Saturday, January 30, 2010

The latest data on the Spanish economy was all over the papers today. And it doesn’t make for happy reading. President Zapatero (or Zapollyanna) will surely have to change his tune. Before the election (and the height of the recession) we had “Let the good times roll”. More recently, we’ve had “There are good times just around the corner”. Ad nauseum. So, it’ll be interesting to see what we get next. “Non, je ne regrette rien”?

While we wait, here’s Edward Hugh on the subject.

I related what I called a Spanish tale yesterday. Well, here’s another one . . . On Thursday evening I was called by a woman who said she ran a sound studio and needed an English voice for some ads urgently required by a client. Could I come in the next morning? OK, I said. How about 11? She demurred and asked me to come in at 9.30 (the equivalent of 7.30 in the UK). There was four hours work to do and everything needed to be sent to the client by Friday evening. So I agreed. A couple of hours later, she called me to say it was all off, as the client hadn’t sent through the translations. She was sorry but could I come in sometime anyway for a voice test that they could keep on file. OK, I said. How about 11 tomorrow for this? Better not, she said, as she might have to go to the bank. Perhaps I could call sometime and make an appointment. OK, I said.

So, what makes this a Spanish tale? Well, firstly, it doesn’t ring true. Secondly, I can’t begin to figure out what’s really going on. And, thirdly, I’m not going to spend any time thinking about it. Nor am I going to waste time calling to make an appointment for the voice test. Que será, será.

Finally . . . It continues to be hard to believe we’re living through deflationary times in this beleaguered economy. Inflation rose in January and is now again higher than the EU average. Will this year finally see some sign of unrest among the populace? I suspect not. The worst affected - apart from the immigrants who always have the option of leaving - are Spain's young people. And their parents are perpetually accommodating.

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