Tourist’s eye view

May 25th, 2009 | Written by Simon Rice|

The popular concept of the Los Monegros region in Aragon is aptly summed up by the view from the AVE high-speed train on the Madrid to Barcelona line. In Zaragoza the view from the eponymous taxi driver was polite but clear; the ecologists had an opinion, of course, but really there was nothing in Los Monegros but ¡Quatro lagartos! “Four lizards”, slang for nothing at all. Herein lies the nub of the problem for groups opposing the Gran Scala casino development project. Despite the fact that the ‘dessert’ areas of Huesca and Zaragoza provinces do indeed host a rich environmental heritage there seems to be no way to change, reverse in fact, the popular beliefs that undeveloped, or poorly developed land is worthless and that all progress is, by definition, a good thing. He went on to say that once outside of the city, Aragon is “Todo pueblo”, that is to say completely backward. The trouble is, he’s right! Maybe the way forward for the opposition is to propose a viable alternative to the scheme?