Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I should add to yesterday’s comment about Spanish TV noise levels that, if I switch from BBC Radio 3 to Classic FM, things get louder. At least during the ads.

Well, Banco Santander may well be as sound as it’s regularly claimed here but it’s tough luck if you invested in its property fund and now want to redeem your shares. The bank says it isn’t able to pay you right now but definitely might be able to do so in a couple of years time. There’s more on this development - and on the whole Spanish banking industry - here. Plus the writer’s view on whether European finance ministers will get their act together and save the EU. In a nutshell, he’s not as optimistic as he was – “As for the eurozone, I always argued in the past that a break-up is in effect impossible. I am no longer so sure.”

It’s been said that Spain is a ‘low trust’ society. So I guess not many of us here were terribly surprised to read that the EU officials who’ve looked into the recent share-out by the Galician Nationalist Party [the BNG] of wind turbine concessions say they believe the Department of Industry knew there were irregularities in the process. But, hey, there’s an election coming up and the BNG has had a taste of power over the last four years.

On this, it’s clear that the troubled opposition party, the PP, is still making no inroads into the territory of the governing Socialist-Nationalist coalition here, despite the country’s growing economic mess. In fact, the latest polls show the BNG getting an extra seat in the regional parliament, while the PP loses two.

Which reminds me . . . I read yesterday that the BNG candidate for Pontevedra City lives just down the road from me, in what’s considered Pontevedra’s pijo [snob] barrio. This rather surprised me, given that the BNG is left of its PSOE socialist partner. But it does perhaps explain why we have the spanking new kids’ park in our neighbourhood, a short drive or bike ride from the two permanent gypsy encampments half a kilometre or so away. I’m only guessing here but I bet the BNG candidate doesn’t live in one of the houses opposite or next to the facility.

These Galicians can be so backward at times. 65% of Voz de Galicia readers who bothered to vote agreed that the age of consent for sexual intercourse should be raised. Don’t they realise it’s the apogee of a developed civilisation to have 12 year olds breeding the taxpayers – or possibly the welfare beneficiaries – of the future? On the other hand, while the Galicians may be unsophisticated, they’re not stupid. 56% of them don’t believe that the financial budgets of the three campaigning parties are realistic. Which doesn’t, though, say a lot for the other 44%.

Finally, here’s an excellent reason to visit Galicia. The one in Spain, I mean. Not the one in Poland. Write to me on colindavies@terra.es, if you want a nice place to stay in . . .

Finally, finally – I was going to ask whether anyone knew which organisation is behind the 1482 number which is plaguing me with unsolicited calls to my mobile? But a Google search has confirmed my suspicion it’s Movistar, a division of that wonderful company, Telefónica. Isn’t anyone there aware that I’d rather put a red-hot poker in my eye than give them any business?


lemoors said...

hey, what u mean galicians unsophisticated?

lemoors said...

backward ...unsophisticated by no stupid ...?

Is that a (unnecessary) comparison to the English people of some rural or some inner city areas or is it only an unfortunate rushed comment ... ?