I don’t suppose I’d have been terribly surprised to read of a Spanish civil servant being involved in a civil marriage scam. But a Catholic priest in a church ceremony fraud? Ah, well, he can always go to confession. And get a double indulgence against his sins if he gets out in time to do a pilgrimage to Santiago during next year’s special, Pope blessed, Año Xacobeo.
It’s always been the view of British eurosceptics that a one-size economic regime would not fit all members and that stresses would prove impossible to deal with when the going got really tough. But this hasn’t happened so far. Perhaps because of a willingness and an ability to bend the rules when required. And perhaps because the really key economies, those of Germany and France, were more or less in harmony. But now, says Edward Hugh, things are changing, as a result of France weathering the recent storms rather better than its neighbour. “What will happen” he asks “if the eurozone economies are diverging, not converging, and the divergence – far from reducing – is increasing?” And is France actually on track to suffer the same problems as Spain has, because it will be similarly out of kilter with banking conditions still set for Germany? Oh, I don’t know. Read this and decide for yourselves.
Incidentally, Edward’s opening paragraph about Economics being less dismal than previously thought sounds rather like special pleading to me. That said, even if it is pseudo science, it’s still pretty important. Possibly all we’ve got.
And, while Edward may be able to wow us all - well everyone except Charles Butler -with his intricate knowledge of several national economies, he doesn’t understand the difference between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’. But, then, who does, these days? Certainly not my daughters.
Finally . . . Yesterday I cited David Fernández Castro’s laudatory comments on Pontevedra’s old quarter and its zebra crossings. He also found the city “clean and well-ordered”. But this, of course, was before the Spanish government responded to the recession by initiating public works across the land. With the result that this is what you face if you want to get anywhere near Pontevedra’s town hall nowadays. Though I suppose it’s less dangerous than the falling masonry of Vigo . . .