the vote. this year a far right party –after 70 years of not always trying, exceeded this hurdle. out of all the voting districts in germany (aka wahllokale), only 1 town called munster (in a country of 82M people) gave the far right party less than 5% of the vote. maybe that nobel peace prize that the EU won a few years back has gone to people’s heads. or maybe the citizens of the 28 EU countries are pissed off that they never receive their percentage of the prize money, which we estimate would be about .00000002 cents per person. this would explain brexit as well as the slow meltdown in spain.
we took the time to gaze deeply at the official occupy wall street website. and we’ve decided that the dude or dudette who authored the homepage neither works in financial services nor studied economics. but he or she was seemingly a social sciences major from some leafy liberal arts college on the east coast.
first, we’d like to know how the organization was able to finagle a .org address. and since they are supposedly anti-capitalists, why are they asking for donations? or is that a sign of anti-capitalists and socialists, that everyone else is expected to work and pay taxes? all cynicism aside let’s pick one of their arguments apart. that neoliberalism has destroyed the economies of spain and greece.
the spanish economy (like that of california) is built on real estate and tourism. tourism took a bit of a hit in 2008 because everyone in europe felt less well off. but that’s bounced back a bit. but tourism only makes owners rich. –like hotel owners or shop owners. but it only creates low level service jobs like cashier and tour guide, which tend to pay poorly.
like ireland, the spanish people bought a lot of property they couldn’t afford. but unlike ireland, for a while this was OK because people around the world were keen on buying houses and apartments in the warm country.
but this lead to a property boom which benefited construction companies, construction workers (hired by construction companies), concrete makers, and persumably all the way down to the local cabinet maker. and when the property boom went bust, everything caved in with it.
the problems in the u.s. are somewhat more complex. yes there are mortgages and real estate involved. but the u.s. economy (minus california’s) has never completely revolved around real estate. it’s actually more diverse.
the u.s.’s non-recovery has more to do with small business owners being spooked about the future. the future that is the healthcare law that u.s. president obama signed into law last year.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero , prime minister of spain, who has the (mis) fortune of having 2 tragically gothic daughters, accidentally fell into power following the tragic disaster in madrid that swayed spanish voters in federal elections. he has announced that he won’t run for re-election in 2012. we think it’s due to spain’s current and ongoing economic recession.
unemployment stands at 20% and the property bust just gets worse. many spaniards are slaves to their mortgages–which many can no longer afford to pay. and the biz from the uk has essentialy dried up. his profile can be found on the bbc website.
the game seemingly went on forever. 8 players on the netherland side picked up 9 yellow cards and 1 got sent off with a red card during extra time. in the end spain prevailed. thomas mueller, the 20 year old from germany who only started playing with the germany national team in march, scored the golden boot for the tournament. diego forlan got the ‘man of the tournament/best player of the tournament‘ award and nelson mandela made an appearance at the game.
if way a country plays football (soccer to you aussies and u.s. americans) is a metaphor for naitonal identity what does the 2010 world cup say about the participating countries?
uruguay, which only ceded its first goal yesterday in its 2:1 win against korea, has one of the highest literacy rates and lowest corruption rates in south america, is perhaps a sleeping giant. south africa played its first and last games confidently but lost its way in between. ghana has consistently played with passion and has demonstrated that its got youth and technique on its side although there is still a tendency, once approaching the goal post to think of the indivdual as opposed to the team.
the u.s. is a plucky undergdog that has a can-do spirit. but since california kids grow up playing the beautiful game by not keeping score (least these testostorone filled boys become competitive men), this plays out negatively on their passion for the sport as adults. perhaps it’s why the u.s. at times seems to play to tie.
are france and italy broken? why does the germany team play with bouts of confidence (beating australia 4:0) followed closely by insecurity (losing to serbia 0:1)? the brazilian team play with a confidence they lost in 2006 when france took them out. the country, which forms one of the booming BRIC nations, has managed to avoid getting completely lost in the quagmire of the world recession. the country is expected to grow at a rate of 5.2% this year. while the team looks more and more like an international champion. but argentiana, which just 7 years ago was bogged down in a huge financial crisis, has rebounded and the football team, lead by coach diego maradona threatens to do the same. but the question is does a team built around lionel messi have a chance if messi gets boxed in?
and what about spain? the football team chose to stay on a college campus while the france team chose a 5 star hotel. spain, which has a 20% unemployment rate and is being led by a socialist government, is not weathering the financial crisis and the world recession very well. spaniards hard pressed to find jobs in their home country have been moving in droves to cities across europe. but can a team built around the talent of fernando torres beat brazil in the achtefinale (as they call it in germany) –a team whose wealth of talent is more generously spread across its team incompassing robinho and kaka?
with the king and queen as well as the prime minister of spain looking on, the spanish team beat germany 1:0 to take the trophy for the euro 2008 championship. fernando torres scored the winning goal in the first half. spain never let germany in the game. it was a virtual replay of the spain russia game.
the second bit of the semis for euro 2008 is being played out today. at the moment, spain is leading russia 1:0. in terms of natural talent, spain is probably the team. but the russian team is talented too and the players have worked very hard to get to the semis. so its not over yet.
if you are somewhere in the world where you can’t watch the european championships in real time but would like to hear play-by-play. you can try the guardian newspaper’s football daily podcast.
the match line-up can be found here. today spain plays russia at 6pm CET and greece, the defending champions play sweden at 8.45pm CET. on this page on the right-hand side you can select your favorite team or group (A, B, C, D) and their respective schedule will be automatically added to your outlook calendar or ical (if you’re on a mac).
gwyneth paltrow is doing a made-for-PBS travel-log about spain. in this article, the reporter notes that gwyneth paltrow is a vegetarian and then quotes her as saying that she will (i paraphase) ‘tuck into the rice and fish dishes.’. i thought vegetarians never eat anything that ever had a face.