Thursday, February 05, 2009

The in-house financial commentator of The Times alleges it’s economists who are to blame for the global wasteland we all now inhabit. Though not himself and his journalistic ilk, of course, but the academic sort. Nonetheless, his article is worth a read. If only for its chutzpah. And because, a trifle late, he questions the orthodoxy [global or merely Anglo-Saxon?] of the last few years. Albeit using a quote from Keynes which I think I’ve used myself in the last six months.

As for the subject of Economics, he opines that “There seem to be only two options. Either it has to be abandoned as an academic discipline to become a mere appendage of the collection and analysis of statistics. Or it must undergo an intellectual revolution.” [Ex?]Reader Moscow has assured me recently that the logic of economics means that Spain can’t leave the Euro. And he’s probably right. But I suppose that, if it does happen, it will be another nail in the coffin of economics as a real science. And a vote in favour of behavioural psychology.

If you were depressed reading the overview of the Spanish economy yesterday, then stay away from the same chap’s analysis of what is happening to cash flow here, with consequences for the national and regional governments. Who may, it seems, soon find themselves unable to pay the salaries of those comfortable jobs to which most Spaniards aspire. Words are decidedly un-minced. Or, as the Spanish say, there are no hairs on the writer’s tongue - “The debate which is going on in Spain about the current crisis” he says “is still light years away from the country's rapidly evolving reality”. Oh dear.

If you want a Spanish view on the frightening conjunction of dis-Government and dis-Opposition here, try this. Inevitably, one thinks of Nero and fiddles. But, then, one is always conscious of fiddles in Spain. The papers are full of them.

Thanks to a BBC podcast, I now know that the number 150 is significant for a number of reasons. One of these is that it is about the maximum number of friends and acquaintances we all maintain. Even though Facebook and the like give us the potential to increase this total significantly. Given how affable and sociable the Spanish are, I’m naturally wondering whether the national average here exceeds 150. More interestingly, I wonder whether the mix between friends and acquaintances would be markedly different here from Anglo cultures, with a greater bias towards acquaintances.

I mention from time to time that Galicia’s three small airports compete ferociously with each other, to the obvious advantage of Portugal’s larger international facility in nearby Oporto. To rub this in, the latter has just placed a huge advertising hoarding at the entrance/exit to Vigo airport, to remind travellers of its advantages. Coincidentally, this week saw an announcement that the smallest of the three Galician options – La Coruña – is to expand its facilities. Which, sure as eggs is eggs, will soon be followed by similar decisions in the case of both Vigo and Santiago. If this hasn’t already happened.

The Galician trade unions are protesting that the BNG Nationalist Party has given employment to at least 30 people who are either on its voting lists or are leading supporters of the party. Since this will shock absolutely no one, the question arises as to why they’ve decided to blow this particular whistle. Especially as both groups are on the left of the political divide. Perhaps the unions feel more at home with the not-so-left PSOE part. Who don’t, of course, go in for cronyism.

Finally, I’d just like to day that Everton beat the other team in Liverpool last night. And, fortunately for my TV screen, I wasn’t watching when ITV went to ads in the last couple of minutes of extra time and Everton scored the decisive goal of a dour game. But at least they apologised. Which possibly wouldn’t happen here on Galician TV, which now shows ads across the bottom of the screen throughout the game. Nor on national TV, I suspect. Where the whole of half-time is given over to ads instead of commentary and discussion.


Ferolano said...

Colin, are you sure that La Coruña is the smaller of the three Galician airports, considering both physical size and traffic? From my perspective, I have always thought that Vigo is the little brother, possibly because I have never been to that airport, but more importantly in consideration of the business and economic infrastructure that surrounds La Coruña.
I don’t know how much more expansion can be achieved at La Coruña airport, unfortunately there isn’t too much left (if anything) for runway growth and not an awful lot left for new buildings – who knows!
At the end of the day, it could be worse. I could have to drive to Santiago to fly anywhere. Me, I’m happy with La Coruña, as I guess you are with Vigo.

Sierra said...

..and why hasn't Lugo got an airport? There's a runway at Rozas on the N640 Oviedo road to the NE of Lugo - ideal - better than trekking to those distant provinces.

P.S. The Premiership games on TVE2 or TDP usually have an interview at halftime with one of the players involved in the game (anyway, isn't halftime the time to have a cup of tea?)

Colin said...

Ferolano, Yes, I believe you are right. I was just guessing . . . Santiago is the biggest, of course. And, yes, personally, I wish Vigo was bigger. International flights are few.

Colin said...

Sierra, Lugo? Where's that?

mike the trike said...

Colin you can't see Lugo at the moment because it's under a tonne of snow.

Sierra said...

No, raining as usual - Thursday:

mike the trike said...

Sierra - had a look at the photos on the site you posted and very nice indeed. Liked especially the photo of the building next to the falls which might be a mill?

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