Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Spanish pragmatism: One of the problems of being self-employed here is that you have no option but to pay 200 euros a month for social security taxes. Needless to say, most people in their first year or two of business can’t afford 2,400 euros a year and so don’t pay it and operate illegally. The risks of being penalised for default are minimised by the fact that everyone from whom you seek advice, including the tax authorities, will tell you this is the way to go about things.

The Tower of Babel: The EU has accepted Basque, Catalan-Valencian and Galician as co-official-but-non-juridical languages of Spain. What this seems to mean is that anyone can write to the EU in one of these and the Spanish government will pay to have the document converted into Castilian before it’s translated into the other official languages of the EU. The bill for this will be a mere 1.5m euros a year. Money well spent, obviously. I wonder if the French government takes the same attitude towards Breton, for example.

An ETA terrorist sentenced to 3,000 years in gaol for killing 25 people is being released after only 18. His good behaviour must have been exemplary.

I see Bonnie Tyler is making a tour of Spain. I guess this means that Total Eclipse of the Heart and It’s a Heartache will be played even more than the usual three times a day over the coming months. What joy.

1 comment:

Portorosa said...

Brilliant post, Colin! Even better than usually, which is quite difficult.