The thought of Spain covered in snow would unnerve any Spaniard, nevermind us “guiris” who only think of sun, sea and suspicious looking pints of Guinness.
Filomena has caused meltdown all over Spain with football matches affected, the sleet really hit the fans and the only thing Ter Stegen caught was a cold. Airlines also gave passengers the cold shoulder by cancelling flights, forcing a lot of people to put their plans on ice.
The emergency services in Madrid were under particular pressure as the news reported 100 people (including adults and chilldren) trapped in a shopping centre in Majadahonda due to the huge quantity of snow, however, they were left there over the weekend. Fortunately, several retailers clubbed together to offer people food from their restaurants or clothes from their stores since the Madrilenian police were apparently ‘snowed under’ with work. At least you’ve got to admit, it would make an interesting icebreaker around the water cooler on Monday morning.
- Hey Juan, Did you do anything nice this weekend?
- Well, I spent 3 days in ‘la illa’ eating nothing but brrr-itos and sleeping on a bed of Ipads from FNAC.
Filomena is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the problems that have hit Spain recently, complicating the ever-worsening coronavirus crisis. Dozens of young people are on thin ice with their parents and the police after having a snowball fight in Callao Square without masks, in the cold light of day.
Nonetheless, there were stories of heroism, including doctors and medical workers who abandoned their cars and walked for hours to get to work whereas others got cold feet. One doctor, Alvaro Sanchez, said on social media he had walked 17km over nearly two hours to get to work, while two nurses, Paco and Monica, said they had walked 22km to their hospital (BBC).
But, like any telenovela, the Spanish soap opera has a villain too. Electricity companies have shocked customers by increasing their rates by 27% coinciding with the recent weather. As a result, a local ice-making factory has gone into liquidation but well known energy advisors such as Felipe Gonzalez and Aznar are said to be “ec-static”
A bright idea would be for the Spanish government to enforce lower electricity prices however there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel given an apparent conflict of interest in Spanish politics (26 ex-politicians who used to serve in the Spanish government now work for power companies). As if by coincidence, in English we have a saying…
“absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
By Curtis Gamble – English teacher at ELITE Formación Integral
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FILOMENA IN THE NEWS:
BBC NEWS (click here)
Read an article about Filomena (click here)