Thursday, December 09, 2010

I guess it’ll come as no great surprise that the top black economies in the EU are:- Greece – 25% of the official number; Italy – 22%; and Spain – 20%. And it shouldn’t come as surprise that, in its current straitened circumstances, the Spanish government (under pressure from Brussels?) has decided to do something about this sitation and its consequences for government revenues. But we’ll have to wait and see how effective their measures are. Incidentally, the UK’s ‘submerged economy’ is said to be 11%, France’s 12% and Germany’s 15%. The most surprising percentage, to me at least, is that of Belgium, at 18% - just behind Portugal at 19%. But God knows how they get these numbers.

A certain Sr Rubalcaba is being touted as the potential saviour of the PSOE governing party at the 2012 elections. Now, Sr. R is bald and bearded, and by no stretch of the imagination could be accused of being telegenic. In Anglo-Saxon politics, he’d stand no chance of becoming a leader of a main party. So, does this mean that, in this regard at least, the Spanish are less superficial than the Anglos? Which would be a surprise in a country where there’s so much talk of whether someone is handsome/beautiful or ugly. And where TV presenters are among the most glamorous in the world. Not to mention newsreaders who go on to become stunning princesses.

I was given a flier for yet another new restaurant in Pontevedra today. Which contrasted rather with the report in the local paper that custom in our bars and restaurants is now so poor that they’re essentially surviving on what they can make during two hours of a Saturday night. When, I guess, it doesn’t help that the bar staff are not charging all their friends for what they consume. But, anyway, you have to admire someone willing to open a place in the teeth of a recession and I’ll be giving it a try. If only because they have wild boar stew on the menu. These animals are pest in the hills but, surprisingly, it’s much easier to find them in Portuguese restaurants, fifty kilometres south of here, than it is in the province of Pontevedra.

Finally . . . I mentioned Spanish rapid supermarket check-out facilities last night. So here’s an amusing commentary – lifted from Private Eye – on the British variety . . 


CafeMark said...

That comic strip shows why I don't bother with the self service tills anymore in the UK. It's not just the "unexpected item" air raid warning, it's also the delay once it's detected wine/booze in your selection, and you have to waut for an attendent to turn up. You realise you'd have been quicker waiting in the normal queue. Incidentally Colin, I must admit I was worried when you didn't update this blog for a couple of days. Of course I hope it doesn't happen for decades yet, but it may be worth telling a friend or family member how to log on/post here if anything untoward happens to you. Or if you just have a minor ailment, so we don't assume the worst. Good health, and keep posting...

Colin said...

Many thanks, Mark. I was just distracted by (very welcome) visitors. Plus I decided to go native and take the 3 day 'bridge' off. I think you can assume that, if I've said nothing in advance, and there's a lengthy delay, then something almost certainly has happened to me. But I'll talk to my daughters about doing something in this event. Cheers.