Friday, May 1, 2009

Weekly Recap: April 25th - May 1st

A week after making the headlines for calling the Jose Luis Zapatero dim, French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived with his wife Cala Bruni for an official state visit, along with the first reported case of the Swine flu in Europe, continuing Spain's ability to be the first in all the wrong areas.

So far, there have been ten reported cases of infection, but no deaths; although based on the amount of hype you'd think it was a new Black Death.  Meanwhile, the slaughter of 300,000 pigs in Egypt and an Israeli minister's anger at the unkosherness of the name has prompted the WHO to stop using the term "Swine flu" because: you don't get it from eating pork (italics mine). And, in other pig news, an Israeli Rabbi granted approval to use them to guard West-Bank settlements way back in 2003.

Locally, the Minister of Work and Immigration for the Autonomy of Catalunya expressed optimism at the economy and predicted improvement next quarter as Spain's second and third largest banks reported record losses and the IMF predicted the Spanish economy will shrink by 3% and unemployment will reach nearly twenty by 2010, continuing to prove the Spanish have no sense of irony.  From watching the nightly news, this has pretty much been the answer from all politicians who, when pressed with questions on the negative numbers, reply: "Look that's not going to happen, okay?"

And, in sports - Barcelona fell back to earth this week, struggling for a draw with Valencia last weekend and being held goaless at home to Chelsea in the Champions League; while Espanyol won, continuing its impressive run from the relegation zone, and the Lakers eliminated the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs, where they now go on to face Houston.

While, in other European news, the Dutch queen survived a premeditated attack on her life, when a car plowed through a crowd, killing four and injuring twelve, before smashing into a monument as her open top buss passed by.

Finally happy May Day everybody, enjoy the long weekend and if you're in Barcelona: check out La Feria de Abril - It's not as colorful as its namesake in Sevilla, but still a good time and gives you a taste of what it would be like.

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