Tag Archives: Rubalcaba

Fernando Alonso to the rescue over Spanish speed limits

5 Mar

It makes you wonder whether Zapatero saw this coming. As Prime Minister it mustn’t be fun when any of your proposals are met with widespread rejection by the public, but when one of Spain’s national heroes, in the form of Formula One driver Fernando Alonso, comes forward to join the dissenting throng, you must know you’ve got something wrong.

National treasure: F1 driver Fernando Alonso

In the wake of unrest in the Middle East causing oil prices to soar, Zapatero’s PSOE announced last week that they will lower the speed limit on Spain’s motorways to help save energy. From Monday 7 March the limit on Spanish motorways will no longer stand at 74.5mph, or 120kph, but 68mph, or 110kph. A recent survey by the AA revealed that 59% of UK drivers asked would slow down to save fuel. Amusingly, the AA advised that driving at 80mph uses a quarter more fuel than driving at 70mph, as well as being illegal. Continue reading

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Spanish government right to distrust Eta ceasefire

16 Jan

Since September there has been much anticipation in Spain of an announcement from the Basque terrorist group Eta addressing a permanent ceasefire. But when the moment came earlier this week the promised truce was met with little more than disappointment as the Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero dismissed it as too heavy on rhetoric and too empty of precise detail. In their video announcing the truce, the three hooded Eta members made no mention of disarming or dissolving the organisation, which are two key demands of the Spanish government.

The video in which Eta militants promise a ceasefire

The Spanish are right to be sceptical after decades of ceasefires that have ended in nothing but further death and destruction. Since the 1980s after Spain’s transition to democracy, Eta has declared around ten ceasefires. Their ceasefire of March 2006, which they claimed would be permanent, was met with direct talks with the government, only to end in December that year when the group detonated bombs in Madrid’s Barajas Airport, killing two. In September last year, Eta announced an end to its armed offensive but the move was so weak the government refused to enter into negotiations. Continue reading