Friday, December 07, 2012


Readers may recall me asking about the timing of the report alleging that the President of the Catalan government held undeclared millions offshore. Well, the police are now said to have revealed that this was a set-up. Increasing the chances, I guess, that it was all the work of some dirty tricks department in the government. So, will there be an inquiry? I rather doubt it.

While we're looking backwards . . . I mentioned last night the government's plans to transform (free) services from the Civil Registrars into (unfree) services from Property Registrars and Notaries. If you can read Spanish, click here for a more detailed analysis of this issue, forwarded by my fellow-blogger, Trevor, up in Barcelona.

Notaries, of course, are already an inescapable feature of Spanish society, since one is compelled to use them on various occasions in one's life. It always amuses me to see the look of total disbelief on the face of a Spaniard when you tell him or her no one ever deals with a notary in the UK. Similarly when you tell them no one has to be registered at the town hall. And that there's no such thing as a Family Book. Or an ID card. Such simple pleasures.

More news on the illustrious Gerardo Díaz Ferrán . . . When he declared himself bankrupt – clearly not before time – he had debts of 419m euros and assets (he claimed) of only 5m. His biggest creditor was the Bank of Spain, which was owed a mere 84m euros. One wonders, inter alia, what sort of security they had against this loan. Or whether it was just an overdraft. It's a colourful world in Madrid.

I guess it's just one indication of several that the recession is hitting people hard but it's very noticeable how fliers have proliferated on the stanchions of the bridge I cross every day. And how quickly they return after they've been cleaned off. Like the cards for prostitutes in London phone boxes/booths. If there are any these days. Phone booths, of course, not prostitutes.

There was an article in El País today on Britain's contribution to the EU. Astonishingly – to me, anyway - it was positive. Laudatory even. You can read it here, in Spanish. El País does have an English edition but, ironically, there was no place in this for an article on Britain.

The Duchess of Alba is Spain's richest woman, I believe. Click here for evidence that there's a limit to how good money can make you look. And bear in mind that this, trust me, is a very flattering foto. It can, though, buy you a Cuban toy-boy. Though it won't endear him to your (more than angry) children.

It's the time of year to see signs in shoe shops saying Pares Sueltos. Or 'Loose Pairs'. Or 'Separate Pairs'. I've yet to figure out what this really means, as I don't imagine it means you can buy single shoes. Like the ex Mrs McCartney, perhaps. Trevor can probably put me out of my misery on this.

Finally . . . If you understand Spanish, you might enjoy this dissertation on the valuable role played in Spanish discourse by the word cojones. Literally 'testicles/balls'.

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