Thursday, October 20, 2011

News from Pontevedra today that yet another well-known café-restaurant has closed its doors - El Gloria, near the town-hall. Hard not to see a connection with the decision earlier this year to refurbish the place and raise all the prices. Go upmarket, in a word. In the process the bar lost (or possibly mislaid) its most regular customers, the gay crowd. Who sashayed off to an upstairs room in El Pasaje. Which used to be the quietest wi-fi place in town but which isn't any more. Just a lot gayer.

For me, this news was somewhat less disturbing than tonight's report that one of Galicia's many fires had reached my finca in the hills behind Pontevedra, scorching all the bramble and broom bushes outside my fence and burning down one of my oak trees. Thankfully, though, the wonderful fire brigade - or possibly several of them - got there in time to save my house and the other eight trees. Not to mention my neighbours' massive - and only recently finished - granite pile.

As for good news, none could be more welcome than the announcement from ETA that it has finally given up its campaign of violence in the Basque Country. Assuming it really has this time.

But onto more important matters . . . Whither the EU? Who on earth knows? But here's an interesting suggestion from Jeremy Warner of the Daily Telegraph. He, (like others) "sees a continent careering, apparently helplessly, towards the economics of the Great Depression" . . . The more compelling long-term solution from [the British] perspective is the one first fleshed out by the former head of the Federation of German Industries. This would be to split the euro in two, but with France allying itself with the Mediterranean periphery so as to prevent too precipitous a devaluation of the southern fringe. This would, in turn, restore competitiveness while both limiting the inflationary impact in the periphery and the losses in the Germanic core. Conditions in Europe will need to deteriorate by several orders of magnitude before such thinking is even remotely contemplated by eurozone leaders, but, regrettably, that’s the way we seem to be heading. Whether this is any more feasible than any of the other (crackpot?) ideas adumbrated to date, I haven't the faintest idea. But, as I say, it's certainly interesting.

I leave you with a philosophical conundrum posed by Sir Ken Robinson in a talk he gave on education a few years ago:- You know the old chestnut about whether a tree that falls unheard in a forest can really be said to have fallen? Well, in like vein, if a man decides to express an opinion in a forest but is unheard by a woman, is he still wrong?

Answers welcome. Though only from women.

But if there's a man out there who knows why Galicia has all these fires but next-door Asturias doesn't, I'd like to hear from him.

15 comments:

Mike the Traditionalist said...

Instead of having the euro split in two here's an idea. Each country in the European Union could have it's own currency. Then when people visit other countries in the union they would have to change their currency and that would provide jobs for money changers.

Ferrolano said...

MtT - what can we say - hahahaha

Mike the Traditionalist said...

Here are some reasons for buying other people's debts.
1: Buy your competitor's debts and put him out of business.
Example - Laker Airways starts cheap flights to U.S.A. Competitors
find it too much so buy Laker debts and demand payment. Laker can't pay up so goes bankrupt. End of competition at a cheap price.
2: Buy other's debts to expand your empire.
Example - Litton Industries buys Royal Typewriter Co. to add to its empire. Royal still fails and goes under. Litton left with land etc. So still makes a few bucks by selling it off. Litton then buys Monroe Calculator Co. which is struggling. Next it buys Sweda
Cash Register Co. It has promise. Join two to make Monroe Sweda.
New technology means harder competition so cash registers not
worth the bother. Monroe drops Sweda title and still makes money
and carries Littion Industries logo. Litton still going strong.
3: GREED. Banks buy other people's debts in the form of mortgages.
Mortgages are granted as fast as they are applied for. Banks sell them to others as a going concern for high profits. Suddenly more money is going out than coming in. Result panic and tax payer has to pick up the bill.

Colin said...

@Mike. Your proposal is just too radical. . .

Mike the Traditionalist said...

People who buy coffee beans that will be produced in three years from now is what I call radical.

Candide said...

Maybe there are all those fires in Galician forests because men are very opinionated there, and most are married.

Has there ever been a fire in El Gloria?

Colin said...

Not to my knowledge.

Diego said...

Here´s a link you might get a laugh out of, it relates to the ETA affair but mostly to non-native english speakers given doing things above their means... like me.
here you go:

http://barcepundit.blogspot.com/2011/10/noticia-bomba-el-twitter-de-la-moncloa.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Barcepundit+%28Barcepundit%29

Colin said...

Yes, I saw this earlier today .Hard to credit.

Candide said...

@ Colin 1:49 PM

See, I've explained it all.

Candide said...

Re the Moncloa tweet. Another one:

Statement of President Rodriguez Zapatero after the release of ETA: http://lamoncloa.gob.es

Reactions:

mlalanda monica lalanda
@
@desdelamoncloa Teneis 150.000 seguidores, muchos serán extranjeros. Traducid con dignidad al inglés o dejadlo en castellano por favor
19 hours ago
Retweeted by rcondemelguizo and 6 others

Single tweet URL: https://twitter.com/#!/desdelamoncloa/status/127094893540683776

Candide said...

And more:

President or Prime Minister?

https://twitter.com/#!/desdelamoncloa/status/127077975375101952

https://twitter.com/#!/desdelamoncloa/status/127074512037617664

Scrolling further down it looks like they never used English before. Ah, well.

What will Trebots say?

Perry said...

Ambrose was advocating the Nord Mark about 30 days ago.

Perry said...

Ambrose was promoting a Nord Mark some weeks ago, leaving the Euro to France and the PIIGS.

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