Saturday, July 7, 2007

Spain's Saturday News: The bulls, nudes and politicians are running!


The running of the toros begins in Pamplona. The bulls were after the crowds in the streets of Pamplona today for the first 'encierro' (bull run) of the Festival of San Fermin. Of course injuries are inevitable as throngs make a mad dash ahead of the two ton animals charging down the narrow streets, but only seven people have been treated for minor injuries so far.
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Last year, more than 200,000 people traveled to Pamplona, according to the city government, and even more are expected this year because the start of the festival fell on the beginning of a weekend. The major day of the festival is always July 7th, when thousands march and dance through the streets of Pamplona with an effigy of Saint Fermin.
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Every day of the festival has a carnival atmosphere, with rides, dancing and lots of wine and sangria. At night the partying intensifies, with street entertainers and large puppet-like 'giants' roaming around. Then in the morning, the encierro begins again.
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Click here for photos of the fiesta.
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The running of the desnudos, too. This past Thursday Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) organized a nude march through Pamplona. Animal rights activists wearing red scarves, fake horns and not much else chanted slogans such as, ''Bulls yes! Bullfighters no!'' and ''Torture isn't culture.''
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A statement on PETA’s website reads: “The Running of the Bulls and bullfighting are often justified as culture and tradition, but some traditions – like child labour and slavery – are bad and need to end.”
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Click here for photos of the event.
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Then there's the running of the politicos. El Pais reported today that according to a survey conducted by CIS (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas), 45% of those surveyed who sRunning of theaw or listened to the debate thought Prime Minister Zapatero won, while only 16.5% thought opposition leader Rajoy did. In addition, 60% responded that Zapatero seemed knowledgeable about the problems facing the country, 70% that he demonstrated moderation during the debate and 63% that he handled criticism well. Rajoy scored 56%, 34% and 34% respectively on the same questions.
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Click here to see more of the results.

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