Monday, April 06, 2009

A Town Divided

Someone has posted a thread on a local forum suggesting that our mayoress is a racist.
We live in a town of between eight and ten thousand inhabitants on the coast of Spain. It’s a cosmopolitan place and many extranjeros – foreigners – have come to settle here over the past forty years, attracted by its beauty, its bohemian lifestyle and its prices. All three qualities have since been watered down, of course, by the resulting nouvelle bourgeoisie, but we stay, victims of our own excesses. Too many four-wheel drives these days and not enough (indeed, any) donkeys. The settlers now outnumber the locals and, if all of us bothered to register with the town hall (hence the variance between the population numbers), we would probably run to about 65% or 70% of the entire population.
Our town can be divided into three groups. Local people; forasteros (a relatively small number of Spaniards from the rest of Spain) and extranjeros. As far as natural alliances go – if it wasn’t for the language problem – you could say that the forasteros and extranjeros are in the same boat. If there’s a pie, public money or jobs to be had, then the town hall and the mayoress, like the mayors before her, is definitely not going to share it round outside the immediate circle of the village-folk. The non-local Spaniards know this and they know how to circumvent most problems thrown at them. After all, who in Spain doesn’t number a judge, a lawyer, a politician, a bank-manager or a policeman among his cousins? The foreigners, unfortunately, have few or no good contacts and often are even unaware of the non-level playing field that they have elected to live on. While the local politicians routinely buy votes for a few hundred euros each, making a mockery of the democratic process, many of the foreigners refuse to join in or belong. ‘We don’t know the issues’ they say pathetically.
One day, we should all rise up and boycott the local businesses, just to show our strength; but as someone remarks on the same thread on the abovementioned forum, most of the foreigners here wouldn’t want to do such a thing. After all, they say weakly as they finger their little yellow triangles, it’s not our place… all things considered, we’re just guests here.
Which is why, dear friends, our mayoress is the way she is. She has nothing to fear from us.

1 comment:

brit said...

Good on the mayoress and council if the politicians of Britain were the same maybe a great number of us wouldn't be in Spain and Britain would still be Great Britain and British.