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Spanish Eyes, English Words

A blended blog - Spanish life and culture meets English freelancer who often gets mistaken for Spanish senora. It's the eyes that do it, rather than the command of the language. Anything can and probably will happen here.

Latest EU law bans the drinking of cava in Spain
27 March 2014 @ 11:48

As a result of the collaboration between Angela Merkel and her new best friend David Cameron, it seems the EU are set to ban siestas, which will impact very strongly on Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, or the PIGS, as Frau Merkel allegedly referred to them during her cosy chat with  Cameron when she visited the UK earlier in March. Apparently, the thinking is that banning siestas will improve productivity across Europe.

Personally, I don't go in for siestas - although I certainly enjoy a nice long, leisurely Mediterranean style lunch whenever I get the opportunity. However, I was rather concerned that, having done away with siestas to improve productivity, Frau Merkel will now turn her Teutonic attention in the direction of cava. Many a productivity session has been compromised by the enthusiastic imbibing of industrial quantities of cava. It's the preferred Spanish drink of celebration, and although I am Spanish by adoption rather than birth, I have absolutely no trouble  in finding a cause for celebration and a reason to open a bottle - or several - of cava.

Last Saturday it was my friend's birthday, so that was a great excuse. On Sunday, we saw friends who we hadn't seen for almost a year, so there was another good reason to pop a cava cork. Monday was the day that marked a week since I collected my new puppy Paddy from the animal shelter, so I opened more cava as a celebration of that momentous event. Then I opened another bottle since I forgot to celebrate St Patrick's Day properly due to the excitement of collecting Paddy. I'm not Irish, but my dog has an Irish name, so it had to be done.

Tuesday and Wednesday passed without cause for celebration, and  I was beginning to panic, as there seemed to be nothing to celebrate today either. There is a clear and present danger that blood may intrude into my alcohol stream if I don't get more cava soon. Luckily, I've just found out it is my neighbour's cat's 8th birthday today, so the cava is in the fridge ready and waiting.

Unfortunately, the anticipatory smile was wiped off my face when I checked the news headlines before I fed Paddy this morning. The EU has now decided to ban the drinking of cava in Spain, as it interferes with productivity. Spain's celebratory drink will still be produced, but for export only, and the price will be increased to bring more money into EU coffers. The same thing will happen with Prosecco in Italy, Retsina in Greece and Mateus Rose in Portugal. The Portuguese will not be affected by the new law, as they wouldn't dream of drinking Mateus Rose even if it was the only wine left in Portugal, but there is already unrest in Spain, Italy and Greece.

Worryingly, here in Spain, it has been announced that specially appointed Cava Police will begin the momentous task of removing all stocks of cava from every bar, restaurant, bodega, hotel, supermarket and private residence in Spain. As it is such a vast undertaking, the Cava Police will work their way through the alphabet and will initially concentrate all their efforts in cities, towns and villages beginning with the letter A. There have already been riots in Alicante, where local residents have comandeered the iconic Santa Barbara Castle and are refusing to surrender until the new law is scrapped and the inalienable Spanish right of unhindered cava drinking is restored.

In our home village of Algorfa, there is also serious unrest. The village has a small population of just 3,000 souls, but the residents of the neighbouring villages of Benijofar and Benijuzar have also rallied to the cause, as they are very conscious that they will be next on the list. In the interests of solidarity, the nearby towns of Catral and Callosa also offered their services, but by 9.00pm last night, 10,000 cava swilling people were crammed into Algorfa's tiny village square, so the offer from Catral and Callosa was politely declined, even though they offered to bring a trailer full of cava to keep the protesters going in the event of a protracted demonstration.

The new EU law banning the drinking of cava in Spain, prosecco in Italy, retsina in Greece and Mateus Rose in Portugal is set to come into force on 1 April 2014 - unless the protesters win the day, of course. I hope they do, because I can't help thinking that Angela Merkel got this dastardly idea by thought transference, picking up on the impossible idea that flitted through my mind when I read about the proposed ban on siestas. I'm feeling very guilty and more than a little responsible - maybe I'll open that bottle of cava early.


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