I ONCE had the dubious pleasure of driving along the perimeter fence of the U.S. naval base situated in Rota near Cadiz.
The Rota base, under an agreement signed this week, is set for expansion with an extra 1,200 military and civilian personnel plus 1,000 direct and indirect jobs on offer.
The United States (US) is going to deploy, as its contribution to NATO’s Anti-Missile Defence System, a total of four vessels equipped with the AEGIS system, to be based in Rota.
This was revealed during a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels between Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, US Secretary of State Leon Panetta and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
To say the base is formidable is an understatement. Between tank trap trenches four metres deep, several electrified five metre-high wire fences, rotating searchlights, CCTV, listening devices and watchtowers it is impressive to say the least. It makes the Berlin Wall and the Maginot Line look like garden fences.
Nominally under Spanish control it is an American colony covering 25 square kilometres and a key U.S. presence in the Mediterranean. The mast at Guardamar (Guardian of the Sea) near Torrevieja in the Costa Blanca is the tallest man-made structure in Europe. It is the base’s eyes and ears, though claimed to be defunct.
THE ill fated regime of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, now on course for electoral defeat, will receive little solace from the latest unemployment figures. There has been an unexpected deterioration in the labour market with an incredible increase of 95,817 more people during September registering as unemployed. This brings the total to 4.22 million.
Meanwhile news breaks of more scandalous payoffs made to Spain’s savings banks’ directors with distress taxpayers paying the bills. The failed management of Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo awarded themselves multi-million euro bonuses. Novacaixagalicia paid out €23.6 million to three directors before they were replaced.
Face facts; this is worse than corruption; it is downright state robbery of taxpayers’ money. That this should happen under any government, especially a so-called socialist one, cries out for justice.
How can any system survive this level of rampant corruption?
UNDER investigation; a Murcia company that allegedly degrades female employees by requiring them to wear a toilet sign around their necks with the word, aseos (toilets), printed on it when wishing to use the firm’s facility. They are limited to five minutes in the toilet.
Unions describe it as denigrating and because it applies to women only, discriminatory. I would describe it as bizarre and would cast the employers down a bottomless pit. It all goes to show; you can take some people out of the cave but you can’t take the cave out of some people.
Progress for some is painstakingly slow.