I divided my summer between England, Greece and Spain. Everywhere I went the atmosphere was heated – and not just by the warm weather.
The goon’s a balloon
When I arrived in London, protesters made it clear what they thought of Trump. “DUMP TRUMP” signs were mixed with ruder ones – the ‘coup de theatre’ being a giant balloon resembling an angry Baby Trump flying over Westminster.
Just as a heatwave hit London on the day 100,000 people took to the streets to demand a second Brexit vote, I flew to Greece.
Trump’s conviction that there is no global warming seemed even more insane as I flew over the devastation created by the wildfire near Athens.
On the island of Paros a wildfire was also causing havoc and I got swept up in discussions with my Greek friends on the country’s future.
There will be no Grexit, they assured me. After ten years of economic misery, the Greek PM has decided that another way is possible within the EU.
Bremain’s pain in Spain
Without much time to reflect on all of that, I jumped on a flight to Spain, or rather the Costa del Sol. The south coast is an international ghetto, and my friends there are British, Danish and German. I only heard Spanish spoken by the waiters, and then I found out that they were Albanian.
The heat and wildfires were there too, but they are used to that. In fact, the sun is what brought them to settle there in the first place.
Under the parasols, the talk was all about Brexit. The ‘Bremain in Spain’ organisation sums up the feelings of those who chose to settle on this sunshine coast.
Those who have lived in Spain for more than ten years had no right to vote in the Brexit referendum. Disenfranchised, they wonder who is going to care about them in the future. The Spanish are not happy either. They are economically dependent on the Brits. The Spanish PM says that instead of it being a ‘win/win’ situation, it will be ‘lose/lose’.
Hands off our chips!
There are 1.2 million British citizens living in the EU and what will it mean to us if Theresa May demands what she calls a “red, white and blue” Brexit?
When ‘Hard Brexit’ Boris declared: “Our policy is for having our cake and eating it,” EU President Donald Tusk responded: “There will be no cakes on the table, only salt and vinegar.”
Well – not tough enough, Tusk, because Brits love salt and vinegar – and especially on their chips! It’s like saying to a Dane there will be only coffee and weinerbrød.
Somebody likes him
But for all the heatwaves, wildfires and hot discussions in these three countries, I consoled myself with Trump’s words before he had an awkward cup of tea with Queen Elizabeth: “Brexit is … errr …Brexit. I believe in the people in the UK – in Scotland and Ireland … where I own property. They like me a lot.”
If the leader of the free world has no idea that Ireland is not British, we can all feel safe for our future.