Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pedro's Public Pool

We are still in August so I can keep things going here with a true silly season story. The protagonist of today’s tale has already made appearances in this blog before, it is none other than Pedro J Ramirez, director of the newspaper El Mundo. This time we are not interested in some of the imaginative stories his newspaper has been printing about the Madrid train bombings, of which we can be sure there will soon be fresh instalments. No, today the focus is on the swimming pool at his house in Mallorca.

This has been a long running saga, because the pool in his house in Mallorca was constructed on land that is public domain, and in recent months there have been a series of protests demanding that public access be restored. Earlier this year the government was quite generous with Pedro, offering him a deal which effectively would leave his precious pool in peace as access would be offered outside the summer months to local schools who would probably not take advantage of the offer anyway. Pedro Jota has of course not been shy about using his own newspaper to attack those who have led protests on the issue.

This weekend, however, the pool really hit the headlines as there were two simultaneous demonstrations on the island over the issue, one in favour of public access, the other supporting poor Pedro against the “radical separatists” who would deprive him of his simple pleasures. Most interesting has been the revelation that the Partido Popular (the PP) shipped in hundreds of members of its youth wing from the Spanish mainland to participate in the defence of Pedro’s Pool (the PP2). These participants in what El Mundo flatteringly described as a “human tidal wave” of protest (promote that journalist!) helped to boost the numbers on the pro-Pedro side to 800 according to the Guardia Civil, and over 2000 according to the organisers. Whether they all got to use the pool as part of the deal has not been made clear, but it does leave the supposed independence of El Mundo looking even shakier than it already was.

Funny how the defence of “liberty” so often seems to involve defending the privileges of the powerful – I would hate to think that any of the ever increasing numbers of jellyfish in the Mediterranean could breach the barriers and make it as far as the pool.


rufus said...

If u dont know, recently Pedro J placed a colony of sea hedgehogs so people cannot enter in his pool... oh what a world we are living - rufus wainwright dixit

Graeme said...

sea hedgehogs don't sound that frightening, unless they are a lot more vicious than their land equivalents?