Friday, May 13, 2011

This is getting serious. First my regular lunchtime bar closes. Then my regular stationers. And now my regular Chinese restaurant! I'm beginning to feel victimised.

But at least I've got the compensation of the new Asian buffet place at the bottom of the hill. Which I finally got to test last night. Not at all bad and I'm looking forward to taking visitors there at the end of the month. I have a suspicion, though, that the principal customers will be gypsies from the two permanent encampments in my barrio. At 13 euros for all you can eat - or squirrel away - I fear this is going to be something of a temptation for those who have deep (plastic-lined?) pockets. Will the profits sustain this, I wonder.

Some things don't change, though. At 6.05 last Sunday morning, a couple of young men left a disco and crossed a solid white line in a car which had no lights and in which they were travelling without seat belts. When a truck hit them, one was killed outright and the other very seriously injured. I wouldn't be terribly surprised to hear that a parent or grandparent had financed the car. Or that it was un tuning which had be souped up. At their expense.

Early summer always bring a flush of new panhandlers to Pontevedra. The one I saw tonight was begging with one hand while smoking with the other. Which won't, I suspect, go in her favour.

Bloody elections! The various parties here still favour the megaphone vans that drive round and round destroying one's tranquility. Not seen in the UK since I was a kid, I believe.

Talking of local customs . . . In Spain, a child takes both of its parents' surnames, with the father's (of course) traditionally taking precedence. But the government announced a few months ago that the parties could decide the order between themselves. However, if they're parting and can't agree, then a civil servant will decide the order - "on the basis of the interests of the baby/child". Which should throw up some interesting case law. Coin-tossing anyone?

Finally . . .  Spain's economy performed below government predictions in the first quarter. Though this is hardly unusual in itself, the real concern arises from the fact that the Spanish economy is so large, the health of the whole euro zone depends on how it performs. And, particularly, whether it ends up needing a bailout. Let's hope things look up this quarter. Meanwhile, here's an encapsulation of the situation from IberoSphere.

Finally, finally . . . Scroll down if you missed Thursday's blog. It was posted only a couple of hours ago, after Blogger had been down for more than a day.


moscow said...

The Spanish economy grew by 0,3 % in 1stQ. That is an annualised 1,2%, well within the government's predictions, which is 1,6%, as, conceivably, the economy will grow faster later in the year. Exports are doing extremely well, despite the stratospheric Euro.

Colin said...

GDP is lower than expected, and revenues are down way more than expected (down 16.2% compared with a predicted drop of 12.8%).

Therefore, the government is looking at another few billion in borrowing this year and its schedule of deficit targets is thrown out of line.

Spain’s budget is already tight after spending cuts and salary reductions, so the article suggests higher taxes might be need to get back on target.

Flukie said...

My bank, Bankinter seem to be trying to fix the problem by ripping me off with random BS bank charges

Colin said...

Yep, that's spanish banking for you.

I guess they will forego the charges if you put 10k or more in your current account and leave it there!

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