Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekly Recap: April 18th - 25th

The week began with the Spanish media still buzzing at the comments of French President Nicholas Sarkozy calling into question President Jose Luis Zapatero's intelligence. In response to the insult, Zapatero stayed silent, leaving his defense to a member of the opposition PP, Luis Herrero, who retorted, "And what about you dwarf?" Meanwhile, in more positive French -Spanish news, a joint security operation led to the arrest of a high-level ETA operative and eight others.

On the business front, in an attempt to boost the ailing economy, the government unveiled a new 3-billion euro credit-line for small and medium sized businesses who will now have to fight the bureaucracy to see any of it, and 100-million to
Volkswagen to build the new Audi here. The German company agreed that for that amount - they wouldn't rule it out - so expect the price tag to rise at a time of plunging car sales and projections of increasing deficits.

Regionally, an member of the CiU and European deputy stated his fears that region was moving towards a fascist state where dissent and moderation regarding linguistic issues were equated to treason and being a anti-Catalan, likening the current environment to the Spanish inquisition. To which, the current leader of the CiU Artur Mas said: "I don't feel bad for having fired the guy. He is a man who has ended his career within the party." While in Barcelona, 13 members of Los Ángeles de Infierno biker club were arrested as part of a nationwide effort to crack down the Neo-Nazi leaning group for alleged extorsion, in addition to drug and weapons trafficking.

In sports, Barcelona continued its impressive run, advancing to the semi-finals of the Champions League to face Chelsea and trashing Sevilla in La Liga, and the start of the NBA play-offs started with Pau Gasol and the Lakers winning the first two at home against the Utah Jazz, before dropping the third away.

Wrapping up the news for the week, the King and Queen's youngest daughter is leaving Barcelona for Washington D.C. with her family; and in an effort to combat smoking, the Spanish government plans to use grotesque pictures on cigarette packs. Finally, a week after word leaked of his French counterpart's insults, President Zapatero responded by saying that he was convinced the comments made by Sarkozy were positive because he would never question his intelligence.

He'd be the only one

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