Saturday, May 16, 2009

It’s a regular complaint of the Galician tourist industry that the weather forecasts on the national news all too often have a rain cloud over the entire region when the sun is shining in at least the south of it. And so it was yesterday, when it was a gloriously sunny day until late in the evening, despite a prediction of rain for all of Galicia from early morning. Mind you, today has been horribly drizzly and I’m wondering what tomorrow will bring. And I’m not remotely alone in this as we have an international triathlon event here in the morning. This has been moved from April to May as last year the temperature was only 9 degrees and several competitors had to retire because of hypothermia. It’s only around 11 right now so there must be some worried folk in the town’s hotel rooms and bars.

Of course, as someone in this article says, the sun might be nice but it doesn’t pay any bills. And so Brits are said to be fleeing the south of Spain in droves, as one thing and another bite into their ability to survive and prosper here. Some Spanish commentators seem to think this is a good thing. Perhaps they believe the Brits are leaving their money behind.

I’ve moaned about having to pay speeding and parking fines of 100 euros as the local councils go to unethical lengths to secure revenues alternative to those lost with the disappearance of huge property transfer taxes. My Vigo friend, Anthea, reports on another development which may well have the same stimulus. The council there has begun to implement the law against letting you dog foul the pavement. And, at a eye-blinking minimum of 750 euros, this rather puts my fines in context.

I joke about standing as a Euro-deputy but here’s interesting news from Lenox of some foreigners who do. Some of the smaller parties look very appealing. I wonder if I could get outlandish expenses for setting up a Galicia branch of each of them.

One of the counter-crisis measures of the Spanish government is to transfer large sums of dosh to the regions, to be spent on public works. Each of these then has a huge hoarding alongside it, saying it’s being carried out under Plan E. This is in red, presumably to differentiate it from the ubiquitous blue hoardings telling us that it’s EU funds being spent. I don’t know what the E stands for. Perhaps España. Or Emergencia. There’s actually no hoarding at the new bus-stop being slowly built down at the roundabout. But, if there were, I guess we could rule out Exprés.

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