SPAIN: The Big Freeze

"The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain," Bernard Shaw has his madeover Liza Doolittle triumphantly recite in his film Pygmalion, thus inadvertently giving modern literature its one memorable line characterizing the equable climate of the Iberian Peninsula. But there was nothing temperate about February's weather in Spain. The cold wave which had paralyzed southern Europe swept down over the Pyrenees and deposited a blanket of frost which chilled to the bone millions of lightly dressed Spaniards living in unheated homes and, far worse, ruined the crops on hundreds of thousands of olive, almond and citrus trees. Hardest...

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