Saturday, May 21, 2011

The passive 'demonstrations' taking place in cities throughout Spain have now received so much international attention - and some emulation - that I don't think I need cite any more reports/articles. I'm in complete sympathy with their stated essence but, at the risk of sounding trite, I wonder how 'heated discussions' can have arisen amongst people of the same ilk and aspiration. Perhaps they've been debating whether to use piano wire instead of common or garden cord when they string up the bankers, the developers and the politicians.

One or two observers have sounded a sceptical/skeptical note. This, for example, is the overview of Charles Butler of IBEX Salad:- "Their platform, rather than being the break with the past that it touts itself to be, is little more than a recycling of the utopian, lowest common denominator and subsidized lunch for everyone theme teleported directly from 1968 - with revealing token bits of modern detritus such as the insistence that the law prohibiting free downloads of copyrighted entertainment be rescinded."

The Madrid government has naturally rejected out of hand the German suggestion that the Spanish work a bit harder, if they want help with their economy. In line with what I wrote the other day, Sr. Zapatero has stressed that the Spanish work, on average, 20% more hours than the Germans. Though he did admit productivity was an issue. And how.

Down at a local level, it isn't all closures in Pontevedra city. Apart from the health food shop I mentioned the other day, there's a brand new opticals shop in the very centre of town, possibly the 45th. we're blessed with. Perhaps it's a reflection of the ageing of the legions of funccionarios who people the place. Then, of course, we have another Chinese bazaar opening every couple of weeks. Floated on the back of a five-year tax holiday, it's said.

I've yet to see a Spanish or Gallego review of "The Way". But here's one from the IMDB, replete with positive contributions from folks who've seen and enjoyed it.

Finally . . . Back to the demonstrations, here's a snap of Pontevedra's at 10 last night. In truth, it smelled more of a social than a political event. But maybe this was because the relevant law was clear on only one thing - they could't be active in suppport of any party.

8 comments:

Diego said...

Colin,
In case you have not seen this, here are the proposals approved by the Sol assembly.

http://madrid.tomalaplaza.net/2011/05/20/propuestas-20-mayo/


Enjoy.

Ferrolano said...

Well Diego, I see from your link that Alice in Wonderland is alive and doing well in the Puerto del Sol

Sierra said...

Given his present troubles, you feel that another member of the Estevez family would have gained from joining his father on the camino

Colin said...

Diego,

Very many thanks. Quite a mixed bag. Some sensible and achievable, some sensible but not achievable and some ridiculous. Not really the basis for a party which hopes to make changes.

Colin said...

Sienna,

I get so confused about who is who in the family. Or even whether they are all in the same family!

CafeMark said...

Hi, you put on an earlier post "This, I suspect, is a reference to the ridiculously early - by German standards - retirement age in Spain. " Since the ages (65 and to be raised to 67) are similar in both countries, is it not the case that you're confusing Greece with Spain? As for productivity, I always wonder how this is measured. I know I will always get my coffee served faster (and far better) in a coffee bar in Madrid, than in London, but I accept this may not be what we talking about here. Are Spanish car plants (and there are an awful lot of them) unproductive compared to their German (or even British) counterparts?

Colin said...

No, I think the issue is the effective, not theoretical age. I read a few months ago that this was around 58 in Greece and 60 or 61 in Spain.

I think any automated plant is going to be relatively similar around the world, largely because humans don't do much in them these days.

Firsthand, I can only compare teachers. And a lot less gets done here than in the UK.

Colin said...

No, I think the issue is the effective, not theoretical age. I read a few months ago that this was around 58 in Greece and 60 or 61 in Spain.

I think any automated plant is going to be relatively similar around the world, largely because humans don't do much in them these days.

Firsthand, I can only compare teachers. And a lot less gets done here than in the UK.

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