Thursday, September 20, 2012

Scotsman brought to Court

El País has an interesting article written by Natalia Junquera.
She tells the story of 59 year old Scotsman, Clifford Torrents, who bought a house in December 2009 with views in a quiet village, Ouviaño, Lugo.
He never thought he would be denounced and have to go to court.
The case was Thursday.
The reason he is in court is that he has been ordered to remove a plaque placed next to a fountain which reads,
‘Francisco Franco reigns’, as being the Mayor D. José Maria López, I inaugurate (this plaque) on the 24th of May 1953.
The current socialist mayor, José Manuel Braña, is the man who has denounced the Scotsman.
Clifford Torrents told El País,
‘It’s ridiculous, but given what they did to Garzón, and what has happened to (Francisco) Camps, now nothing surprises me’.
Clifford Torrents has an interesting background. He the son of a Catalan republican combatant, Juan Torrents, who changed his name to John Coleman when he went to serve in the British Army in the Second World War.
Clifford says he has already reached an agreement with a socialist councillor.

 He said ‘We shook hands and had a drink. That’s like signing a contract in my country’.
But the Mayor is denying that there is any permission from the Village Hall. 

He said ‘I told him that we would study it. I don’t know the minds of the people who placed the plaque. The Englishman (he should have said Scotsman) is not anybody to remove the plaque’. He then added an important detail – ‘I don’t speak English, and Clifford does not speak much Spanish’.
Clifford says there has been no linguistic misunderstanding, and he remembers that just before the last municipal elections, the Mayor went from door to door asking if they would like the plaque removed.

 There were nine votes for Clifford from 23 hamlets in the area which has a population of 200.
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