Monday, August 30, 2010

Galicia has a lot of granite. I mention this because our Ambrose feels that thorium might save the world and there’s a lot of this stuff in granite, it seems. The region’s future could be rosy. Or grey, rather.

I’ve been pondering the issue of where how and why’s Spain’s economic growth of the last ten years came to pass. Specifically, I've been wondering how and why Spain's massive urban redevelopments came about. Right on cue, it’s reported that the Spanish tax authorities suspect that “the involvement of town halls in urban development has led to large scale fraud.” Which is an observation that possibly won’t come as a great surprise to many. Anyway, the tax man is going to take a harder look at the activities of a number of councils, especially as “all indications suggest that the amount of urban fraud continues to be substantial.” This is not to say, of course, that I believe corruption was the driving force behind Pontevedra's progress. And even if I did, I'd have to admit my impression is no one gives a toss.

On the issue of local finance, it was reported today that transfers from Madrid to the regions are now down to 2006 levels. Taken with reduced revenues from property transaction taxes, this is said to have pushed some councils “to the edge of ruin.” So the question still hovers in the air – How come the Pontevedra council can be planning to spend this year 24% more than in 2008? Are they borrowing the shortfall?

Finally . . . For those following it, my daughter published the second chapter of her novel today. For those who don’t yet know anything about this, see the Tailnote below.

Tailnote: Here’s a reference for my elder daughter’s second novel, which she describes as “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” It’s set in a fictionalized Cuba and is being e-published one chapter per week. Several folk have been kind enough to say they enjoyed the first instalment.

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