Note: This is an earlier-than-usual Thursday post. Scroll down for Wednesday's, if you haven't read it.
Greece continues to prove a problem for the mandarins in Brussels. It seems the key challenge is to avoid what the markets call a 'credit event'. Normally, of course - as seen in yesterday's American Spectator article - things like this are done by moving the EU goalposts and changing the definitions to suit the actuality. But you can't do this when the definition is somebody else's prerogative. Like the credit agencies', for example. Here and here are interesting articles on this issue. The first says that the EU members are likely - Brit style - to muddle through. The second suggests they might not succeed. Essentially because not everyone affected is a bureaucrat or a banker. Some people are . . . well, real people. With lives to lead and bills to pay.
And now for something completely different . . . This is a fascinating article on women's dress and rape. I was with the (female) author all the way to the last paragraph and then decided I didn't really know what her main point was. Must read it again . . . Nope. Still not sure.
Productivity: Spanish bureaucracy:- I had to go to the city's land registry this morning, to ensure all was in order around my town house. Some checking had revealed that the notary had not done what I'd expected him to do ten years ago and registered my ownership. I myself had changed the ownership in the city's Catastro but this isn't enough to effect the change to registered ownership. Being rather aware, after ten years, of how things go, I took the originals of every document I could think of, plus numerous fotos of myself, just in case. As it was a small office tucked away in a building off the street, it took me about ten minutes to find the Registry but I finally achieved this. Except that I didn't. As soon as I told the clerk my house was across the river, he stopped me and told me I had to go to another building, ten minutes walk back the way I'd come, near the bridge. As I retraced my steps, I wondered why on earth there were two offices. I ultimately decided that, as things are nearly always (best?) done face-to-face in Spain, this was to make the trip shorter for those walking from Poio, across the river. But I could be wrong.
Anyway, I told them there what it was all about, listened to their criticisms of the notary and gave them the originals and copies of everything I had. There aren't many occasions when one accurately predicts the demands of Spanish bureaucrats. And this wasn't one of them. In truth, I'd contemplated bringing my entire filing cabinet - or at least all the papers remotely connected with my purchase of the house - but had foolishly rejected both of these belt-and-braces options. And so it was that I was directed to bring copies of the documents that proved I'd paid the tax due both on my purchase and on the finalisation of the building of the house 14 years previously. The seller hadn't bothered with the latter when he should've done it and so had lumbered me with it. So . . . I walked back across the bridge, got in my car, went to my house, got the documents and returned to the office. All in all, I guess the whole thing had taken me more than an hour and a half, against the 10-15 minutes it should have taken. Plus I never got to go to the Vodafone shop in the centre of town. So will have to go tomorrow. But así son* as cousas here in Spain and hardly anyone Spanish, I suspect, would regard this process as inefficient and wasteful of time. Time here exists to be wasted, en route to death. The real challenge is to make that route as comfortable and easy as possible. And, wherever you can, to make someone else pay for it.
Which is not a bad philosophy for those of us who've retired from the more humdrum aspects of life.
Finally . . . The clothes/rape article I cited above had reminded me of something I read a few days ago - "If they banned all the sites on the web which offer porn, there'd only be one site left. And this would be www.bringbackporn.com "
* Doubtless someone will tell me if this isn't the third person plural in Gallego/Galego.