Sunday, July 18, 2010

During Spain’s economic boom, some of us felt things were not as good as they seemed. Now there’s a recession, I wonder whether things (eg 20% unemployment) are quite as bad as they seem. It’s certainly easy to think not in a city like Pontevedra, where most people have safe jobs as civil servants. But I’m prompted to pose this question by the news that, whereas car sales in June were down everywhere else in Europe, they rose by 7% here in Spain. This surely can’t be all down to dug dealers and crooked politicians.

One area where things are biting is the Spanish leading football league, La Primera Liga. In which several clubs (including Galicia’s Deportivo) are under threat of relegation if they don’t settle their debts by early August.

Talking of August . . . This is, of course, the big fiesta month here in Pontevedra. But, recession or not, there’s never a good reason for not starting the fun in early-mid July. And so it is this year. Some of my local friends have looked at the program for daily events and suggested the council is skimping this year but, if so, I certainly can’t see it. Perhaps the acts are cheaper. All I can say is that they started to close off roads and impose parking restrictions yesterday. Roll on September. Oh, no we have the Medieval Fair (Feira Franca) early that month. And someone may well have invented a couple of “traditional” activities for the rest of the month by the time it arrives. 

El País today published the results of their own poll on the big State of the Nation debate in parliament this week. They claim the leader of the opposition, Sr Rajoy, didn’t in fact win the tussle with incumbent, under-performing President Zapatero but, for the fifth year in a row, lost it. Though more narrowly than previously. The paper adds that the popularity ratings of both men are very low and that 37% of the people think neither of them beat the other. So, if it’s true that nations get the politicians they deserve, the Spanish public surely has a lot to answer for. A very high tolerance of corruption being one of them, I believe.

Finally . . . Walking my dog to the end of the cul-de-sac in which I live this morning, I surprised an amorous couple who’d decided to park up there. Amongst other things. But, hey, this is Spain and anything goes. Live and let live. Even if the horses get frightened.

Finally, finally . . . . This is actually the second post of the day. I published some Pontevedra fotos earlier on. So, if interested, scroll down. Unless your Sr Cade. In which case you can troll down. Or not. Who cares?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Last week's figures from UK:

28.98m - number of employed people
2.47m - unemployed
8.1m - number of economically inactive

i.e. 10.6/39.6 = 26.8%

That doesn't take account of the ex-pats who've given up & left the UK workforce

Perhaps Spain's government haven't learnt alternative names for the unemployed yet.