Monday, August 26, 2013

Spanish institutions; The Tour of Spain; Another copy-cat owl; Spanish white elephants; And more Spanglish.

Ever so often, the Spanish are polled on their approval ratings for Spain's institutions. Here, from yesterday's El Pais, are the latest numbers. There can be little surprise that politicians are rock bottom, with half the positive rating of the second-to-last in the list, political parties. My overview is that the UK list would be rather different, with several of those at the top of the list scoring quite a lot less. And vice versa for those at the bottom. Specifically, it's hard to imagine judges and the courts scoring as low as they do here in Spain.
Scientific researchers 92%
NHS doctors 92
SMEs - 90
The Guárdia Civil (national police) - 85
Public sector teachers - 85
The police - 83
Universities - 75
NGOs - 75
The armed forces - 72
Municipal social services - 64
The Crown Prince - 62
Newspapers - 60
The media as a whole - 58
Tax inspectors - 53
Lawyers - 53
The Supreme Court - 53
Parish priests - 53
The King - 50
The judges - 50

The Constitutional Court - 48%
State Prosecutors - 46
Large Spanish companies - 46
The Catholic Church - 42
The regions - 41
The municipalities - 40
Multinationals - 33
Trade unions - 28
Parliament - 24
The government - 21
Businessmen - 21
Archbishops - 21
Banks - 15
Political parties - 12
Politicians - 6

The 2nd leg of Tour of Spain began in Pontevedra yesterday and will pass through the city today during the 3rd leg. Along with some friends, I went down to town at midday yesterday to watch the riders set off. With half an hour to spare, we went for a tiffin at a nearby bar but the service was so slow we left for another bar, where - until I complained - things were much the same. After finally getting and downing our shandies, we left and headed towards the start point in front of the town hall. To find that everything was over and that all the bikes, cyclists, cars and trucks who'd lined the Alameda 30 minutes earlier had all disappeared, leaving us this . . .

We were are a tad annoyed the service delays in the two bars had cost us our chance to see the start of the race but we're resolved to make a better fist of today's spectating.

The only consolation for waiting for the service that never materialised was that it gave me the time and opportunity to snap the latest of the town's pigeon-scaring owls . . .

This one sits atop a pedestal and can clearly be rotated. An upmarket model, then.

It's rather ironic I should mention bad service here as I've always been a great admirer of Spanish bar staff. They work long hours for low pay and almost always do so with efficiency and a smile. Only a day or so ago I read that many of them have been working 12 hour days this summer for as little as €500 euros a month. Which is scandalous.

My friend Paul has sent me this article on Spain's white elephants. I'd heard of some but not all of them. If your jaw is not on your chest at the end of it, I'd be astonished.

Finally . . . A bit more Spanglish: "Vigo se llena de skates, BMX y B-Boys". 'Vigo is full of skaters, BMXers and B-Boys'.


Anonymous said...


You talk about waste. The UK has a Bank Holiday today, where hardly anyone works, but all get paid.

This means that we loose GDP/365 of output = £6,680 Million, plus we pay ourselves a similar amount - FOR DOING NOTHING.

And you talk about waste.

Great poll today, on Spanish approval ratings for their institutions - How revealing. Thank you.

Sorry if you were annoyed to have missed the start of the 2nd leg of Tour of Spain, but my guess is you couldn't have cared a bean.


Anonymous said...

Colin, Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but another White Elephant is gestating here. Mayoral testicular ambition trumps national survival any day.


22 August 2013 Written by Keith Nicol
Feasibility study for rail link
A NEW feasibility study is underway looking at the impact that a rail link from Torrevieja to join the new AVE Alicante-Madrid - Valencia line might have on the city. Torrevieja’s Major Eduardo Dolon said “It is one of the most important news for the future of the city in recent years” Dolon, accompanied by the Councillor of Finance and deputy mayor, Joaquín Albaladejo, and the Councillor of Urban and Regional Planning, Francisco Moreno, announced this week that the tender for a study linking the city with the Valencia-Alicante line (Tren de la Costa) has been announced.

Eduardo Dolon indicated that this bid is not just coincidental, as for almost two years Madrid has held meetings with the heads of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure for the train's linking with Torrevieja is a reality, and something that should be implimented as soon possible. The Mayor thanked the commitment of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Manuel Niño, and the General Director of Transport of the Generalitat Valenciana, Carlos Eleno, “with whom we have worked intensively on this issue of vital importance for the future of town”.

The State Gazette (BOE) published on Tuesday 20th August, offered the tender of this feasibility study, with a completion period of 24 months and a budget of 1,301,670€, of which a total of 243,34€ is intended for feasibility study of the railway connection of Torrevieja, as announced by the Mayor. The deadline for submission of tenders will take place on 8th October, while the bid opening will be on 8th November. The Mayor reported that the object of the contract includes the feasibility of a new rail link from the city centre of Torrevieja, in the future Intermodal Station, with the General Interest Railway Network. Also, the development of a study tracing the different solutions and location of stations required, analyzing the viability of different brokers as well as the use of the platform of the old railway line from Torrevieja.

Dolon also noted that there three phases are expected to develop in this feasibility study. The first one includes the definition of the current state of the rail network and basic data collection (2013-14), amounting to 57,596€. The second phase of the study made the approach and analysis of the alternatives considered to materialize Torrevieja rail link, and the execution of the study of demand and profitability, with an amount of 172,788€. The third and final phase of the study includes the completion of a multi-criteria analysis culminating in the choice of the ideal alternative to connect Torrevieja with General Interest Railway Network (2015), for an amount of 12,959€.

Perry said...

The old station at Av de la Estacion in Torrevieja (otherwise known as Madrid's Beach) is extant. Are there enough inhabitants to justify spending money even on a light railway/tram to Murcia, which with 5 times the population, has a bit of a network?

Seems like the mayor will continue to spend until he runs out of EU money.



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