Until quite recently the South of Watford award for Spain's most useless airport might easily have gone to Ciudad Real's almost deserted white elephant. I now realise that CR airport is a bustling transport hub compared to some others; given that Vueling have been paid to operate a whopping 6 flights a week into the middle of nowhere. Or occasionally to Barcelona if Ciudad Real's solitary air traffic controller goes home.
Rivals for the award are becoming easier to find. It appears that Huesca only got flights in the ski season, and even these seem to have stopped. And then there is Castellón. Under the wise guidance of the "ciudadano ejemplar" Carlos Fabra (description courtesy of M. Rajoy), Castellón now has a sparkling brand new airport. It was, of course, inaugurated in time for the May elections and Fabra dismissed all nitpicking objections about the complete absence of planes inside the new installation by declaring that it was an airport for the people!
It's not even just a problem of the airport having no planes. It seems that it doesn't even have the necessary permissions that would allow flights to land there. No matter, enjoy the place. There's no imminent risk of nearby residents having their sleep disturbed by the noise of roaring jet engines. But the airport will have a statue to remind visitors of who owns the province. A tribute to the Great Tax Dodger himself is being prepared by the artist Juan Ripollés.
Sadly, yesterday there was a theft in the workshop where the statue is being prepared and the incident has revealed some intriguing details about the nature of this apparently immense work of Populist Unrealism. The thieves reportedly made off with three hands and an arm. Yes, that's right - three hands. You don't seriously expect a man who manages so many bank accounts to make do with just two hands? Not only that, but the combined weight of the booty was 2.5 tons and the thieves needed a lorry to steal it! Stalin himself would have been overwhelmed by the size of the statue being prepared in Fabra's honour. Unlike the Copa del Rey, it seems they don't have a duplicate. Yet.