I was rather pleased last night when a chap told me he remembered meeting me four years ago. But less so when he said I'd given a talk on Liverpool at the School of Languages in Pontevedra. For I can't recall a thing about it. Maybe In time . . .
The New York Times has published a fascinating list of Spaniards who have large sums in foreign banks that haven't (yet) been declared to the Tax Office. This included the family which owns the Santander Bank and a handful of past and present first rank politicians. It will be interesting to see how many of them, if any, end up in the courts.
Apropos (smaller) tax offenders, the government say it will offer an amnesty to those property-holders who haven't inscribed their possessions in the town registries, so as to avoid paying the annual municipal tax or IBI. The government says the amnesty won't be available to illegal properties as they are not entitled to be inscribed. Which is bit of a laugh as many illegal places have been inscribed over the years.
And talking of cases getting to court . . . The Diario de Pontevedra today reported on the case of a family which attacked and beat up a couple of policemen who were trying to arrest one of its members. This all took place in June 2009, so it's taken over three years to get to the court. The family, by the way, is said to come from the barrio of O Vao. Which is local code for 'gypsies'.
Another resident of O Vao was this week chased along the coast road at 3 in the morning by five – yes, five – police cars before outwitting them in O Vao and getting away. Doubtless they'll catch up with him another time, when he's visiting his Mum.
Back to the speed and efficiency of the courts – More than one person has asked why poor people who've defaulted on their mortgages can be processed and evicted within weeks, when it takes years – if not decades – to deal with crooks the size of Fabra and Gil. Excellent question. On this, more information has dripped out on the scheme to stop the eviction of exceptionally disadvantage families. One report has it that no action will be taken (for 2 years at least) against families who have an income of 19,170 euros or less. Another has it that the amount is 19,230. God knows how these numbers were reached but it's interesting to note they lie 30 euros either side of the sensible number of 19,200.
A week or ago, President Rajoy said his government was hoping to decrease income tax rates in 2014. This week, the Economy minister said this definitely won't happen. So it goes. We can presumably now expect someone else to come forward to say they're going up next year. Joined-up government – the sort of thing we saw at a much later stage of the last (PSOE) government.
El País's cartoonist – El Roto – has at last produced one I can understand. It's a worker demanding to know But what sort of economic order is it that produces social disorder?”
Which reminds me, one of the placards at this week's street demonstrations in Vigo was “Din que chove pero mexan por nós”. Which I'm pretty sure means, in Galego, “They say it's raining but they're pissing on us,”
Finally . . . I have at last been given the opportunity to use my Chip and Pin card. At Mercadona. The guy on the checkout told me he didn't need my ID because of the chip. And then failed to get it to work. But at least he didn't ask to see my ID before giving me the slip to sign.