Spanish stories from over the summer

Zapatero calls early Spain election amid economic woes


Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for November, four months earlier than expected.

He said this would enable a new government to confront Spain's economic problems from January.

Hours earlier, a credit rating agency warned it might downgrade Spain's rating due to weak growth prospects.




 

Pope in Spain: Pilgrims in Madrid's protest square


Young Catholics have been pouring into the Spanish capital all week and Pope Benedict XVI is to join them on a four-day visit to Madrid.

The pilgrims have made their way from 193 countries. For days, they have packed the sweltering city streets sporting matching rucksacks and floppy sun hats. The metro is full of groups singing hymns in loud harmony as they ride.

They are here for World Youth Day - actually a week of activities - which culminates in an open-air Sunday Mass con-celebrated by the Pope. But there has been growing discontent over the event's estimated 50m euro (£44m; $72m) price tag.





Pope in Madrid: Opinion divided over pontiff's visit


Pope Benedict XVI is in the Spanish capital, Madrid, for four days of events expected to be attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

On Wednesday night there were clashes between police and protesters demonstrating against the cost of the event.

Here, four people in Madrid share their contrasting views on the pontiff's visit.



Spanish Royal to Give Up Fortune... For Love


They say love is priceless.

Even so -- the media’s gaping at the story of a Spanish royal -- giving up her fortune -- to marry a civil servant.




Remember to click on the links to read the whole text.

You could make a list of new words and expressions that you found in the texts (translate them or write definitions and example sentences).

What is your opinion on these stories?

Comments

José said…
Hi Graham,

Let me check the headline because they are not stories but history. Today, I’m going to comment the first history about elections in 2011. In my opinion, what the reporter –Missis Rainsford- from BBC news said was true, it was history. I remember that Spanish Prime Minister told us about financial problems of Spain and it was necessary that the new government to confront them.

I can see that as Mister Zapatero as Missis Rainsford said the same. The first said he was calling an early election in order to project political and economic certainty over the months to come and he wanted a new government to take control of the economy from 1 January next year. The second said that the government’s borrowing costs have risen in recent weeks, despite agreement on a second EU bailout package for Greece, reflecting the fact that investors still worry about the weak state of Spain’s economy.

Moody’s always downgrades the credit of Spain. Treatment is different than for other countries as Germany. Curiously, Moody’s downgrades Spain easily but it’s very difficult that the same ratings agency rises it. I don’t know the reason.

See you.
Graham said…
Hi Joselito :-)

Five years on and everything is as gloomy as it was then. The unemployment rate and the country's debt is just as dire.

Moody's may have been strict with Spain though the EU is always letting Spain off the hook.

And I fear lessons have not been learnt.


Let me check the headline because they are not stories but history. Today, I’m going to comment on the first story about elections in 2011. In my opinion, what the reporter –Missis Rainsford- from BBC news said was true, it was historic. I remember that the Spanish Prime Minister told us about the financial problems of Spain and it was necessary for the new government to confront them.

I can see that Mister Zapatero and Missis Rainsford said the same. The first said he was calling an early election in order to project political and economic certainty over the months to come and he wanted a new government to take control of the economy from 1 January the following year. The second said that the government’s borrowing costs had risen in recent weeks, despite agreement on a second EU bailout package for Greece, reflecting the fact that investors still worried about the weak state of Spain’s economy.

Moody’s always downgrades the credit of Spain. Treatment is different than for other countries like / such as Germany. Curiously, Moody’s downgrades Spain easily but it’s very difficult that the same ratings agency raises it. I don’t know why / the reason.



José said…
Hi Graham,

Missis Rainsford, from BBC news, describes the situation caused by the Pope Benedict XVI when he was in Madrid. Her article has got an introduction and three parts which are: “Big circus”, “Crisis of faith” and "Lonely believers”.

In the introduction she said that Young Catholics are going to celebrate the World Youth Day in Madrid where pilgrims from 193 countries will arrive with their rucksacks and floppy sun hats. She said that people protested by spends of money that they don’t have. There was a demonstration behind a banner that insisted “not with my taxes”.

Behind the title “Big Circus” she said that it was like a big circus of Christianity reclaiming gay rights, feminists, trade unionists and priests when there’s a big economic crisis. Many Spaniards didn’t understand such lavish arrangements to the Pope and while there were unemployment and austerity.

With the title “Crisis of faith”, she said that many protesters yelled insults about paedophile priests. Some pilgrims said that the Pope called them to come to Spain because faith has been lost here and a recent government poll showed a 10% drop in the number of Spaniards who describe themselves as Catholic.

Eventually, in “Lonely believers” said that priests talked about this event was a morale-boost for parishioners and to project a positive image of the Church. Others pilgrims said that is a chance to meet other, like-minded young people from around the world.

See you.
Graham said…
Hi José,

This is your chance to use reported speech.


Miss Rainsford ...

In the introduction she said that Young Catholics were going to celebrate the World Youth Day in Madrid where pilgrims from 193 countries would arrive with their rucksacks and floppy sun hats. She said that people had protested by spending money they didn't have. (not sure what you mean here)

Under the title “Big Circus” she said that it was like a big circus of Christianity protesting about (=reclamando?) gay rights, feminists, trade unionists and priests when there’s a big economic crisis. Many Spaniards didn’t understand such lavish arrangements to the Pope while there was high unemployment and austerity.

With the title “Crisis of faith”, she said that many protesters had yelled insults about paedophile priests. Some pilgrims said that the Pope had called them to come to Spain because faith had been in decline here and a recent government poll showed a 10% drop in the number of Spaniards who describe themselves as Catholic.

Finally, in “Lonely believers” she said that priests had described this event as a morale-boost for parishioners and wanted to project a positive image of the Church. Others pilgrims said that was a chance to meet other like-minded young people from around the world.