Inevitably, the Spanish government is looking to increase its tax income. One suggestion is that, before it falls from power in November, it will re-introduce the 'Wealth Tax" which it abolished back in 2008 - El patrimonio. This is a levy on one's net worth and was said to be more useful in identifying potential payers of other taxes than in bringing in net revenue. My guess is that the percentage rate on various levels of assets will be much increased. Hopefully, it won't affect us small fish.
Meanwhile, the government has suddenly and surprisingly announced that the sales tax on house purchases will be halved for the next few months. But only on new houses. This appears to be a measure designed more to help banks shift properties off their balance sheets than to make things cheaper for prospective purchasers. Click here for the informed view of Charles Butler.
So much for 'Europe'. Britain and France are said to be 'engaged in a diplomatic tussle to secure credit for the military intervention in Libya'. Could there be anything more depressing than this dog-fight for premature glory? But I guess the UK government feels it has to respond to the initiatives of the elections-sensitive Sarkozy. I blame democracy.
I've cited some rare words in the last week. Right on cue, the producers of the Collins dictionary have announced they are to eliminate many words they feel are no longer in use. These include:-
Stauroscope - An optical instrument for studying the crystal structure of minerals under polarized light
Wittol - A man who tolerates his wife's unfaithfulness
Alienism - The study and treatment of mental illness.
Supererogate - To do or perform more than is required.
Cyclogiro - A type of aircraft propelled by rotating blades, and charabanc, a motor coach.
Drysalter - A dealer in certain chemical products and foods
Succedaneum - Something used as a substitute also no longer trips off the modern tongue.
Woolfell - The skin of a sheep or similar animal with the fleece still attached.
Not everyone is happy with this, of course. As you can see here.
The Pope has now left Madrid and the city has returned to its normal August stupor. But here's a timely overview of matters religious by Guy Hedgecow of IberoSphere. Interestingly, the state and the Church agreed back in 1975 that the latter would become self-financing. But, like the AVE high-speed train to Galicia, this still looks to be some way off. Wheels can turn very slowly here.
And now for one of my contentious contentions - At least 75% of the fumadores whose smoke gets in my eyes are female. Interpret that however you like. My view is it has something to do with both staying slim and the farcical belief that it makes them look liberated and sophisticated. As I write this, four such ladies have sat down and lit up on my right. And not taken well to my wafting their smoke back towards them. As if I care.
And here's another of these contentions - not a new one for me - The Spanish are never more hardworking and efficient than when they're planning to have fun. Witness these preparations in Pontevedra's main square for our Medieval Fair, not taking place until 3 and 4 September.
Finally . . . A foto of one of the town's elder patronesses of the fashion for shorts. Who may well also be an 18/40. Which reminds me, my younger daughter confirms this was also the fashion here last summer. And adds that it's the same in the UK. But without the tanned legs.