Friday, May 21, 2010

Here’s The Economist’s take on President Zapatero’s austerity package. I particularly liked their comment that “Mr Zapatero is skilled at sounding as if he means business but his record is of painful slowness to deliver.” This, it seems, leads them to wonder whether he will actually deliver on his startling U-turn.

Down in Pontevedra, the Parks & Gardens department of the Council has erected magnificent small gardens in the centres of three or four squares. In the middle of a recession. Maybe, as a friend says, it’s a case of spending whatever the budget was eighteen months ago, before things got as bad as they are. Anyway, fotos soon.

Talking of time . . . Some readers will recall I raised with the president of our community the dangerous nature of the broken boards in the walkway running behind our houses, down to the communal garden and the pool. Well, this was two months ago or more and, though I was told the work was imminent, it’s yet to be done. So, when I bumped into the gardener yesterday, I asked him what was going on. He assured me he was about to finish all the work around the pool and would be getting down to the boards this week. In other words, it was more important to spend 10 weeks on getting ready a pool that won’t be used until July, at the earliest, than on fixing a walkway with a 4 metre drop below it. Onto concrete. I regularly say I’m generally sympathetic to the common-sense Spanish attitude to risk but this is surely one of the cases where this goes too far.

Just in case you didn’t read the article I cited yesterday, here’s a quote I feel merits a citation – “As long as things were going well, economies were growing rapidly, and affluence was increasing, it was easy for politicians to pretend that when it came to economics, national borders didn't much matter any more. But now the chips are down, nationalism is back.” Which is, as a non-idealist, what I’ve always feared. And it’ll be interesting – to say the least – to see how successfully the EU deals with this existential challenge.

Meanwhile, here in Spain, there’s a growing realisation we may yet end up with two Eurozone currencies – the Northern European euro and the Southern European euro. The NEE and the SEE. An English friend suspects that, should this happens, all the black money in mattresses here will again flow into property, creating another crazy boom. And, who knows, he may well be right.

Finally, here’s a bit of publicity for a chap who has the ambition of re-creating the ancient Celtic language spoken by the Iberian adventurers he believes sailed from here to settle Ireland awhile ago. And here’s details of the dictionary he’s already compiled. All of this is aimed at addressing the problem that “We’re not accepted, nor recognised by many Celtic organizations and societies as a Celtic Nation, due to the loss of our Gallaic tongue. The comprehension of our Gallaic tongue, even though reconstructed, will complete our identity and acceptance as modern Galician Celts.” Well, maybe. But I commend his efforts and wish him well.

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