Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here’s a cautionary tale for any married woman in Spain thinking of carrying on an adulterous relationship during the marriage. And for anyone contemplating an appeal against a court decision

I’m not sure British law has the – somewhat broad – concept of ‘moral damage’. Quite the opposite, I suspect – with morality playing absolutely no part at in divorce settlement decisions. That said, by pure coincidence today’s British press reports this case of a man claiming compensation for having paid for the upbringing of his wife’s child by her lover. However, this case seems to be financially, not morally, based. And doesn't look to have a high chance of success.

Talking of the UK . . . Here’s an article from the February edition of Prospect which provides a fascinating insight into what’s happened to British society over the last 50 years. Plus some interesting proposals for going forward after the recession-cum-depression and for sweeping away “the rotten post-war settlement of British politics.” Well worth a read. Especially by those of us who’ve become so depressed by developments there.

There are not many people buying property in Spain these days but those who do will almost certainly experience the national genius for screwing as much as possible from captive customers. For the Tax Office [Hacienda] has hit on the ruse of demanding more tax than that paid by purchasers, on the grounds that the ‘real’ [i. e. taxable] value of the purchase is higher than that declared to the notary. I imagine this is going to happen even if the price declared is the one that’s actually been paid and even if market prices continue to fall for another two years. It’s an all-too-obvious way to partially compensate for the loss of the 7% [Yes, 7%!] taken on all property transactions during the boom years. And which was an ever-so-handy means of financing regional and local expenditure.

Fifteen days into the [official] Elections campaign, the Galician Nationalist Party [the BNG] has, quite logically, drawn the nationalist card out of the pack. It’s promised the region’s sports men and women that it will campaign for Galicia to be represented in its own right in international events. Incidentally, the BNG was one of the few parties to recommend a No to the EU in the Spanish referendum, on the basis that it wasn’t socialist enough. I’d guess Brussels is even more out-of-favour now that a Committee of the European parliament has said that, where there are co-official languages, people should be able to educate their kids in the language they want. This, of course, is anathema to nationalists in Galicia, Cataluña and the Basque Country, as they fear freedom of choice would lead to the atrophy of the local language. Though this is not how they put things, of course. They’re just trying to ‘normalise’ things by eliminating the hegemony of Spanish. Which is understandable, if you’re a nationalist.

Finally, my heart went out today to the, presumably, female reader who arrived at my blog having typed this cri-de-coeur into her search engine – Do Spanish men call all women 'guapa' [beautiful]? I didn't check the citations.

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