Well, I guess there is good news and bad news from Spain. Let’s do the Good News today. After all: it has been a while since we could enjoy reading a headline here.
The first bit of good news is, of course, the splendid way in which the Spanish soccer team won the European championship last Sunday. They played beautifully, it was a convincing victory (not one of those lamentable penalty shoot-outs that you see too often nowadays) and it boosted the country’s morale, of which the place stands in great need. Congratulations boys! Shows you how far you can get if you set your mind to it.
Then day before yesterday, there was a surprisingly uplifting update from the employment front. Last month, unemployment went down with nearly 100,000 (from roughly 4.7 to 4.6 million). Much of this is of course seasonal, due to the summer tourist boom; but it so happens that it is the largest seasonal reduction in a decade and a half. As gift horses go, let us be grateful for the present.
Then, yesterday, precisely a year after its disappearance from the innards of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral, the famous 800-year old Codex Calixtinus was recuperated. It turned out that the thief was a former electrician of the cathedral, who began to steal manuscripts and jewelleries after he was fired from his job after 25 years. He simply walked in, and knowing from experience where to go, picked the ripe fruit from the showcases. You may astound, dear reader, but I happen to know the place since some years ago I used to do research there, and I assure you that just about anybody can walk in with some lame excuse, and never gets stopped. More remarkable still: the man had an entire treasure of stolen objects (and more than a million Euros in cash!) in garbage bags in his garage, and it seems nobody ever noticed anything until he absconded with a piece so famous that it would be missed. Tells you something about his intelligence, and about the manner in which the cathedral people guard their treasures… And this in a place which has been mentioned on the websites of jihadist fringe groups as a possible target for attack since it is one of Christianity’s most emblematic sites… And you still wonder why Spain is poor…?
Lastly, from the economic front, I may mention that in the wake of last Friday’s Eurotop decisions the interest rate on Spanish government loans went down somewhat, to a mere 6.5 %, and stayed there over the week, hovering up and down in a far from convincing manner, but, oh well, you know: absence of catastrophic news is reason for grand celebration these days. We shall see if it holds out. I fear the worst.
Tomorrow for some lesser news.