Meanwhile, here is Spain the domestic economy continues to dominate the news. El País tells us today that President Zapollyanna is finally effecting a drastic turn in his policy, in order to meet the global lack of confidence in the Spanish economy. And also to save his own hide, I guess. All sorts of statements are being made about pensions, labour contracts, cuts in government spending, reduction of public debt, etc. but the most worrying thing seems to be that, as someone has observed, you’d be hard pushed to see evidence of measures designed to address Spain’s greatest problem – its lack of international competitiveness and the challenge faced in restoring something like decent growth in the absence of a domestic driver such as the (vanished) construction sector. As El País put it today – “The financial markets always look to the future and this is where Spain is failing.” Rather worrying really. Though rather more so for those dependent on employment prospects than for me. Even taking into account the devaluation of my pension.
More locally, Madrid has finally endorsed expectations it would reject as unconstitutional the Xunta’s law permitting (compelling?) the fusion of Galicia’s two caixas (savings banks). Effectively, they’ve said that competency lies with the (fusion-averse) Bank of Spain and not with the regional government. What the state and BoE wants, of course, is trans-regional mergers – or even the disappearance of a few caixas – but commercio-political self-interest and Spain’s infamous ‘localism’ are significant barriers to these. So this show could run and run. And remain the sort of massive distraction localism engenders.
Well, almost 50% of Brits surveyed felt that John Terry should not have been sacked from his position as captain of the England football team just because he's a serial adulterer. This compares with 100% of the twelve Spanish men I dined with on Friday night. Personally, the most interesting comment on this nonsense I’ve read is how ironic it is that an Italian is sacking an Englishman for his extra-marital sexual activities. Not that he was, of course. He was fired because he got caught and because he crapped on his own doorstep, losing the confidence of his fellow team players in the process. Nothing to do with morality. Except that of low-brained, high-salaried footballers.
Finally . . . I see we have not one but two phantom zebra crossings near my house. And that, in the 1.1km between my house and the bottom of the hill, there's a total lof 42 shiny new signs. Four of which, of course, flank said crossings. Nice business for someone.
Galician Rural retreat for rent:
OK, I may not be able to sell my house but I can still rent it out. Anyone wanting details of a rural place very convenient for Pontevedra and the coast should click here.