Friday, February 26, 2010

Bloody Galicians; (Non)Austerity measures; Spanish rudeness; and Galicia's almost interminably wet winter.

Galicia’s papers are naturally well-stocked today with comments on the insults levelled by the lady politician I cited yesterday. She has since excused herself on the grounds that what she really meant was merely that the two leading politicians were both indecisive. Which, at best, is disingenuous. She’s also declined to apologise, taking refuge behind what we might call the classic Spanish justification for racist or even merely gratuitously insulting remarks – “I didn’t mean to upset anyone. So I’ve nothing to be sorry for.” Anyway, here’s Trevor over at Kalebeul with his typically robust take on this brouhaha.

I mentioned yesterday the government had warned that civil servants could well have their salary increase rate reduced in the years 2011-13. However, this was only the morning announcement. Later in the day, someone else corrected this impression and insisted that salary increases would be as per an agreement with the unions of a while back. The government also announced that the state pension will increase 3.5% this year, against a current inflation rate of around 1%. None of which smells much of austerity, does it? Perhaps they’re raising the bases before someone comes in and puts some steel in their backbone. And allows them – as I’m sure Alfie Mittington would claim – to get some kudos for having at least tried to do the right thing by the working man and woman, before Brussels or the IMF overruled them.

The government and the opposition here have had their first meeting aimed at reaching some sort of ‘state pact’ to address the country’s economic challenges. It didn’t go well, by all accounts. But you really have to ask if there’s any point in even trying to reach inter-party consensus when members of the government can’t even agree among themselves from one hour to the next what its policy is.

Which reminds me . . . The same President Zapollyanna who’s being doing his utmost for some time to cosy up to Cuba, yesterday had some harsh things to day on the death of the leading political dissident there. While in gaol, of course. I do hope his relatives were able to take some comfort from this posthumous concern.

As for the Greek Tragedy, the question arises as to whether brutal real-politique and political self-preservation are now saddling up to ride to the protection of these and other feckless Mediterranean spendthrifts? It’s beginning look like it is. Bugger moral hazard. What’s good for the banks is good for other miscreants too, it seems.

Spaniards and their consideration for strangers has been a regular topic in this blog for years now and long-term readers will be (more than) familiar with my theory as why the affable, charming and even ‘noble’ Spanish can also come across as the rudest people in the world. So I was amused to read that my fellow-blogger up in Santiago university, Xoán-Wahn has been struggling to fight off this conclusion on his own part. With limited success, it seems. All of which reminds me that I realised this morning that my three weeks in the UK later this year will coincide with one of Toni’s absences at sea. What a terrible waste of golden silence.

Finally . . . There certainly was a weather lull today. The sun even crept out for a few minutes, allowing me to take this ‘before’ foto of the nascent blossom on the tree in my front garden. I’ll post the ‘after’ foto once the ‘extratropical cyclone’ heading our way has blown through tomorrow. If I'm still alive.


Sierra said...

Tut,only a ‘extratropical cyclone’ - in Lugo we're having a "ciclogénesis explosiva" by the name of Xynthia

Colin said...

Bloody 'ell. I feel deprived, though nothing has yet arrived from the south west. And I can't see how it could possibly be stronger up there after it's blown through here. Your weather people are obviously mentirosos.

mike the trike said...

Well it's been raining all day here but calm in the area near the railway station where I live so where are these big winds?