Saturday, December 06, 2008

It’s hard to know what’s going on between British Airways, Iberia and Qantas over a two or three-way merger. Tension between the first two is said to be growing after Iberia briefed investors against BA’s prospects - seen as an attempt to push their share price down so that a merger deal would be cheaper/better for Iberia. At the same time, Iberia is reported to have told BA it must decide which bride to take to the altar as it doesn’t want a ménage-a-trois. So things should become clear quite soon. Maybe.

Depressingly, the UBS bank reckons that Spain’s recession will last until the middle of 2010, causing unemployment to touch 4 million, or 16% of the active population. “The crisis in Spain will be longer and deeper than the rest” says the bank’s strategy director here. This compares with the rest of Europe coming out of recession a year earlier. Including the UK?

Meanwhile, The Economist has reviewed the Spanish property market and makes the point that, while developers and builders may be facing up to the need to reduce prices, private owners are still in denial. What will it take, one wonders.

ETA’s latest cold-blooded murder is of a 71 year old Basque businessman. I don’t comment on these developments because I imagine most people can make up their own minds as to whether or not these terrorists/freedom fighters are men of intelligence, vision and courage. Though I seem to recall there’s a reader in New Zealand who has difficulty with this simple task.

If you want an insight into why Spain’s name stinks in the British property investment world, read this. I wonder how long it will take for the country’s reputation to be cleansed. I was going to say ‘restored’ but this begs too many questions.

I was talking about works on the street and walking under them . . . Here’s the first one I’ve come across since then. The funny thing is there’s a sort of tape parallel to the road – to stop drivers going onto the pavement? – but nothing [except intelligence] to stop pedestrians walking under the scaffolding that’s being erected.

More interestingly, here’s the latest development in the dig outside the Tourist Board offices. The smoothness of the blocks in this old wall suggest it isn’t medieval so presumably it’s either earlier [Roman?] or later. And it looks like they’ve found more of the spherical rock projectiles once hurled into the city. On a point of detail, the medieval walls run along the rear of the building. Which some will recognise as being in the Portuguese style. I think.

Finally, here’s a boutique that was a toy shop until a few months ago. There may well be money patterns along this coast which defy global trends but this investment still looks a bit dodgy to me.

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