BBC Trending tells the story of a Spanish political satirist who some say crossed the country’s red lines – and who even ended up summoned to a criminal court because of a sketch.
BBC.com, Reporting: Anne-Marie Tomchak, Video journalists: Alvaro A. Ricciardelli and Gabriela Torres–Last week, at the same time as millions rallied online in support of pointed French satire using #JeSuisCharlie, south of the border in Spain #YoconFacu (I am with Facu) was trending last week in support of the satirist Facu Diaz. He has been accused of mocking victims of terrorism in an online video sketch, which uses the iconography of the Basque armed organisation ETA.
Estéban Duarte writes for Bloomberg.com–The anti-austerity party Podemos, leading Spanish polls less than a year before the next election, is targeting Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s purchase of social housing in Madrid, saying it’s a predatory type of investment that should be stamped out. Podemos is highlighting transactions such as Goldman’s 201 million-euro ($234 million) acquisition of rent-protected apartments as it works out policies to reduce inequality in Spain and draw millions of unemployed workers back into the labor force after a seven-year slump.
“They know that at a certain point the protected rents will expire, and when that happens, they will throw the tenants out,” Juan Carlos Monedero, a member of Podemos’s executive committee, said in an interview. “They are enriching people who already have more money than they know what to do with, and in turn they are forcing people to live on the streets.”
Spain plans to leave its position as co-sponsor of the Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative proposed and adopted by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero during the 59th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005.
Today’s Zaman.com–The current Spanish government has decided to completely suspend the Alliance of Civilizations initiative on the grounds that it has lost its importance. The initiative, which was included in Spain’s National Security Strategy in 2011 by Zapatero, was also reportedly excluded from the document’s updated version by the incumbent Spanish government last month.
The current National Security Strategy document that was updated by the ruling conservative People’s Party (PP) is said to make no reference to the initiative as well, reportedly due to pressure from ruling party lawmakers who claim that it is not right to focus on such an initiative at a time when “jihadists terrorize Europe,” the private Doğan news agency reported on Saturday.
Stadiums aren’t filling. Fans are largely treated with disdain. And while the authorities are now belatedly acting to stamp out bad atmosphere, little is being done to foment a good atmosphere
Sid Lowe writes for The Guardian.com–Sunday in Euskadi. In the Frontón Bizkaia, Juan Martínez de Irujo was wearing a big Basque beret and an even bigger smile, holding the trophy with battered and heavily bandaged hands, another pelota triple crown his. In the Bilbao Arena, Bilbao Basket beat Real Madrid, knocking them off the top for the first time in 78 games. And in the Teatro Principal in San Sebastián, Athletic Club de Bilbao were about to take on Real Sociedad in the Bertso Derbi, a kind of Basque sing-and-joke-off. Not far away, down the boulevard and in from the beach, Anoeta waited in the rain for the main event: Athletic Bilbao versus Real Sociedad.
In the narrow streets of the old town, they had been having an informal Bertso Derbi of their own, in between the patxaran and the pintxos. Blue and white shirts and scarves were everywhere, even on a dog or two. There were red and white shirts too; fewer than normal, but they were there.
A court will study a paternity lawsuit brought against the former King of Spain
CNN.com–Spain’s former King Juan Carlos, 77, will face a paternity lawsuit — by a Belgian woman alleging that he’s her father — before the nation’s Supreme Court, a 12-judge panel ruled Wednesday. The court accepted the case for study, two court spokeswomen told CNN. The royal household affirmed its “respect” for judicial decisions but declined further comment.
The plaintiff is Ingrid Sartiau, 48, who lives near Brussels. Sartiau alleges that her mother and the married Juan Carlos had a relationship in late 1965, and she was born, as a result, in August 1966, said her attorney, Jaume Pararols. He became Spain’s King and head of state in 1975 after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco. Juan Carlos abdicated in June in favor of his son, King Felipe VI, who was born in 1968. While the court agreed to take Sartiau’s claim for study, it rejected a separate paternity suit against the former King brought by a Spanish man.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo has urged the international community to provide more financial assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
PressTV.ir–The Spanish foreign minister made the remarks during a visit to the coastal enclave on Tuesday, as he met with Palestinians affected by the 50-day Israeli war. “The international community must act rapidly to rebuild Gaza,” he said at a United Nations-run school in Gaza City, adding, “The inhabitants of Gaza are living through a real tragedy.” He called for more aid to be given to reconstruct the more than 120,000 homes damaged or destroyed by Israeli airstrikes more than four months ago.
Garcia Margallo, the third European Union minister to visit the coastal enclave since the 50-day war last summer, arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing. Upon his arrival, Maher Abu Sabha, head of the Palestinian border authority said Garcia Margallo wanted to see the impact of the recent Israeli offensive in the coastal enclave and hold talks with chief of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krahenbuhl. The UNRWA has so far provided USD 70 million in aid to more than 40,000 families for repairing their damaged homes. However, reconstruction has not started yet.
Taking a Spanish art house film comedy and converting it into a West End musical may seem like an act of madness but it is very much in the spirit of the work itself.
Express.co.uk–Although the first try on Broadway tanked, the writers have given it a total overhaul for its London debut and made a pretty good job of it. The stage version detaches itself from Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film but it retains the comic delirium and the title’s premise. Four women all in various stages of meltdown congregate in the apartment of Pepa, an ageing actress and voiceover artist whose married lover has just left her for a younger model.
Tamsin Greig is wonderfully cast as Pepa, combining the split–second timing of a professional comic with the intelligence of an actress on the verge of a major breakthrough. Her singing voice is powerful with a strident edge that may not get chairs spinning around on The Voice but is entirely appropriate for the role. Haydn Gwynne as the philanderer’s wife Lucia is every bit her equal, albeit with a better singing voice and a wonderful series of costumes which range from an ocelot coat and hat to a pink number and white patent boots.
Lorena Muñoz Alonso writes for Artnet.com–Next summer, the Spanish city of Marbella will offer more than its usual sunny beaches, yacht parties, and luxury shopping opportunities. An art fair is about to hit town. The inaugural edition of Art Marbella will kick-off on July 30—and it’s already calling itself “the most important event of contemporary art in South Europe.”
The venture, set to gather 50 international galleries, is the brainchild of Alejandro Zaia, the Argentinian co-founder of the Latin American modern and contemporary art fairs PINTA New York (which relocated to Miami in its last edition), and PINTA London. Despite tapping the booming Latin American art market, PINTA London has tended to underperform, and there are rumors that it might be discontinued.
But Zaia has already found sunnier pastures, and has enlisted a curatorial committee—including Omar López-Chahoud, founder and director of the Miami art fair UNTITLED, and María Chiara Valacchi, director of Milan’s non-profit Spazio Cabinet—to help him with the fair’s first edition.
Telegraph.co.uk–Our experts’ pick of the top 10 cultural holidays in Spain for 2015, including the Dalí Triangle, the Chopin music festival and the best cultural activities for families, in destinations such as Madrid, Costa Brava, Majorca and Malaga
1. Cantabria’s prehistoric caves