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The Minister´s Mini-Houses

Housing Minister María Antonia Trujillo, apart from being a disastrous Minister, is amazingly good at pulling useless projects out of her hat. About a year ago, Prime Minister Zapatero put this newly created ministry in the Extremadura Princess’s hands and she proceeded to tie herself in knots, promising Spaniards absurd “habitation solutions”. She said at the time she was using the term because that is what they call housing in the land of Allende. I still don´t know to which Allende she was referring, the awful president preceeding Pinochet´s equally awful dictatorship or the author of “The House of Spirits”. Both are Chilean and, no matter how much I try, I cannot remember a single native from that country saying “Wow, with these habitation solutions in Santiago, it is impossible to move out on your own” instead of “Wow, housing in Santiago is really expensive”.

What is more, assuming the writer might have said such nonsense, her most famous novel would have been titled “The Habitation Solution of Spirits”, and, of course, with such a title, it would never have been made into movie. What is more likely, is that neither Isabel nor Salvador Allende ever uttered the term and the Minister is suffering one of those South Americanism attacks so frequent in our left wingers. Quoting a South American novelist acts as a balsamic; it looks good and makes it seem you are well-read and incredibly sensitive.

As if “habitation solutions” weren’t enough to give meaning to our tight-rope walking Minister running a fictitious Ministry, one of her advisors turned on her thinking cap and out came a new idea: imaginative solutions to apply to the habitation solutions. No, this is not a tongue-twister; it is a hole in the wall. She has imagined building micro-apartments, 25 square meters (269 square feet) in total, so she can stuff young people into them. The few lucky youngsters receiving one of these micro-habitation solutions, can thank her for the rest of their lives. The driving force behind the Minister’s idea is that we take up too much room and, therefore, we need to ration space by sharing hallways, bathrooms and storage rooms. If one grows or changes his life cycle, no problem. Just annex the one next door and everyone happy.

Not even Orwell could have thought of a better way to take care of the herd. Mini state houses that manage to reduce the “minimal living space” to a game board sized 25 square meters and 4 meters high. A cubicle, a receptacle, a so-called “module” which, of course, finds its inspiration in Nordic countries, those ideal societies whose inhabitants only venture our of their modules to pay taxes. She could have used the Germans as an example. They enjoy spacious single family homes, but no, the example to follow is that of the most servile citizens in Europe. Nauseating. We can at least find some consolation in recognizing that for ineptitude and idiocy, nobody beats the dreadful Ms. Trujillo´s Habitational Ministry, whose life cycle as Minister should never have even begun.

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