HIGHER EDUCATION SHAKE-UP DEGREES such as History of Art and Humanities could soon become history themselves. Both subjects are among a handful of undergraduate courses that the government proposes to abolish in its reform of higher education. Students and professors presented the Education subsecretary, Fernando Gurrea a petition signed by 35'000 people calling to save History of Art. A columnist at El Pais believes, “it doesn't seem that students' passion for the history of art is a passing phase”, considering how popular the degree course is. The columnist believes that as Spain, “has a very rich historic art patrimony, this must be explained and analysed”. Excluding this degree would be a “fatal blow to culture, a suicidal gesture ... that today's Spain cannot allow”. CONCENTRATION camp fake Catalonia's parliament stripped Enric Marco of his prestigious St George's Cross, awarded in 2001, upon the discovery that Marco, the president of a society of Spanish survivors of Nazi concentration camps, was never taken prisioner there. “The disconcerted face of Joan Saura, Institutional Relations councillor at Catalonia's regional parliament was like a poem”, ABC reports. Marco, who has spoken for more than thirty years about life in Nazi concentration camps across Europe, describing his experiences in books and a biography, admitted he had lied to national television this week. It was the investigations of historian Benito that cast doubt over his stories and his past. An incredulous columnist at El Pais asks, “How could he deceive so many people for so long? How could he reach 84 years of age ... without even his own wife and children beginning to suspect that his public biography was a monumental trick?” SPANIARDS have awarded themselves a grade B in the bedroom, according to the results of the 2005 Study of Spanish Sexual Habits, published last week. Over 2'800 Spaniards were asked about their sexual behaviour and health, as part of a National Sexual Health Campaign. ABC reports some of the study's key findings: that 90 percent of couples engage in foreplay; that 55 percent of those interviewed spend less than 30 minutes making love; and that 29 percent are “very satisfied” with their sexual relations. Men and women alike gave themselves a “generous mark” of their sexual performance, scoring an average of 7.25 out of 10. The most striking differences between men and women were revealed when sexual health was discussed. While 80 percent of women regularly visit their gynaecologist, only 27 percent of men regularly visit their urologist. PARLIAMENT'S debate about the state of the nation dominated the press last week, with the issue of terrorism taking centre stage. The debate occurred, “with the expected air of tension and confrontation”, for ABC. The paper suggested that the two major political parties are separated by a “broken bridge”. ABC stated that the two leaders painted two pictures of Spain, “as different to each other as the two sides of the moon”. It wasn't the only newspaper to make this observation. In La Razon's eyes, Zapatero portrayed Spain as a “wonderland”, while Rajoy put a “sense of reality” into discussions about the country. The paper suggests that opposition leader, Mariano Rajoy, “came out considerably stronger, and his political stature has been helped up above that of a prime minister whose only concern was to express his prepared phrases with the correct intonation”. Three issues, the fight against terrorism, statute reforms, “and the clouds that are hovering over the future of the unity of Spain”, were the main causes of tension, La Razon believes. “Zapatero didn't bring anything new to help understand what the future of the nation will be”, and the paper thinks that Zapatero “bends over backwards to the minority parties that keep him in power, meeting their insatiable demands”. The existing antiterrorist pact between the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) and PP (Partido Popular) has its days numbered, as Zapatero revealed he is willing to begin talks with representatives from ETA (the Basque separatist group), something the PP is strongly opposed to. La Vanguardia states that if the past is anything to go by, “there's a need to be very sceptical about any positive outcome resulting from dialogue with the terrorist group”, but the paper believes that despite this scepticism, people should “never try to invalidate initiatives supported by the majority of citizens”. Meeting ETA, “is a high risk political initiative”, El Pais claims, stating that the PP shouldn't oppose the move if ETA promises to lay down its arms. The news that four bombs exploded in Guipuzcoa over the weekend, adding a new element to the debate. The attack on four Basque businesses shows what ETA's “answer to the new socialist government politics is”, ABC believes. “Instead of the traditional statement, ETA prefers to make itself heard turning to bombs”. The bombs are part of ETA's usual strategy, “only that this time, it is bolder now that the state has given it a starring role”. THE Andalusian regional parliament approved a non-legally binding agreement last week, to complain about the ridiculous images of Andaluces (the people of Andalucia) as portrayed on television, El Pais reported. The Andalusian Party, PA, presented the proposal, which described the Andalusian characters on popular television programmes, such as Ana y los Siete, Los Serrano and Mis Adorables Vecinos as being stereotypes and ridiculous. The PA's proposal received unanimous approval. The party stated, “the Andalusian accent isn't worrying in itself, but what does create concern is that those series writers give Andalusian characters a form of speech which corresponds to a low level of culture, and the writers employ continuous grammatical errors to get gags”. Not only will Andalusian politicians send a formal complaint to the TV channels involved, the PA has called for the regional government to embark on a PR campaign to convey a positive image of the region's residents. BARCELONA football club celebrated coming top of the Spanish league, following its match against Levante on Saturday evening. The team had not won the league since 1999. “Every toast, every embrace, every smile, every tear, every memory add together to create a mystery that spreads across generations”, El Pais comments in describing the celebrations, asking rhetorically, “all this for a football team?” The paper congratulates Barcelona's coach, Frank Rijkaard, remembering that from the beginning “there were plenty of suspicions” as to how he would fare, but he managed to turn the team around, and “Rijkaard's temperament squashed any inclination of rebellion”. ABC agrees that Rijkaard had a tough start at the club, “the Dutch coach had a hard time”, he was kept “against the prevailing wind and the result is this season's prize”. “We deserve it”, a columnist at El Pais declares, “because we've been the best team by far”.


CONCENTRATION CAMP FAKE
SPANISH SEXUAL HABITS REVEALED

POLITICIANS DEBATE THE STATE OF THE NATION

ANDALUSIAN POLITICIANS FEEL RIDICULED

CELEBRATIONS IN BARCELONA