Monday, February 09, 2009

El País this weekend had a feature on Kate Winslet, who’s seen here as the major Oscars rival to Spain’s big star, Penélope Cruz. For some reason, this was accompanied by three pictures of KW showing her bare breasts. Quite why, I wouldn’t know. But I couldn’t help noticing that Britain’s Daily Telegraph didn’t reciprocate in its article about La Cruz. I’ve never actually seen any of the latter's films. Perhaps she always keeps her clothes on.

On the global economic front, the news just gets gloomier and gloomier. On Europe, this what the openly eurosceptic commentator, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, says about the current situation – “The European Central Bank's refusal to follow the lead of the US, Japan, Britain, Canada, Switzerland and Sweden in slashing rates shows how destructive Europe's monetary union has become. . . . ‘We're dealing with truly appalling data, the likes of which have never been seen before in post-War Europe,’ said Julian Callow, Europe economist at Barclays Capital. . . . Spain's unemployment has jumped to 3.3m – or 14.4% – and will hit 19% next year, on Brussels data. The labour minister said yesterday that Spain's economy could not 'tolerate' immigrants any longer after suffering 'hurricane devastation'. You can see where this is going. . . The ECB's obduracy has nothing to do with economics. It fears zero rates as a vampire fears daylight, because that brings the purchase of eurozone bonds ever closer into play. Any such action would usher in an EMU 'debt union' by the back door, leaving Germany's taxpayers on the hook for Club Med liabilities. This is Europe's taboo.” So . . . interesting times. And frightening. Possibly very frightening if you’re German.

Down at street level, the Galician Xunta issued an early warning about today’s storm, advising that all schools would be closed as a precaution. As ever nowadays, this was only in Gallego, despite there being two co-official languages. But at least I was able to learn that the Galician for ‘orange’ is laranxa, compared with naranja in Spanish and norange in medieval English. I wonder what 'larynge' is.* Incidentally, here’s news of one group of folk who are unhappy with this avoidance of Spanish for official communications. Among other things. This is the first incident of this nature I can recall. But I doubt it’ll be the last, as we head – slowly but surely – down the Cataluña path. By the way, the reportage seems confused to me.

I’ve said a couple of times that the number of newspapers available here in Galicia is extraordinary, with a population of under 3 million apparently supporting 12 or 13 daily journals. And now I see there’s yet another one – A Peneira. This is described as “A Galician journal of general information” and appears to focus on the most southerly zones of the region. Some say most of these papers couldn’t survive without direct or indirect subsidies from self-interested regional and municipal politicians but I’ve no idea whether this is true or not. Though it’s certainly plausible. I wonder whether there’s money in an English-Gallego periodical. For me and, of course, several of my relatives. What fun we could have writing in almost-English.

Finally, it’s apparently all the fault of the Spanish government that our electricity bills in January were outrageously high. Or so say the electricity providers. I guess it’s because the government didn’t provide them with accurate calculators to allow them to get estimated consumption within 50% of what any fool could tell them it would be.

*Well, it’s laringe in Spanish and, according to this, the same in Gallego.


Sierra said...

Our village's electricity is provided by a small hydro-electric station on the river owned by a private company. So you would assume that the price would be different from other areas of Spain(cheaper given the abundance of "fuel" in Galicia). Sadly it's the same as Iberdrola's

Ferolano said...

Sounds to me like the airport duty free shops, the're not profit free!!

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