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Report from the Iberian Peninsula

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Laura and I have been in Spain and Portugal for more than a week. We will be flying home on Oct. 1. One’s perspective is a matter of location.

Over here, the contemporary issues are as follows.

• The natural gas supply situation for the coming winter is dire. Prices for this winter for home heating are already triple those of last winter. However, the Nordstream pipelines are not considered reliable. Just last week, both lines appeared to be struck by sabotage or Putin just simply turned them off.


• Unemployment. The natural gas problem is shutting down industries, throwing people out of work.

• Inflation is a topic of discussion. Not only is it moving higher, but the Euro has also sunk versus the dollar (making things cheap for those of us with dollars to spend).

• Portugal is experiencing a surge of illegal immigrants from Brazil. Inflation is bad (as usual) in Brazil and since Brazil speaks Portuguese, it is natural for Brazilians to want to come to Portugal which they see as more stable.

• Have not heard a word about Queen Elizabeth II dying while here. The United Kingdom seems more distant here than at home.

• Net carbon zero and sustainability are all the rage.

Questions I have heard about home while here:

• Why can’t you come up with reasonably aged people to run for president? What is it with these old guys?

• Both Trump and Biden are considered jokes.

• What is this “woke” thing, and where did it come from? Will it be over soon?

• Why can’t you control your border?

• Do you think the United States can straighten itself out?

• What’s with all the violence? Don’t you all have guns? Why can’t you stop it yourselves with your guns?

Well, if Hurricane Ian let’s us, we’ll be back in Atlanta Saturday afternoon.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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