The government has announced more measures to deal with corruption. However, I suspect most Spaniards won’t believe it’s really serious until it acts to stop the evasion practices which pervade the property market. But, then, this is the last thing voters want as there’s scarcely anyone in the country who doesn’t benefit from them. And this includes tax inspectors and, doubtless, judges. Perhaps the government’s first step should be to reduce the massive 6-7% tax on sales which provokes such understandable evasion. But this has been such a wonderful source of easy income during the extended property boom it’s hard to see anything happening soon. Plus the priority targets must surely be the drug traffickers, mafia gangs and money launderers which give Spain such a bad name. Not to mention the country’s numerous corrupt mayors, currently riding so high on the hog.
The proposal from the Galician nationalist party [the BNG] to change the clock has certainly garnered them many column inches in both the local and national press. But it’s been greeted with almost universal derision even here in Galicia, where they have nothing like the support of their brethren in Catalunia and the Basque Country.
My township of Poio – across the river from Pontevedra – has announced that the number of foreigners here has risen enormously in the last year. It’s issued a list of all the 25 nationalities represented, in descending order of numbers. This is a real rag bag which starts with Argentineans and Brazilians, includes Croatians and Ethiopians and ends with bloody New Zealanders. What it doesn’t do is cite any Brits. Which is rather insulting, given all my efforts on behalf of Galicia. Perhaps I should ask for all my taxes back as I don’t officially exist.
It didn’t rain in Pontevedra today. We had hailstorms instead.
NOTICE: I’ve compiled my blog for 2003-4 into a compendium under various obvious headings. Anyone who’d like a [free] copy should write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, putting Compendium as the subject.