Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cosillas de España

- The average Spanish pension rose by 3.5% over the year to August, to the level of 918 euros a month. To give possibly specious credence, the relevant ministry quoted this as 917.53. Anyway, the regions which scored higher than this included the usual suspects of Madrid and the Basque Country but also next-door ("poor") Asturias. Galicia turned out to have the lowest pension, at only 676(675.75) euros.

- Hard on the heels of the reduction in the value-added tax on new house purchases, the government has announced it's suspending plans to re-introduce the "wealth tax" on assets, abolished in 2008. I assume they know their elbow from their arse.

Cousiñas de Galicia

- The Xunta has said it won't, after all, be denying funds to those municipalities which don't get their accounts audited. Seems this was "just a warning".

- Galicia has the 3rd lowest birth rate in Spain. Taken with increased emigration, this will mean a population that continues to fall.

- The Galician Nationalist Party (the BNG) has said it supports abolition of the provincial layer of government. As they don't control any, I guess this was an easy decision.

- Unemployment in our major commercial city of Vigo is now said to be as high as 30%. Though no doubt very much higher for 'young' people of 18-35.

- The Galician economy is performing even less well than the national economy. Particularly noteworthy was a reduction of 1.7% in consumer spending in Q2.

- Needless to say La Crisis continues to point up the asininity of the 'coffee-for-all' strategy of developing all three of Galicia's small international airports over the last decade - a policy which was stupid enough during during the good times and which has redounded mainly to the benefit of Oporto's huge new facility in Northern Portugal. Things won't get better in January, from when Iberia will be operating fewer flights - in smaller planes.

Pontevedra

- In this well-off city, beggars are a plague. I wonder if this is the case elsewhere in Spain (the 12th. largest economy in the world). Or indeed in other developed countries.

- Next weekend (3-4 Sept.) we have the Feira Franca - or Medieval Fair. Readers with excellent memories will recall that, some years ago, my younger daughter looked at the horse dung in the main square and marvelled that they went to the lengths of putting it this down to simulate authenticity. Whereupon I pointed to the horses standing in the corner of the main square. How we laughed.

- The panhandler who plays the pipes while his girlfriend twirls streamers clearly knows only one tune. By the end of a working day (about 3 hours for them), she must be ready to kill him. I certainly am, after only five minutes.


Finally . . . Here's a headline from the web page of the Iranian Press TV:-

UK Unrest is a pretext for a police state.

Or rather, as it really was:-

UK unrests a pretext for ploice state.

Followed up by:-

The British government has been cranking up its pressure on low and middle-income households ever since the unprecedented unrest afflicted the country.

This is the stuff of Private Eye. Perhaps they're trying to compete.

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