The ailing construction giant, Sacyr, has sold off its autopista division while it waits to see whether the buyer for its Repsol shares will be Russian, Spanish or, say, German. This has caused a problem for the Galician government since it’s now left with a fistful of empty promises about improvements to our local network. As the buyer is the US outfit Citigroup, we naturally have the standard Spanish cartoon of a fat American in a Stetson, saddled with bulgeing bags of cash. Much greedier and short-term-profit-orientated, of course, than the Spanish company, Sacyr, which clearly doesn’t care who it sells its assets to.
I mentioned the Valencian Land Grab Laws the other day. The EU is now threatening Spain with serious punitive measures if it continues to do nothing to stop the corruption and the widespread abuses on the east coast. All a bit late for the innocent buyers who’ve had their houses knocked down. And for those who’ve lost land and then been forced to pay for infrastructure development on it. The EU’s report is said to express concern the Spanish judicial authorities “have shown themselves to be inadequate and poorly prepared to cope with the impact of massive real estate development in the life of people”. You can say that again. Anyway, here’s Mark Sticklin on the subject.
Quote of the week: British governments increasingly resemble cleaning ladies: they break the crockery and scratch the furniture, but they never, ever own up. Or, in my case, fragile artefacts from the Far East. Which apparently throw themselves off the bookshelves with monotonous frequency. Which is why the survivors are now hidden in drawers.
I may be struggling to find a quiet pub – or even a not-very-noisy one – but down in Murcia impressive steps are being taken against acoustic pollution. The city council has fined 19 raucous places for leaving their doors or windows open and so depriving their non-customers of sleep. The fines can be up to 300,000 euros. Way to go. Much more revenue-promising than motoring fines, I’d have thought.
I see the panic has started . . . Someone arrived at my blog this morning searching under “spain to leave single currency”. Anyone got cheap pounds to sell?