Friday, January 29, 2010

I mentioned the property and non-development business(es) yesterday. Here’s Mark Stucklin on this subject. The sector, he says, is tottering on the verge of bankruptcy. Adding that “It is far from out of the woods. And the longer the problem drags on, the more damage it does to the Spanish economy."

Meanwhile, just as we all (including Edward Hugh) were coming round to the view that the EU would go to any financial lengths to protect the political project of a European Union, the Germans appear to have thrown a large spanner in the works by indicating there are limits, after all. Of course, it could all be brinkmanship. As Edward puts it:- “There are reports that Berlin is deliberately bringing the crisis to a head, hoping to lance the boil early and force the Club Med
states to reform before it is too late. If so, this is a risky strategy. German banks have huge exposure to Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese debt.”. Interesting times.

When I first came to Spain, I used to check the mail box religiously every morning to see if my magazines had arrived from the UK. But then I learned to manage my expectations – essential to survival in Spain – and ceased doing this. But I realised today I’m now operating at the other extreme: I deliberately don’t check my box until the day after mail has arrived. This is because it’s delivered between 11 and 1, when I am downtown. When I get back at 2.30, I refrain from checking in case there’s something there that will disturb not only my siesta but also the entire rest of my day. What I’m talking about, of course, is yet another speeding fine from the agents of the State Larceny Department, previously known as El Tráfico. At least if I get a fine notification early the next morning, I can go to the bank and pay the bloody thing. And get the anger out of my system. And nothing is more certain in life than I will get another one. Especially as the limit on the steep hill up to my house has just been reduced to 30kph. Or 19mph. Which compels permanent 2nd gear. Great for the car and the environment. But I look forward to infuriating the cars behind me.

Finally . . . A little Spanish tale. In my regular wi-fi café this morning, I spent 15 minutes trying to get a connection, with the computer telling me I had one but not opening any pages. So, I went to the counter and asked for the password, in case it had changed. Fifteen minutes of more failed endeavours later, I stopped a passing waitress and asked her if the password was correct. “Yes”, she said. “But you won’t get a connection because we’ve turned it off. Too many people living near the café are getting free access.” At lunch with a an English friend, he told me it was my own fault for asking the wrong question at the counter. And he was probably right. A question of expectations again.

1 comment:

CafeMark said...

Wouldn't be too surprised if the spanish economy recovered strongly in the 2nd half of 2010 (remember Germany is their biggest export market). There are already signs of a tourist boom in Madrid.
Record number of tourist visits in October (news article 20minutos.es) : http://tinyurl.com/yc5moa7

Madrid had best ever visitor numbers in Madrid, plus overnight stays in hotels also increased (El Pais news article): http://tinyurl.com/y9rtq7e

Interesting that the increase in numbers is from the US and Italy, as well as internal tourism.