Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Over in the UK, they’ve just initiated a project called One & Other, under the aegis of the sculptor Antony Gormley. The idea is that, for a hundred days, members of the public will stand for an hour and do whatever they like on top of a large empty block of stone in one of the corners of Trafalgar Square in London. Different people will have different takes on this creative endeavour but I prefer to see it as artistry that was previously known as a plinth . . . Those interested can read more here, once they’ve recovered from a pun which mocks the age-old advice that “A pun should be a feather with which to tickle the intellect. Not a pistol let off at the ear.”

Well, the Spanish government has finally announced – a year late – a new model for financing the regions. Or “Autonomous Communities”. As befits a government mouthpiece, El Pais has little to say about it. But its opposite number for the PP Party, El Mundo, tears into it today - as a development that does nothing for national solidarity but a lot for the retention of support for the government in Cataluña and Andalucia. It will be a while before we know the devil in the detail but it does seem, that while everyone will end up with more money (query: from where?), the richer regions will do better than the poorer ones. One specific novelty is that Cataluña will be keeping all its tax revenue and paying nothing to the central coffers. Which looks like a perfect prelude to independence. No wonder they’re dancing in the street up there, albeit at the lugubrious pace of their sleep-inducing national dance, the Sardana.

Meanwhile, prospects for the Spanish economy continue to look poor and a Europe-wide survey tells us that - at 70% - Spain has the highest proportion of citizens who think the response of their government to the financial crisis has been inadequate. This is a good ten percentage points above the next nation and is consistent with last week’s report that most Spaniards think the President is making things up as he goes along. Which may actually amount to flattery.

The Galician Xunta has announced it will be relaxing the law preventing rural properties being re-classified as urbano and, thus, edificable. I’m a little confused by this as I’d rather got the impression the law was not proving much of a barrier to building developments. But maybe this is more true of other parts of Spain. Apart from, say, Gondomar near the border with Portugal. Where a major corruption case is proceeding through the courts.

Finally . . . The Sky weather girl told us this morning that the UK would be having ‘hefty` showers today. Getting rather carried away by her own eloquence, she later amended this to ‘hefty, possibly thunderous.’ Lucky Brits.

1 comment:

Midnight Golfer said...

Aegis, plinth. I'm learning my own language here.

Down here in the south there are so many different investigations, scandals, and 'polemic' issues, it makes my head spin.

There seem to be daily news reports of the continued attempts to find a reasonable reaction to all the different building and coastal codes, including trying to get them legally repealed or altered, as they've simply been selectively, and wholly, ignored for so long.