Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well, here’s El Pais endorsing my regular comment that Spain is a great place to live/retire in but not so hot when it comes to working.

Mind you, it gets a better overall rating than the UK, which must surely be a reflection of the fact that the latter is not such a great place to live in or retire to. Or not as far as foreigners think anyway.

And here’s a good example of why Spain rates so well against the quality of life criterion:-

This is my 4 euros lunch of fried baby squid (chipirones) and my 2 euros glass of Albariño. Or a total of 4 quid in old money. I have to say that the quantities of both the food and the drink are quite possibly more than are usually served, as I’m a regular at the place in Vegetables Square. And after six or seven years of this status, things start looking up in Galicia.

Just round the corner from said bar is a statue of one of Galicia’s poets, Valle Inclán. It’s made of bronze but this week someone decided to disguise this . . . 

You might suspect responsibility for this would lie with an aggressive gay group of some sort but these are not thick on the ground in Spain so I rule this out. In fact, rumour has it it was the work of students from the Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) college in town. Which would be a tad ironic, if true.

Finally . . .  A quotation on the economic situation:- “The shape of its crisis is now well known, including the insane property-building boom – greased by bribes from developers to government officials – that has left empty homes scattered all over the country.”  Though not Spain, but Ireland. As I said yesterday, the parallels are several.

It might be possible to say much the same about Portugal. Though Greece, I suspect, was/is sui generis.” All ably assisted in their madness by Euroland policies designed for Germany and, possibly, France. But it has to be said that Spanish banks have not fared as badly as those in Ireland. Though there are some who claim some at least of the regional savings banks are zombies being propped up by central infusions and local politicians. Time will tell. Especially as some of them are said to be on the point of dropping prices on all their repossessed properties and taking a book loss on sale.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times, demonstrating the residual nationalism that threatens the future of the EU project, has poignantly asked whether “this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bail-out from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side”. Now, who’s ungrateful? Everyone, it seems. Tough times. Sauve qui peut.


Ferrolano said...

Colin, I see that since you changed the name of your blog, you are now getting regular mentions on Google Alert – interesting and perhaps a useful tip for Bloggers.

moscow said...

answering your former question whether anyone agreed with me on the UK going down the tubes. A famous British journalist on the BBC said this weekend the UK faces the same fate as Ireland: it cut costs to avert being attacked by the markets, and by doing that digged itself deeper into a hole.
Now it would be totally unfair on you if I didn't disclose who that was. It was Polly Toynbee. Since I know you give her opinions as much credit as to that of the sound of a fly s...g on your window, I agree it is not much of a sample. And I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with PT.

But there you have it. To answer your question there is at least one person who agrees with what I said. If you want to know where the problem is then look at the inflation figures. Even an illiterate on economics like Hughes should know how to read that.

Colin said...

@ Moscow

Well, I read our Polly regularly but this week, ironically, lost the article as I was downloading it and decided not to bother. She is, of course, a champagne socialist and many of her views are off-beam. That said, I sometimes agree with her. But not in this case. But we will see. Presumably the UK has only the IMF to go to, not Brussels. I can just see the tabloid headlines in the latter case.

Incidentally, inflation of 5% has been good for my pension entitlement expressed in euros.

Colin said...


Well, not in the weekly one I got this morning!