Friday, October 16, 2009

Something finally seems to be happening in the opposition PP party as a result of the various corruption sagas around the country. One senior Valencian head has rolled and there may be more. Nothing, though, can rescue the reputation of the leader of the party as far as El Mundo is concerned. For them, Sr Rajoy’s long silence and inaction to date has destroyed his authority. The impression given is that they want him replaced by the Presidenta of the Madrid Community. Which means that both the paper of the Left, El País, and the paper of the Right, El Mundo, are pitching to have their respective leaders changed ahead of the next election in three years’ time. Strange place at times, Spain.

If you’re interested in the belief/myth that Galicia is the only true Celtic bit of Spain, this web page will interest you. It was kindly cited by reader, Mike the Trike. I heard recently that the only Celtic word in Gallego is cerveza, or ‘beer’. Which is the same word in Spanish, of course. So that takes us nowhere. Especially as this site suggests it isn’t Celtic at all. Unless Gaulish equals Celtic, of course. I must admit to finding it odd that (some) Gallegos claim ‘Celtic’ Galicia was unsullied by Moorish invasions and occupations when there’s a village called A Mezquita (The Mosque) on the road between Pontevedra and Ourense. But perhaps there’s a simple explanation.

In a recent blog, Charles Butler of IBEX Salad noted that Spanish companies have a tendency to form themselves into cartels. This may be because of toothless laws or an inefficient legal system. Or because no one cares. But, anyway, I was reminded of his point when reading this paragraph in Annette Meakin’s 1909 book – During the Middle Ages Pontevedra was a town of considerable maritime importance. All its activity and wealth of were connected with the sea ; its fishermen formed themselves into a guild and kept all the maritime commerce in their own hands. Pontevedra was the only port for loading and unloading vessels all along the coast; she also had a monopoly of the preparation of fish oil, conceded to them in 1238. The guild had its own ordinances, laws, and regulations, and, being an extremely powerful and wealthy body, it had control of all municipal affairs. So, a pretty long history for this sort of approach to business. Possibly seen most clearly these days in the pharmacy sphere. Explaining why you can buy almost nothing for your health needs in a supermarket.

Finally . . . If you’re planning a trip to Galicia, you might want to check on the travel plans of my old friend, Mike. This is his third visit – totalling 4 weeks or so – and he’s only ever suffered a couple of days of rain. Very much a good-weather talisman, it seems.


Midnight Golfer said...

Wow those sites about Celtic language were even more complicated than I expected.
No wonder my World History professors did't even bother trying to get into the details of some periods of history when they were teaching it.
So much easier to make gross generalizations.

The idea that Galicia would be more purely Celtic, for having the resisted more successfully the Islamic invasion, had made sense to me, and I admit falling for the bagpipe idea, as well.

Guiri said...

I hadn't noticed the lack of health stuff in supermarkets before. but now you mention it...

Another annoying example of this approach is that (around here, at least) you can't get any plumbing supplies after 1PM on a Saturday because the plumbers merchant's "convenio" prevents any plumbers merchant from opening after that time, not often a problem, but critical when you realise halfway through fitting a tap that you are missing a particular connector. "Convenio" always sounds like convenience to me, but for whom?

Lenox said...

An old word for beer in French is 'cervoise'