Monday, April 09, 2012

Bank Bargains; The Prostitution Problem; Bullfighting and Brussels Bureaucrats; Nasty Neologisms; and a Worried Wasp

Those Spanish banks with properties on their balance sheets (i. e. all of them) are now trying to get rid of them at huge discounts - up to 50% - while offering 100% mortgages at low interest rates for 40 years. But only on properties on their books. God help you if you want a mortgage on something they don't own. There are all sorts of numbers floating around on price falls since the peak of 2007 but what's more interesting is that there's a consensus they have further south to go. Assisted, no doubt, by the banks' selling tactics. Imagine having to deal with these as an estate agent(realtor). Not that anyone will sympathise with the latter.

Spain's very public prostitution industry has long been a blight on the country's image. And things seem to be getting worse, reflecting a lack of political will to address the problem. If, indeed, it's seen as a problem in Spain. Here's a report on a depressing article in the the New York Times on the subject. British youth, it seems, goes to Prague for its booze-based weekend fun; Spanish youth goes down the local brothel.

That other famous Spanish industry - bullfighting - is fighting to stay viable, against a 72% lack of interest in it, falling attendance and the prospect of bans by more regional governments. The goal is the status of 'national cultural asset', which would possibly stop the rot. The arbiter, I think, is some EU bureaucrat in Brussels. So it'll be interesting to see how things develop. Especially if said bureaucrat has never attended a bullfight.

There are a number of reasons, I'm sure, why English has such a huge vocabulary. One of them is the ease with which neologisms enter the language. But they're not all pretty and they don't all survive. Here's a few recently encountered:-
- To trial. Trialling
- To medal. Medalled.
- To helm. The film is to be helmed by . . . (Don't ask me).

Finally . . . Rightly or wrongly, I associate wasps with autumn (fall). So I'm a little surprised to have one buzzing around me as I write this. Was it fooled by the recent warm weather? Confused by the return of winter? Who knows. 


James Atkinson said...

Did you see today's Telegraph Tuesday 10th April. A riot by a contingent of 200 odd students from Manchester -univesity (allegedly) on their way to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. Seems they will have to find another way back poor dabs.Still at least we are good at something!

James Atkinson said...

I Forgot to mention they were rioting on a cross channel ferry. The other passengers had to be taken to a safer area of the ship apparently.

Azra said...

Reckon I could buy a cheap house and repay it over the next 40 years?

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