Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Germans are reported to be horrified at the prospect of losing money if Greece's debts are 'forgiven'. Funny, they don't seem to be worried by all the money from the North which has been channelled into the deep, deep pockets of the many fraudsters in the South. Less visible, I guess.

Talking of the Germans . . . I heard in a radio discussion today that “The model is the German one of 'fiscal rectitude'. If we all follow this model, we are told, then all our economies will, in time, converge. That's the theory but did anyone have any real idea how much fiscal ir-rectitude there was in, say, Greece, Portugal and Spain when they embarked on this scheme? Did anyone think about what it would really take to change this situation? Was a sensible timetable set? One in which the fiscal changes would be in the same timeframe as the political changes needed? I think we can safely say that the answer to each of these questions is NO and that, having watched the experiment fail, the Germans and their allies are now exacerbating the situation by inflicting endless austerity on economies which are fundamentally even weaker now than they were when the euro was introduced ten years ago. And guaranteed to get weaker still. Madness, really.

Since he has nothing to lose by saying so, the Spanish President, Sr Rajoy, is now taking the Zapatero line of promising economic growth next year that no one else believes in. Not only The Economist but, according to El País, now Brussels has “debunked the Spanish Government's predictions for growth and for the deficit at the end of 2013”. The Commission thinks GDP will fall by three times as much as the government's projection. Though it forecasts the deficit will be 'under control' by the end of 2014. And that pigs will sprout wings.

Just a follow-up to the mention of cuponing. This appears to be available from an outfit with the strange name of OFERPLAN. Of which more here.

Possibly more interesting is this video of Galicia's gastronomic delights. Be prepared for some strange pronunciations and a film which, at one point, seems to be out of kilter with the dialogue. But it's all very pretty and they even include snatches of Pontevedra.

One of the odd things about the Spanish language is that it sometimes calls for a 'personal a'. If a person is the object of a transitive verb, you must put an 'a' between the verb and the person. This also applies to animals that are known, as in Seis meses de cárcel por matar a un perro de forma cruel. 'Six years of prison for killing a dog cruelly.' Persian has something similar and it's possible Arabic does as well. If so, this might well have been the route into Spanish.

There are not many people in Spain, I suspect, who think the admirably pragmatic creation in 1979 of 17 Autonomous Communities (i. e. Regions) is still appropriate for today and for the challenges faced by Madrid. But will this government really set about merging some? Italy has recently shown the way by suppressing 35 of its 86 provinces. Or 40%. But I wouldn't wager much on Rajoy having the courage to try anything here. It would mean a major decision and he's not big on these.

Finally . . . Here are some information sheets from outside the sights of Betanzos. Some are more legible than others, I'm afraid. But, if you do plough through them, I think you'll agree that no native speaker of English ever went near them and that, secondly, the same mayoral relative was responsible for all of them. The one I particularly liked was the reference to “. . . their downward, Fernando . . .”. Which is a translation of the word descendiente. Or 'descendant'. I hope my blog colleague Trevor the Baldie can make use of them.

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