Wednesday, May 06, 2009

As if Spain didn’t have enough woes right now, it’s said that she’s the EU country most at risk from climate change. I guess this is simply because we’re furthest south. Of course, it’s an ill wind that blows no good and it seems that here up north ‘it’s becoming more Mediterranean”. But, then, this can only mean we’ll shortly be overrun by the sort of expats who’ve converted the south into Clacton-con-Sol. Time to think of moving on. A Basque farmhouse, perhaps? Or an Asturian ciderhouse.

In the survey of Spanish views I quoted from recently, more than 60% of people said they preferred to deal with their household affairs face-to-face, rather than via a letter or on the phone. Or, these days, via the internet. In a society where letters are simply not treated seriously – assuming they arrive – and where no one delivers on a promise to call you back, there’s a certain logic about this. And it’s one reason, of course, why the streets of Spain’s towns and cities are awash with bank branches. But it all rather supposes that one member of the family – traditionally the wife – is available during at least the morning to invest all the time it takes to do things this way. So I’m left wondering just how possible it is these days, when more and more couples are both out at work. Perhaps the long-suffering nearby grandparents are roped in for this as well. And I’m reminded of something John Hooper wrote in his book “The New Spaniards” a few years ago about the ability of Spanish companies to compete in an increasingly digital world where wanting to do everything personally and face-to-face would be something of a competitive disadvantage. Or something like that.

On opening the Voz de Galicia this morning, this headline jumped out at me –“The trial of the cousins of the President of the Galician Xunta kicked off yesterday with a written confession from a hired killer.” Are we living in the Wild West now? Or is this what they meant when they said things are becoming more Mediterranean up in this part of Spain?

Here’s
Mark Stucklin with further comment on yesterday’s topic of the banks and their property sales.

Finally . . . Last night, with football looming, I knocked off my post in 10 minutes and felt bad because it wasn’t up to scratch. But readership shot up from its normal 150-170 to over 200. So, what do I know? I suppose the answer will come if numbers now plummet to 10.

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