At our Spanish class, Eduardo asked us if we had read about the general strike in France which was scheduled for yesterday. The Spanish word for strike is 'huelga'.
One of the other Spanish words I have picked up recently is 'paro' which, amongst other things, means unemployed or unemployment benefit. Sadly it is a word that you find used a lot in the Spanish press at the moment.
The Spanish justice system is notoriously slow. People will tell you that it can take 3 or 4 years to bring a case to court and then, if there is an appeal, a further 3 or four years to resolve it. I'm told that many people give up on the process out of sheer frustration.
Whether the problem is caused by the bureaucracy involved in handling cases, the fact that there are so many cases to be dealt with or a shortage of courts I can't say. I imagine it is a combination of all three. Whatever the reasons the judges and magistrates have had enough.
The provincial assembly of judges and magistrates decided yesterday by an overwhelming majority to endorse the 'huelga' planned for the 18th of February. This will be the first strike in the history of the Spanish judicature.
At the end of the summit, the holder of the Court of First Instance and Instruction 1 of Dénia, Daniel Valcarce, spokesperson for the group said, “Our objective is to dignify the judicial function; to offer a quality service to the citizen. We want an agile, modern and computerised justice”.
If they achieve their aim and cases are dealt with more quickly and efficiently then I suppose will be a good thing. I can't help but feel that it is a sad day when the judiciary feel the need to go on strike.
PS I don't think the huelga will lead to the judges becoming paro; do you?