Right on cue, the President of the Association of Realtors has predicted 30% of his members will close down within a year or so. There are apparently 60,000 of these fine organisations around Spain, a fourfold increase in 6 years. This phenomenal growth might have had something to do with the removal of the requirement – recently restored, I believe – that you had to get a licence to set up shop. Oh, and with greed, of course. The President accepts that property prices could well soften but a spokesperson from Galicia opined this wouldn’t happen here as the market is fuelled by people from Madrid and the south coast looking for a second home. And in the latter case escaping huge hailstones, I assume.
An ironic headline from the Voz de Galicia – The Guardia Civil are tightening the net around fishermen who use explosives.
1. Pontevedra has lost its status as one of the top 10 provinces in Spain hit by motoring fines. These fell significantly last year and I now confidently await a reduction in my motor insurance premiums.
2. The average gross salary here is 16,600 a year. This is higher only than that of Estremadura and compares with more than 24,000 in Madrid.3. The government has announced that the AVE high-speed train – if and when it finally arrives in Galicia – will cut the Madrid-Pontevedra journey time from 10-12 hours to 2 hours 34 minutes. This is about the same time it takes to get from Liverpool to London and is not at all bad for a trip of 600km, or 375 miles. I hope I live long enough to enjoy it. Though travelling at 145mph through a series of long tunnels might prove a little worrying.
4. Some long-time readers will remember the incident of the three vehicles - one of which was a police car - ignoring the road works signs and ending up in a huge hole in the middle of the road. Well, if you click here , you'll see evidence this is becoming a national/regional sport.
On a wider front, it seems the proposed EU energy policy is disfavoured by France and Germany. These, of course, are the two members who are, at the same time, most protective of their own companies and the most aggressive in buying up those of other member countries. So, what’s the betting the Brussels initiative won’t go very far?
Quote of the Year So Far
Obviously the situation was too complicated for us to sit down with actual members of the Taliban but we were led to believe that the effects of our conversations with the right people filtered through to them. Jude Law - Ambassador for Peace One Day.
This paragraph is for those readers who post comments in Gallego. Everyone else should skip it. . . . As I’m not fluent in this language, I prefer to spend my time doing other things than translating your comments. Especially as they are usually high on abuse and low on argument. You can keep sending them if you want; I can’t be bothered to set up a filter. But essentially you’ll just be showboating for yourself and your fellow galegofalantes. Nothing intrinsically wrong with this, of course, but if you’re trying to annoy or - God forbid - impress me, then I’m afraid you’re wasting your time. You’d stand some chance in Spanish and quite a good one in English. Until then, I for one won’t be reading your contributions. But, if it makes you feel better, keep sending them.
Finally, a reminder about the survey mentioned at the end of Saturday’s post.