There was a general strike in Spain today, as well as in a few other European countries. Pontevedra's main square and streets off it were crowded midday with well-heeled protesters in their branded winter wear. But this is what you'd expect of a city dominated by civil servants. It was all a bit of a nuisance for me, as I had to forge a way through them to my regular watering hole. And then a few of them got quite vociferous as they marched through Veggie Square later on. I believe things were rather more confrontational down in Madrid. Giving the riot police another opportunity to overreact. All in all, though, I have serious doubts that the manifestations will have any impact at all on government policies. Meanwhile, I smiled to hear that shopkeepers in town switched off all the lights when their procession of protesters got near their premises.
Talking of which, there's been a bit more information on what the banks will do for mortgage defaulters. Or not. There's to be a two year moratorium and whatever it amounts to, it won't be retrospective. Does this mean it will only apply to someone who takes out a mortgage after yesterday but defaults within the next two years? I guess we'll know in time. Meanwhile here's more on the situation. It comes as no great surprise to find that Spanish law conflicts with European law. It'd be a true surprise if it was brought into line. But here's hoping.
Talking about Spanish law . . . There's been controversy for years about houses built – some of them pretty recently – within the 'fringe' of land between the sea and a 50 metre mark. Or 100m. Or 500m. All of them have been cited, as I recall. Essentially, a lot of properties are technically illegal and should be demolished. But a solution has now been found; the 'fringe' will be reduced to ensure that no properties are illegal. Presumably, then, to around 10m. Pure genius.
Just in case you feel I'd taking on a rather negative tone, here's a fascinating report which is upbeat about Spain and her future and which takes on and explodes several myths.
Meanwhile, in the real quotidian world, it's suggested that only 49% of Spanish women aged between 30 and 45 want to have children. But what if their husbands do?
I fell foul of the tyranny of the pharmacies again today. Having lost, broken or run over all the reading glasses I brought from the UK, I had no choice but to resort to a pharmacy and pay four times what I'd have paid in England. Swings and roundabouts, I guess. And at least the lenses are Asphericas. Whatever that means.
But it's not all bad news; the lovely Ester told me this afternoon that Toni had been suddenly called to the Middle East when I was in Portugal. And that he'll be gone for 4 months. Now to find out how well-schooled his kids have been in the Shouting Game.
Finally . . . Looking at the Lonely Hearts ads in a local paper today, I noted that several ended with the phrase Abstenerse otras intenciones. Anyone able to translate that for me?