Sunday, July 24, 2011

Well, Bobby Rush was good last night but I was less than impressed with his use as merely adornments of two women whose nether regions were the size of Belgium, on the one hand, and Wales, on the other. But he is, he said, 78 so I guess he can be excused almost anything. As I hope I will be when the time comes.

Talking of Belgium . . . Did you know it's now 405 days since the home of the EU Commission had a government? The latest news is that they think they've got a group together to think about doing something about this.

Hard as it is to believe, the pronouncements from the PP leader, Sr Rajoy, in respect of the Valencian snake-pit get more and more outrageous. With total disregard (or perhaps the opposite) for the intelligence of the public, he's said that Sr Camps “acted with nobility (grandeza)” in resigning from his position as President of the regional government rather than, like two of his colleagues, admit to corruption in court. And, as I warned the other day, Rajoy's said that Camps still has a future in both the private and public spheres. Regardless of what the courts say in autumn/winter, I guess. Astonishing. What you have to do to prove you're strong and in control of your party in Spain. Eventually.

Anyway, talking of piss-poor management, see here for the reason why France shouldn't dominate the EU. Or anything. Too emotional. Like their vertically-challenged and hyper-active President. Shades of Zidane.

And talking of the French – Here's a headline from the Business Section of today's El País – “Los franceses montan el pollo”. Which I assume means something other than “The French are mounting the chicken”. I think you need to make the verb reflexive for this.

And talking of (democratic) government, here's a thought-provoking piece from Janet Daley on the political, rather than the economic, significance of what's going on in Project Europe.

As for the economics . . . Here's a few more Losers and just the one additional Winner from Thursday’s shenanigans. We'll address the post-euphoria weekend political observations tomorrow:-

  1. Morals. “The wording lets the EFSF intervene pre-emptively to cap Spanish and Italian bond yields, whatever the cost of moral hazard. These countries can therefore piggy-back on the AAA credit rating of the EMU core.” Or, as the President of the Bundesbank has put it:- "By transferring sizeable additional risks to aid-granting countries and their taxpayers, the euro area made a big step toward a collectivisation of risks in cases of unsolid public finances and economic mistakes. That's weakening the foundations of a monetary union founded on fiscal self-responsibility. In future, it will be even more difficult to maintain incentives for solid fiscal policies." I'll say. Business as usual, señores.
  2. Mrs Merkel's reputation. “The accord is a spectacular volte-face. Her mantra until now has always been that 'collectivisation of risks' would be a grave error.”
  3. The EU's reputation. “The EU medicine of austerity without any relief over the past 18 months has clearly failed. It has taken Greece to the brink of civil disorder and caused the debt trajectory to spiral towards 160% of GDP”. Plus a Marshall Plan is required for Europe after 10 years of the single currency. Some success!

  1. Those who will be given the new European ratings agency to run. Even if no one will believe a word it says.
Talking of winners . . . Good day for the Anglos in the Tour de France. Both the yellow and the green jerseys. The race gets less boring each year. Sorry, Charles.

Much (I assume) to the disgust of my friend Peter and our mutual friend Alfie Mittington, I'm trying to buy tickets for the 7 August bullfight here in Ponters, for me and two foreign aficionados. Checking on line this morning, I wasn't terribly surprised to find there's no discount available for net shopping. In fact, there's a 10% premium. Which suggests someone doesn't quite understand the basic principles of internet dealing. Shades of RENFE.

Talking of shopping . . . I walked past a place yesterday which would be impossible to even imagine in modern Britain. Its window was full of hunting knives. You won't see any of these in the UK, as they might be used to kill someone. I'm not even sure you can buy one. On the other hand you certainly can buy huge kitchen knives and choppers. Not to mention scissors. Which can't be used to kill anyone, of course.

Which, finally, reminds me . . . One wonders if Norway will now see a fit of “Something-however-stupid-must-be-done”-ness, the like of which occasionally hits Britain. And is, of course, responsible for the ban on (some) knives.

But life goes on, So . . .


English speakers from Portugal and Galicia will be meeting in the Asian-buffet restaurant on the top floor of the A Barca shopping centre in Poio next Wednesday, 27 July. From 1.30 on. Everyone welcome. If I am still standing at the end of it – and can walk with three meals inside me – I will be giving a guided tour of the old quarter of Pontevedra, during the “dead hour”, when all is blissfully quiet.

Write to me at if you really can't used Google Maps to find the place.

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