Well, it seems the kids got more than raucous at the weekend down in Pontevedra's old quarter. Damaged some cars in the Parador's forecourt, it's reported. Bar and hotel owners are up in arms at the loss of trade caused when drunken kids sit on their doorsteps, drinking calimocho from plastic bottles and preventing customers getting in. They've demanded that these events take place across the river, at a place dedicated to the normal, run-of-the-mill botellones. They might get their demands met in about five years. Spanish authorities don't like to appear too authoritative.
More generally, it's reported that tourism in Galicia is burdened by "poor connections and ineffective promotion". I wonder if the latter includes having brochures only in Gallego, making them difficult for Madrileños to read. Never mind the foreigners. Who don't really count, of course.
I see The Economist has endorsed my view of Sr Rajoy as someone who says little and does even less. “The man who has nothing to say”, they've labelled him. And when he does speak, they add, he “offers something that stretches credibility: austerity without pain.” They do recognise that he faces a dilemma over the coming months. “To win votes he must seem moderate, but to gain respect from the markets and Brussels he must seem severe. For the moment, votes are what counts.” More here. As ever, the comments, particularly from Spaniards, are fascinating. And informative.
By the by, I particularly like the charge levelled at a Catalan contributor . . . “The itch of nationalism makes you scratch in all places where you think someone bit your national pride.”
Talking about pride . . . I was amused to hear from a friend that her daughter had been told by her boss – someone I've never met – that I had a reputation in town for 1. being a drunkard, 2. being seen around town with numerous women who are almost-whores, and 3. being someone whose neighbours spoke badly of me. What pains me about this is how little I've had to do to gain this enviable – but mis-pitched – fame. And I really think it could have been balanced by something along the lines of “On the other hand, he's well-endowed when it comes to . . . blog-writing", for example. As for my neighbours, if this is true, they must be very two-faced as all of them are extremely friendly. Unless it was the Catalans who left recently, having said not a word to me in ten years. But possibly having said a few downtown. Ah, well. There's only one thing worse than being talked about . . .
Another comment of mine endorsed in today's UK press is that the next last-minute decision by the EU grands legumes must be in favour of one of the nuclear options:- Either create real fiscal union now or break up the eurozone . . “A break-up of the euro would be a terrifying upheaval for the world economy, but the ECB's decision on Sunday to start buying the bonds of the Italian and Spanish governments has won a reprieve at least until the autumn. Then Europe’s politicians must face the inevitable decision that they have postponed since the start of the crisis: to dismantle the euro or to create a full-scale fiscal federation.”
Meanwhile, though, something strange and unexpected is said to be going on . . “What is happening is momentous. The more Europe steps in to buy Italian and Spanish debt, the more Germany shifts towards the group of countries that could be attacked. . . Europe is replicating mistakes made by financial authorities after the Lehman crisis when good banks were merged with bad banks. This time the destructive "fission" is taking place between solvent and insolvent states. Investors are taking flight before the fission turns "explosive”. Hence the problems France has had today, I guess.
Talking of autumn . . . Hear's a foto of the Savoy café in Pontevedra's main square. You may recall this was due to open in "spring". Well, next year maybe. But at least it doesn't look as bad now as it did for years.
Finally . . . Speaking to my mother today, she repeated her view that – unlike my very religious sister who's actually met him - she didn't like “this Pope”.
I don't like his eyes. He doesn't look at you.
When asked what she thought should be done with the rioters, she opined they should be put on a liner to be set adrift on the Atlantic ocean. But I don't think this is Catholic dogma. Yet.