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The History Man

This blog contains interesting facts about the history of Spain and things Spanish.

TURNING THE CLOCK BACK: What was going on 10 years ago?
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 @ 7:39 AM

As we approach the end of 2021 after the most awful year, dominated as it was by the Coronavirus pandemic, what was going on back in 2011? The History Man looks back…


Well, what a year it was! From smoking bans to earthquakes, from toppled politicians to general strikes. Oh, and Ryanair was up to its usual tricks!

January 2011

  • A proper smoking ban is finally introduced in Spain, so that we can now go for a drink without having to inhale other people’s smoke.
  • Ryanair starts 2011 as it left 2010 – mired in a row with the authorities! This time it is a row overcharging if passengers arrive without their pre-printed boarding passes.
  • Spätzle auf Spanisch, a documentary about the long-standing links between Montejaque, Benaoján and German partner town Knittlingen, is aired on German TV.

February 2011

  • We move house. There was probably other more important news this month, but we are so busy, we don’t notice!

March 2011

  • Spain celebrates 25 years membership of the European Union.
  • It is announced that there are four million “black” workers in Spain. That means lots of income tax not being paid. It also means that the unemployment figures are probably even worse than those quoted.
  • A series of strikes at Spanish airports are threatened. The issue is the proposed privatisation of some airports and probable redundancies.
  • The maximum speed limit is reduced to 110 kph – to save fuel – but is restored to 120 a few months later.

April 2011

  • Easter rains ruin the Semana Santa processions throughout the region.

May 2011

  • The Spanish local elections result in a huge shift to the right. Many councils change hands, even in traditionally socialist Andalucía.
  • Earthquakes rock the town of Lorca in Murcia.

June 2011

  • Ronda gets a new council formed by a coalition between the Partido Popular and the Partido Andalucista. The new mayor, a woman, Mari Paz Fernández, is from the PP.
  • Júzcar, a village in the Serranía de Ronda, is chosen to promote the latest Smurfs film and is painted blue!

July 2011

  • The running of the bulls festival of San Fermín takes place as usual in Pamplona.
  • José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the socialist prime minister, known as Mr Bean because of his likeness to the Rowan Atkinson character, resigns and announces general elections for November.

August 2011

  • We become grandparents for the third time – Lotta is born on 4 August.
  • The weather is unbearably hot! Thank goodness for shade, swimming pools and sangria!

September 2011

  • The Feria de Pedro Romero in Ronda is again a success, despite la crisis.
  • The poignant 10th anniversary of 11-S (9/11) is remembered throughout the world.

October 2011

  • The former mayor of Ronda, Antonio María Marín Lara, is arrested on charges of corruption and is released on bail. Toti vows to clear his name; the question is will he manage to wriggle out of it this time?
  • Winter arrives with a vengeance at the end of the month with freezing night-time temperatures.

November 2011

  • 20 November is the 36th anniversary of Franco’s death.
  • It is also the date of the Spanish general election, which the PP wins by a landslide. The new PM is Mariano Rajoy.
  • A high-speed rail freight route is announced, which will devastate one of the most beautiful valleys near Ronda. A vigorous campaign against it is started.

December 2011

  • We do a grand tour to visit family in Germany and England but are glad to get back home.
  • UK PM David Cameron isolates the UK from the rest of Europe over plans to renegotiate the EU contract. This means the UK will have no say in the future direction of the Union.
  • As we scoff our grapes at midnight, and make our buenos propósitos del Año Nuevo, New Year resolutions, we can wonder what is in store for us in …

… 2012!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

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