Neither super highway nor aircraft can compete

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SAINTS and sinners: The accolades received by what has been described as the world’s finest railway system is a credit to Spain.

The U.S. has chosen Spain to provide it with the best rolling stock and track network that $8 billion can buy.  The U.S. Secretary for Transport, on his second visit here, heaped praise on the AVE system. It is so good that neither super highway nor aircraft can compete. Those responsible must be blushing with pride.

With yet another investigation into the violent sexual abuse and the disappearance of vulnerable women caught up in prostitution rings one wonders if the term ‘Western values’ is yet another meaningless cliché.  We dare to criticise the Taliban? I don’t know which I find the most repellent; the treatment of these women or the apparent involvement of the Guardia Civil and immigration workers.

The internet, twitter and multiple other means of international communication mean that national scandal becomes international property. If Spain has no wish to be image twinned with the back streets of Albania it had better clean up its act. Rampant corruption, animal abuse and the exploitation of property investors could turn Spain into a pariah state.

What’s in a name? Plenty, especially if you’re an international airport acting as a doorway to Europe’s sub-tropical cosmopolitan delights. Let’s face it; the Costa del Sol is better known than is the great city of Malaga. It is common sense to give it what amounts to a double-barrel title but I bet we all continue to call Aeropuerto de Malaga-Costa del Sol ‘Malaga Airport.’

Handing in your car keys used to be recommended if you had too much of a liking for the juice o’ the barley. Now we are being invited to hand in our keys for a lifetime of free travel on F33 Grupo’s Murcia tram service. The ticket to ride is worth €360 a year not to mention the savings in fuel and other car-related costs. Is this too good to be true? You bet it is: Only one commuter will qualify.

Traffic was diverted when a giant pavement pizza was discovered in London’s posh Regent Street. It was gastronomically legitimate for The Taste of Spain was being rolled out or rather dished out for the sixth consecutive year. This time the event was to honour the achievements of Spanish sport. Who can argue with that? After all, Britain’s lov affair with Spain is as enduring as ever.

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