What’s going on in Europe and particularly in Spain? We’ll bring you the news in this section.
The radical right is “a political ideology, the core element of which is a myth of a homogeneous nation, a romantic and populist ultranationalism which is directed against the concept of liberal and pluralistic democracy. . . It wants government by the people, but in terms of ethnocracy instead of democracy.” Thus, one of the biggest political stories in Spain these days, as a young but stable demo crary, is the sudden and perplexing rise of the reactionary far-right Vox party. In the 10 November 2019 snap election, Vox won no less than 15.09% of the vote. Overnight, it has become Spain’s third largest parliamentary party. Should Spain — and Europe — begin to worry?
The US House of Representatives voted on Halloween to spook Trump with a 232 to 196 vote on endorsing the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry and set up a new public phase of the investigation. House speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, presided over the vote and said “what is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.” Republicans in the House were united in defense of President Trump, describing the inquiry as secretive and unfair. Moreover, Trump says the “Deep State” — that is, the Washington bureaucracy — has been against him since his election in 2016.
The Guinness World Records deems it the oldest restaurant in the world. Some dispute the title, claiming other restaurants have been there longer. But Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez, one of the proprietors of the fabled restaurant, does not mind. He credits its success to the quality of the food, the service and the ambiance. The bottom line, really, is that Sobrino de Botín is a formidable mix of great food, good vibes and a most fascinating history. The result is a much-deserved global fame that Pepe, a consummate restaurateur, seems to take in his stride.
Salumificio Verza dates back to the early 1900s when legendary grandfather Antonio, known as “Verza”, used to butcher cattle and pigs bred in the valley. This ancestor would preserve the meat in caves filled with snow and ice that he himself would collect in his cart from the Fiorentini Highlands. The family traditions in the butchery trade, which has begun in Velo d’ Astico, Italy in 1968, contines today with the same passion, tradition, and quality of cured meat products.
On 17 October 1919 King Alfonso XIII of Spain inaugurated the capital’s first ever subway line. It went from under the Puerta del Sol in the center of the city up 3.48 kilometers north to Cuatro Caminos. A century later, the fledgling underground transport system of a measly eight stations boasts 12 lines and 302 stations, spanning 294 kilometers. It is the third longest subway in Europe, and the world’s eighth. It is a vanguard of accessibility with its 1705 escalators and 530 lifts. It has always run on electrciity, even long before saving our Planet via the clean-air route has become an urgent task!
Twelve Democratic hopefuls faced off in Ohio in mid-October in the largest US presidential primary debate in history. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has withdrawn US military personnel from the war zones of Syria. The New York Times quotes Aleksandr Shumilin, a Middle East specialist at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, as saying, “This is an unexpected gift for Putin.”
Since 14 October, when Spain’s Supreme Court decision to sentence the separatist leaders to years of jail terms was published, there seems to be an scalation of violence in the Tsunami Democràtic demonstrations. In the middle of it all, Catalonia President Quim Torra has provocatively declared that there will be a repeat of the illegal referendum on the independence of Catalonia before his term ends in 2020. Torra not only advocates civil disobedience; he headed up one of the demonstrations. Not exactly what a President of all Catalonia would do.
““It’s difficult to be Spanish and not be an alcoholic. We are born almost programmed to be alcoholics, given the availability of this drug,” notes Dr. Emilio Bogani, the director of Alcoholism and Toxicology at the Bétera Hospìtal in Valencia. The Spànish soociety is beginning to be educated against air pollution, but no one has organized any marches or demonstrations against liver pollution. Alcoholism is a disease and that the alcoholic should be treated as a sick person. . .
The fifth annual Ecuadorian Film Festival is on from October 18 to 20 in New York. It’s a lively festival that always surprises, what with its riveting themes. Some of the films have already won Latin American film awards. All are in Spanish with English subtitles. This year’s festival will have two venues: The Queens Museum and the Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen in Brooklyn. The Queens location is excellent because it also offers a walk through Flushing Meadow park if you choose to get there by the famed 7 train. The multi-faceted Bushwick, Brooklyn location, in an old factory building, is an experience in itself.
Micahel Douglas and wife Diandra in Mallorca supervising the renovation of their newly acquired “dream house”// Spanish tenor Placido Domingo opening the glittering homage to Dame Magot Fonteyn at London’s Covent Garden; enthusiastic in their applause were Diana, the Princess of Wales, and Princess Margaret.// Paco Rabanne presenting his latest collection at Madrid’s fashionable Joy Eslava. //Spain’s Infanta Cristina celebrating her 25th birthday in New York and missing her uncle’s (ex King Constantine of Greece) 50th birthday party in London. Some 600 guests attended, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Constantine’s sister and brother-in-law Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos I of Spain. . .