Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Perils of Translating; Sovereign Debt and a Looming Crisis, maybe; The EU; and the Galician Caixas

I mentioned the other day that my friend Alfie B Mittington had assured me it was extremely difficult to get the right ‘tone’ when translating from one language to another. I was reminded of this again when I read that the ex President of the Galician Xunta had given his reasons for quitting politics and returning to academia as “Coherencia”. No dictionary definition of this word (coherence, consistency) gave me much of an insight into things. But my Galician friends at dinner last night explained it meant he was at odds with the current leadership of the PSOE socialist party and was going because he wanted to remain true to his principles. I rest Alfie’s case!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve all gained a little bit of knowledge about sovereign debt. Which is always a bad thing, of course. A little knowledge that is, not sovereign debt. According to our resident Jeremiah, Ambrose, this is taking us into uncharted waters, where the going could get very rough indeed. We have been warned.

Meanwhile, have you wondered why President Sarkozy has been strong-arming Mrs Merkel into promising something for Greece and, beyond that, to a commitment to a European Monetary Fund? Well, seasoned observers say the main reason is that M Sarkozy is desperate to keep out the International Monetary Fund as this is headed by his biggest rival for the next elections, whom Sarkozy thought he’d exiled to a place where he'd never be prominent on the public stage. Nice to know the future of Europe is being driven by the personal ambitions of a man who can’t even keep his marriage together, never mind the EU.

Back in Britain, it seems that the public is increasingly willing both to put Gordon Brown back in power and to keep on buying property in Spain despite the publicity about duplicity, chicanery and outrageous demolitions. In the latter case I mean. Perhaps the Spanish are not so short-sighted after all. And who can blame them for believing it’s an obligation to cheat someone suffering from ineradicable stupidity?

The good news this week is that – in a country already favoured by low crime rates – they are now even lower here in Spain than ten years ago. Unless, of course, someone has just been playing around with definitions.

Finally . . . The Voz de Galicia has suggested the battle over our Caixas has little to do with either efficiency or maintaining their Galician-ness. It’s nothing more, the paper asserts, than a fight between the two major political parties, each desperate to score a knock-out blow against the other, regardless of the local consequences. So perhaps it’s not too surprising to see that Politics has risen to number three in the list of things the Spanish worry most about - after Unemployment and The Economic Situation. In February, “Politics” was down at number six. A curse on both houses, it seems.

No comments: