Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Two important commercial fusions were consummated this week. BA merged with Iberia and Caixa Galicia merged with Caixanova here in Galicia. But it seems neither new entity has a new name yet. Briberia or  BAIB, in the first case perhaps. Anyway, I’m guessing our new, fused savings bank – whatever it’s called - will have a Board of directors very much larger than that of the new international carrier.

En passant, notaries here normally base their fee on the value of the property being sold/acquired. So, I wonder what this was for the sun in the case of the Galician woman who recently registered her ownership of the planet.

I also wonder if other Spanish cities have seen the increase in the numbers of beggars and ‘street performers” we’ve witnessed here in Pontevedra recently. Perhaps one reason for existence of the latter group is that we’re blessed with a drug distribution centre in the gypsy encampment on my side of the river. In fact, I pass the ‘performers (and their dogs) so often when walking home that I suspect they realise I know what they do with the proceeds of their collections. So don’t bother to hassle me. Or maybe they've just twigged I'm a tight bastard.

Today I received yet another notice of a registered letter waiting for me at the post office. Before I could start worrying whether it could be a tax demand, I saw that it was actually addressed to my elder daughter, who lived here for a couple of years until six years ago. And I guessed it was the same letter as I’d had a couple of weeks ago, about foreigners needing to confirm residence. So why didn’t we get them at the same time? Because, I’m sure, the town hall regards our second forenames (Colin and Louise, respectively) as our surnames and has only just reached L in the alphabet.

Talking about strange Spanish practices . . .   Nick Lyne in Qorreo takes to task the Spanish Minister of Education for blaming the universal dubbing of foreign TV programs and films for poor levels of English here in Spain. The real culprit – as I well know from the teenage kids of my neighbours – is poor teaching. As Nick puts it, “The education minister has no business laying the blame for Spaniards’ poor grasp of foreign languages on the film and television industries. His ministry is chronically underfunded, as Spain’s poor showing in educational league tables highlights.” But, anyway, the article contains this deathless sentiment – “One of the few positive things to be said about Spain under Franco was how little television there was”.

On the day I read that 90% of Spaniards are unhappy with the noise pollution they’re subjected to at home – usually, I guess, from neighbours playing the TV even louder than they are – they’ve started cracking granite again on the construction site behind my house. Great.

Finally  . . . At last a consensus in the euro drama – Everything depends on Germany. And then on whether the rest of Europe accepts a union modified to fit the German model. I once told one of my teenage daughters, with whom I was engaged in the traditional father-daughter struggle, that we were on the edge of nuclear war but that her problem was I was the only one with nuclear weapons. I thought of this when reading today that the EU is now checking its arsenal for nuclear options to solve a problem that might well have gone beyond even that. But we will see. Fiscal union via a new treaty? Written only in  German in the interests of speed?


Sierra said...

"La nueva caja gallega, resultante de la fusión de Caixa Galicia y Caixanova, ya es una realidad y además ya se ha dado a conocer su nuevo nombre comercial. Se llamará Nova Caixa Galicia. Así lo anunciaron los responsables de ambas entidades tras la primera reunión del consejo de administración en Vigo." El Progreso, Lugo

Sierra said...

"...the pair will form International Consolidated Airlines Group. BA shareholders will own 56pc of the company, Iberia's the rest.

The Madrid-registered company, which will be headquartered in London and run by BA chief executive Willie Walsh, will have a combined fleet of 406 aircraft, carrying 57.5m passengers a year. Based on current revenues, annual sales are expected to be around £11.7bn. The holding company will sit above the two operating businesses, which will retain their brands, national identities and flying rights."

moscow said...

Well, I'll disagree with qorreo on this one. I mean they are right to say that language teaching in Spain is somewhat unimaginative, to say the least. My daughter goes to a Russian school and I am amazed at her progress in English. I am sure she would have made so much progress in Spain. But in countries that do not dub movies, people speak a better english than in those that don't. Who speaks better english, Swedes or Germans? I once meat a young Swede (in Sweden) who had never been to the USA, but spoke with an almost perfect (american) accent. Why? He watched a lot of 'telly' he said.

On the whole it is rather unfair when comparing the progress of Spaniards with that of Germanic/nordic speakers. Dutch is actually very similar to English. I always spoke better English than my peers, the reason being that I speak German. I am not claiming I speak with a perfect accent, but I have often been asked by Britons abroad which part of Britain I was from? Spaniards usually do not have that advantage.

CafeMark said...

Why you may never see the AVE reach Galicia. Sorry Colin. It'll cost 5 times the amount that the Valencia-Madrid stretch has cost

Colin said...

Sierra, Can't see the planes being decked out in a new livery for CAG. I guess they will keep the BA and Iberia trading/marketing names. And I suppose we could have safely bet on Nova Caixa Galicia. I prefer the working name of Caixa de Breogán. Except it sounds too much like an Irish bank . . .