It looks like there are going to be coalition administrations in 8 of Galicia’s 15 cities. These represent 37% of the population but a whopping 80% of the region’s GDP. As the pacts will all be between the socialist PSOE and the even-more-left-of-centre Galician Nationalist Block [the BNG], some of us will fear for economic development.
I mentioned yesterday the BNG had been both the big loser and the big winner. However, reports for Galicia as a whole suggest its share of the total vote was either fractionally down or marginally up on 2003 and that it gained some seats. As the table I saw yesterday showed a loss of 28% of its seats in the 8 major cities, this can only mean it gained support in the countryside. It was certainly very hard hit in Pontevedra, where the mayor is said to have taken a day or two to get over the shock. That’s the trouble with elections - the bloody ungrateful voters.
For those really, really interested, here is how the percentage share of the Galician vote has gone since 1987:-
The PP: 38 in ’87, peaked at 48 in ’95 and now 40, as against 41 in 2003.
The PSOE: 27 in ’87, peaked at 32 in ’91 and now 29, as against 27 in 2003.
The BNG: 5 in ’87, peaked at 19 in ’99 and stayed at this in both 2003 and this time round.
So the PP has fallen, the PSOE has risen and the BNG has stood still. Though not in Pontevedra city, of course, where it was hammered. I’m still waiting for one of my nationalist/Nationalist commentators to turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse. I’m sure it can be done. Even without labelling the city’s residents actual or proto-fascists.
Personally, I would say neither this year’s results nor the trend displays ringing endorsement of BNG policies such as the promotion of Gallego at the expense of – rather than alongside – Spanish. But there is surely room for differences of opinion
To change the subject - Here in Spain, the percentage of the population gaining a university degree has risen from 19 a few years ago to 26 now. At the same time, the lifetime salary premium to be expected from having this qualification has fallen significantly. It’s now 60%, compared with 80 in France, 85 in the EU as a whole and 140 in the UK. The Spanish job market is said to be ‘saturated’ with graduates, so one wonders what the impact would be of the UK’s Labour government achieving its goal of 50% of young people attending university. Although not quite a university as we used to know it, Jim.
Continuing the British theme, a TV food channel says these are the native foods with the biggest impact on worldwide cuisine:-
1. Worcester sauce
2. Cheddar cheese
3. Yorkshire pudding
4. Clotted cream
5. Black pudding.
6. English Mustard
8. Salad cream
9. Mint sauce
10. Jellied eels
Opinions, as they say, will be divided on the merits of these items. And on what this says about British cuisine. Personally, I can just about imagine a meal which involves all ten. In fact, I think my mother used to make it every Sunday evening, along with a salad comprising two sad salad leaves and a slice of tomato. Is it any wonder I emigrated as soon as I could?
Readers are invited to nominate Spanish equivalents. Paella? Tortilla? Gazpacho? Aioli? [Or is that Italian?]. Tapas, of course. But, then, this is perhaps more a style of eating than a particular dish. Over to you. I’m sure I’ve missed a few obvious ones.