Sunday, March 14, 2010

Utilities: Savings banks; Celts; and Spanish cultural institutions.

It was reported a week or so ago that liberalisation of the Spanish electric industry had done nothing for the consumer. Which was no great surprise. And today we read that prices here are now only matched by those in Ireland. All of which reminded me that the unit cost in my latest gas bill was 38% up on this time last year. As ever, I must have missed the notice explaining this. Whatever happened to cheap Spain?

The owner of the Voz de Galicia had a front-page cri-de-coeur today, asking the politicians to stop their infighting and to quickly effect the fusion of our two caixas (savings banks) before they’re gobbled up by ‘foreign’ operators, to the detriment of the Galician economy. Interestingly, The Economist has recently touched on the ability of Spanish caixas to make a lot of noise about rationalisation, without actually doing anything. But the day of reckoning - the magazine says - is drawing closer. We will see.

I went to see a stand-up comedian in Madrid tonight. He was Scottish and most of the audience seemed to be Irish. Which is a little ironic, as one of the main reasons I come down to the capital is to get away from all the Celts up in the north west 

Finally . . . Following the claim from the Presidenta of the Madrid government that bullfighting should be declared an Object of Cultural Interest, someone has suggested that the same logic applies equally well to the siesta. Though he may not have been totally serious, as he's demanded that the Madrid government recognises the validity of his claim by installing beds in the streets. However, it does give me the opportunity to quote an Anglo-Galician author – José Cela – who described the siesta as ‘Iberian Yoga’

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