Not before time, the excessively corrupt ex-doyen of Catalan politics - Jordi Pujol - has been visited by a couple of people for Spain's Tax Office. Surrealistically, it turns out that - while he was engaging in perhaps the largest-scale corruption in Spain's history (who could be sure?) - he was receiving a salary higher than any other politician's. And then a similarly generous (and permanent) pension after he retired. That's chutzpah for you! I wonder whether we will ever see him in court, never mind prison.
Life in Spain
- That much-despised animal, the estate agent, is re-appearing on Spain's high streets, as the conviction grows that, after 6 years of decline, the property market has finally bottomed out.
- Spain's construction industry is now the fastest growing in Europe, up 42% on May last year. This compares with a paltry 4% for the Eurozone as a whole.
- President Rajoy has told us he aims to bring about trust and certainty, as the precursors to real economic growth. The leader of the Opposition has retorted that, out in the real world, the only thing increasing in Spain is inequality. He may well have a point.
- You'll all recall the ugly, part-built Algarrobico hotel built on a pristine Almerian beach and mired in a decade of law suits. Well, despite the recent court decision that the building permit was legal, the Andalucian government had decided it will be demolished. This may or may not be the end of things. That's one of the joys of Spain - uncertainty.
- Spain is No. 2 in the EU when it comes to recycling but I can't help wondering whether this means it's great - as it is - at picking up our rubbish from 3 or 4 different coloured bins, as opposed to doing something clever with it thereafter. Is it all being chucked into a slow boat to China?
- On a more negative note, the UN has criticised Spain for not doing more to stop macho violence. This is a tad confusing as, per my calculations, Spain's numbers don't seem worse than those of, say, the UK. I wonder, therefore, whether the criticism relates to a failure to invest in safe havens for battered women.
For anyone who has difficulty understanding British understatement/hypocrisy here's a useful guide.
Finally . . . Given that toilet cleaners have been 'new and improved' ever since I can remember, I dread to think what dangers we were risking using my grandmother's (outside) toilet as kids. Possibly even Ebola.
House for Sale in Pontevedra
My neighbours are moving to Madrid and selling their lovely house. Lots of pictures here. Brief description: South west orientation. Completely renovated. In a development with swimming pool, extensive green areas, place for parties, excellent community environment. €395,000 [Discount for foreigners]
322 sq m constructed, 283 sq m usable
5 double bedrooms
Plot of 336m2
Terrace of 50m2 plus
5 built-in wardrobes
Covered laundry room