Saturday, June 21, 2014
One Remarkable Week In Spain
Not that the unions were overly impressed. It was all just a photo opportunity for the education minister, they reckoned. But what an opportunity. One for Joana to display THAT hairstyle. All she needs are some bushy sideburns to complete her retro Noddy Holder circa 1974 look. "Ma-Mama weer all crazee now," she probably didn't inform the unions, but had she, for once her linguistic cock-up would have been justified and indeed accurate.
The meeting with the unions was, naturally enough, seen as something of a victory for the hunger-striking teacher, who finally succumbed to the temptation of someone wafting vegetable soup under his nose. And thus, the Great Conflict edged towards becoming the Less Than Great Conflict. Or, because the school holidays are now upon us and no one will be paying any attention to the Conflict for the next three months, they may as well sit down and do what they should have been doing. Talking. In whichever language they prefer. And just as an aside, I have a question. The hunger-striking teacher. Was he being paid? Or how does that all work exactly?
Less earth-shattering have been events in Brazil, where Spain's world domination was brought rudely and suddenly to an end. A nation was plunged into mourning and despair. It must have been like this when Cuba was lost in 1898. And there was also the highly un-Spanish lack of leaving everything to a mañana of many weeks or months in the form of the rapidity with which a new king was ushered in. The big question on the nation's lips was - where would Felipe, Letizia and the nippers be living now? "Zeleb", the celebrity website, had the answer. They'll be staying put at at their modest, five-bedroomed, four-million-euros-worth Pabellón del Principe, so there would be no need for Letizia to get herself down the local IKEA and order new curtains for the Zarzuela.
Speculation was rife as to what Felipe's sudden promotion would all mean. One consequence could be an end to the Catalonian conflict. Spain's kings might traditionally not have spoken Catalan (for fairly obvious reasons), but the new man does. His Joana Camps trilingualism (he's fluent in English) was taken as the chance for him to somehow broker a deal between Mariano Rajoy and Catalonia's Artur Mas, though quite why the fact that he can speak Catalan should mean a resolution of the independence issue was lost on some - me, at any rate. But were it to mean a resolution, then this would truly and eventually cap what has indeed been a very remarkable week in Spain.